Stock or Original imagery? This is a question many brands are asking every day and we all wish the answer was simple.
Cameras are now more accessible than ever. Chemicals and darkroom days are over and most people have access to a good quality camera. With the technology we now have, stock imagery, can be very cheap, high quality and easily accessible. The main problem with stock imagery is that it is just as accessible to you as it is to others.
The stock image you thought will define your brand, has also been used by other companies around the world and even your competitors. Let's say you use a stock image of happy people in an office environment pretending to be your employees, this image is being used for insurance, staffing, dentistry, accountancy, IT support or any other industry possible. Your audience, the people who will see this image over and over again will become immune to it and will not associate it with your brand.
If you want your brand to stand out from the crowd and be authentic, you should use original photography and videography. Your photographer and your creative team will be able to come up with concepts and authentic ideas that will separate your brand from the rest and you will own the rights to your images so they will not appear on a poster down the road without your permission.
This is easier said than done. Original imagery can be time consuming and expensive, but if you need quality, innovative imagery that will make your brand unique, original visuals are key. Worlds biggest brands such as Apple or Starbucks use imagery that stands out and are memorable. They possibly do have a bigger budget than you but they all had to start somewhere and there is definitely a creative out there who will be within your budget.
Stock images aren’t all bad, a lot of the images are great but are not very original. If the image you require is simple and on a plain background, stock images are great as long as the subject isn’t unique to your brand.
Overall, stock images are great but not one of a kind so if you need something generic and good value for money, they are your ideal choice. Although if you want your brand to stand out, be memorable and unique, you may have to splash out for a team of creatives who will make your brand look insanely great and original.