When considering imagery for your business website, you tend to have two options available to you - stock imagery or specialist photography.
Images on your business website serve so much more of a purpose than just making your product or service look good.
When used effectively, strong visuals can help build an emotive connection, communicate quality and encourage the user to take action.
When considering imagery for your business website, you tend to have two options available to you – stock imagery or a specialist photographer.
Both stock imagery and specialist sourced photography have a role to play in any website experience, but when should each be used?
To investigate further, we sat down with our Senior Designer, Fahima Begum, to get her thoughts on the role that both stock imagery and specialist photography can play in a website experience.
Images play a major role on a website, as they are the first impression you make to the user.
Images attract attention, tell a story and help make the brand stand out.
They can also be used to help navigate around the website as most users digest information visually.
Stock imagery is a collection of professional images which require a licence to use. Stock images can be very effective in creating a professional website, as the images are high quality and fresh.
The pro’s of using stock imagery are that there is a wide variety to choose from, they are easy to access and download, and they save a lot of time and resource.
However, stock imagery can lead to a more generic feel.
Because of their availability, they can be used on any website, and therefore not unique to your brand.
There can often be license restrictions too, so it’s best to read before you use!
I would say when putting a design concept together, for writing blogs, working on personal projects or when you need a quick turnaround.
With stock imagery, due to the amount and variety available, it’s easy to lose your identity and originality.
Therefore you may want to consider how to adjust the stock image to make it suit to your branding.
Images libraries such as; Freepik, Unsplash, Getty Images, iStock, Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, Alamy, Envato Element, Vecteezy, Pixabay… the list goes on.
If you are using stock imagery, either adjust it to make its feel more original or try not to use too many stock images on one web page.
If your website is image heavy it’s best to start looking for a professional photographer to keep the content authentic.
Website visitors are more interested in seeing real photos which truly express your brand identity and personality.
The images are your own, and they can help build trust and credibility with the user.
These type of images are unique, authentic and original, and as such can help to strengthen your brand.
It’s more expensive and time consuming.
It isn’t always guaranteed to capture the desired shot, so ve sure to review before signing off.
It’s important to consider experience credibility, availability, costs, style of shots (portfolio), quality and the technical equipment.
Making sure they are creative and able to deliver your ideas is key.
Looking for photographers who know (or are familiar with) the industry you work in is very effective, but don’t discredit those who aren’t as they may bring a fresh pair of eyes to the table!
Be original when it comes to using photos.
Users prefer something unique and authentic to view.
Photos capture the users attention more than words, so be smart when using images on your website.
And there you have it.
As we thought, there is a place for both stock imagery and specialist sourced photography.
When and where you might use them can be different from one business to another, as everybody’s situation is different.
But what is clear to see, is the value that strong website imagery can have on a business website.
If you want to find out more about how to communicate through your website using website imagery and video, we recently caught up with International School photographer, Andy Catterall, for our blog post here.