With so many stock photo services available online, it’s easy to fall into the habit of using this attractive, professional and pre-created photography on your website rather than anything specific to you or your business. Contrary to popular belief, however, this definitely isn’t the best option. While professional photography is best, it’s actually better to use your own carefully taken pictures, professional or otherwise, than to opt strictly for stock photos.
The fact of the matter is, when someone comes to your website they want to see your business at work. They want to see you, your employees, your workplace; they’re looking for something “real.” Consumers’ need to establish a down-to-earth image of their favorite brands is actually one of the many reasons that social media marketing is so effective. The more you seem like the average Joe, running a successful company of other average Joes, the more easily your target audience will be able to connect with you and your business.
Another point against using stock photography is the possibility of being “found out” and sending the wrong image, so to speak. When the Conservative Party of Canada set out to promote an increase to a federal tax credit to help underwrite adoption costs, a stock image was used as an example of a family benefiting from the credit. The only problem was that the designer in question failed to realize that the family being mixed-race didn’t mean their child was adopted—and the happy couple and their baby weren’t from Canada, or even in Canada when the photo was taken. When this was discovered, the Ottawa Citizen made a scathing report regarding the insensitivity of the campaign designer, the CPC’s lack of understanding and the fact that using this photo actually took possible paying work away from a real adopted Canadian family.
While using stock images in your own website design isn’t likely to end up quite so explosive, using photographs of your own people and places comes with huge benefits that no small business would want to ignore.
- According to Content Marketing Institute, authentic photos humanize the brand
- Authentic photographs build a more personal relationship and engage more closely with your customers to establish loyalty
- Employees will be excited to be included on the site, increasing job satisfaction
- Customers will be thrilled to see that you’re proud to show your own employees
If you want your website to be about you, make sure the photographs used are yours. While hiring a professional photographer may be a cost you’re not prepared to spend just yet, there’s nothing wrong with sending your employees out armed with permission to photograph all aspects of your business during the day; you’ll have a huge array of photos to choose from before long, and you may just find a decent photographer in your midst.
Fill out this form to contact 4 Step Studio today!