Before anyone jumps to conclusions, we’re not going to hate on stock photography, we can all agree it has its place. Let’s say you’re in a business that takes place over the world, shipping a photographer around alongside or independently isn’t economical and we’re not the cheapest of dates when carrying all that kit. It may be an option for the big boys such as Apple, but it’s a bit different when you make up a large amount of America’s GDP. Or what if you have a particularly sensitive subject matter? It’s another time that stock photography might come to your aid to fill those voids with something slightly off on a tangent. But for the majority of people and businesses, original photography, and video for that matter, should be the only route. And here are a few reasons why…
Time, or lack of, affects us all. None more so than those higher up the chain. Amongst everything else on your to-do list today, now add “find image of a phone call” or something equally as generic. If you do get the time, see how long it takes you to find the right image for your brand without thinking how each of those new found stock images would work perfectly as the next best meme. Now you’ve got the image, consider the following; which resolution you’ll need, royalty free or rights managed, licensing terms, online or print, which program you’ll resize it with, will retouching be required? Take this into account and your time used, and it’s not looking so cheap any more…
Next task, find a competitors website and the first photo you see. Save that image and reverse google search it. It’s always interesting to see where else that image pops up. Looking at our competitors offering ‘craft, original, bespoke’ work, the same image can appear on up to 170 other sites… really?
So you’ve reached the stage where your company invests in a new website because you want to attract new customers, you want to grow, you want to show what you have and do is better than the next, so do exactly that. Why put those hours of research and development into your new website and then at the last minute dump a range of generic or substandard images on.
How did you get to the point where you could invest in a jazzy new website? Did your team have anything to do with it per chance? Thought so, get them on there! Whether it’s shooting your own stock library, or adding a team page, put faces to names, create personalities before people even get to your office. We’re in an age of authenticity people, give it to them.
A third option?
To go ‘full circle’ on this, let’s look back at the first exception to stock photography that we gave, businesses that are in the world of travel. There is in fact a third option that can add some spice, and that’s User Generated Content (UGC for short). This is content, be it photography or video, created by your customer. What can possibly say “smashed it!” better than an image taken in that moment, by the people who actually did it. The authenticity, the active style, the dramatic Instagram filter… there’s nothing in these moments that can quite compete for energy, and most of all interaction, possibly the largest strength of UGC is that it creates conversation, it gives a genuine insight into the customer experience.
Here at Giant Peach, we are lucky enough to boast our very own in house photographer, Ryan. Ensuring the essence of each website is captured beautifully, Ryan can do stints on location to really get under the skin of your company. Our highly skilled stills and videographer can capture the real story behind your company, from company profiles – putting faces to names, to capturing mouth watering food products.
Have a chat with Ryan, and find out how he can visually bring what you do to life, and set your website apart from the crowd.