Stock photography is a great resource for us web designers who need some extra graphics to spice up a site. However, there are some downfalls to it that you should consider when starting your next web project:
1. Your competitor could be using the same images
2. You have limited rights to the images
3. It may be hard to find a stock photo that connects to your clients
4. You can usually tell that it is a stock photo when you first look at it
Our recommendation is to have a photographer shoot your photos for your next website. Many people think that they can get the same shot themselves with their point and shoot camera or dare I say it their camera phone. AHHH. The truth is, you can’t get the same quality that you would get by hiring a photographer. A truly professional and well trained photographer will know how to appropriately light the shot, setup the shot and edit the shot to give it the look and feel that you are going for. By hiring a photographer you will also get that unique look and feel that will set you apart from your competition. See our example below. My point and shoot camera phone vs. the professional shot we had taken of the dogs. You will see a huge difference in quality. Which would you rather use on your website?
Lastly, when hiring a photographer, be sure to ask for a portfolio. You want to be certain that their style matches the look and feel you are going for.