When it comes to images for your website, it’s not necessarily a simple case of any imagery is good imagery – ideally the images you use to represent your company online, should do exactly that. Your imagery should give your customer a realistic sense of company size and services that your business provides.
You may want to represent your company accurately but you also want to keep a high level of quality imagery because without this your website could look amateur and makeshift.
So the answer to the question ‘stock photo or real image?’ seems obvious now doesn’t it? But it’s not. The problem with selecting a stock photo is that you company could lose its personal feel. Ok, you’ve browsed Shutterstock and iStock and found the perfect image that represents your subject (or company) perfectly! Place it in your website, it looks excellent doesn’t it? However, your not the only one that thinks this – so does everyone else who has a website created. As you browse other websites you’ll find that ‘every man and his dog’ has had the same thought and suddenly your imagery loses any impact because all our visitors have seen it many of times on the web already and even worse than that, your competitive loves the photo and has used it to make the same point.
So the answer is simple, isn’t it? Use you own imagery. It’s not quite that straightforward, using your own imagery creates a personal and realistic feel for your business but there is the danger of using shabby imagery. Having you own imagery can be an excellent idea but you need to ensure that your imagery have a certain quality to avoid devaluing your business – Nobody expects stock quality photographs but if you don’t pick your images carefully, it can give the impression that you don’t care how you company is perceived and in turn may not care about your customers or products and services you supply.
There is no right all wrong answer here, we just suggest that you think carefully about the images used. If you decide to opt for your own imagery we would suggest that you employ a professional photographer to help show your company and product in the best possible light – this will produce a perfect balance of professionalism and personalism.
Alternatively, feel free to use stock imagery (most companies do) but please select carefully and try to avoid using the same images as your competitors. We would advise possibly manipulating your selected image to give it a unique look or if this isn’t an option use the website www.tineye.com. This website uses an image recognition tool to search the web and find where else the photograph is in use. If tineye.com returns a high number (eg. 100+), take the time to check which websites are using the images and if they are potential competitors steer clear and select a lesser used one.
Hopefully this article was useful for you and has helped with your decision whether to select stock photography v real imagery but if you would like to know more, please get in touch and we will happily advise you where possible.