Should I Use Stock Photography or Hire a Photographer?

Jun 10, 2023



two people looking at a camera in a studio

By now, you probably know that you can’t just search Google for any photo and use it without permission. This has created a massive increase in stock photography websites, where users can search and purchase photos (and videos) that are copyright free for a licensing fee. While this is a huge benefit for many businesses, there are some things to consider when choosing between a professional photographer and purchasing a stock photo.

The Pros Of Using Stock Images

Stock photos are a budget friendly way to generate high quality content.

  • Low Cost: Less expensive than hiring a photographer.
  • Convenient: search, pay, download, use. It’s really that simple.
  • Quality: Access content that may not otherwise be available to you.

The Cons Of Using Stock Images

Stock photos can look “stock” and be a turn off for customers.

  • Less Appealing: Stock photos end up looking “the same.”
  • Lacks Personal Touch: No way to differentiate via stock photography.
  • SEO Effectiveness: Google can see the same photo in multiple areas, which lowers SEO scores.

The Pros Of Hiring A Professional Photographer

You’ll never be sorry for hiring a professional photographer. They are simply the best.

  • Personal Touch: photograph your product, services and business – not someone else’s.
  • Fully Customized: Portray your business in the exact light and style you

The Cons Of Hiring A Professional Photographer

The most limiting factors to hiring a professional photographer are time and costs.

  • Time Consuming: Staging, photographing and editing all take time.
  • Higher Cost: Professional photographers can be expensive – be sure to account for the shoot and post-production time when calculating your costs.

Our Conclusion

Hiring a professional photographer is like eating at a 5-star steakhouse versus a fast food chain. There’s little question as to the quality of food at the steakhouse in comparison to the fried burger joint. But, we also recognize that you sometimes just need a bite to eat while on the road.

Stock photography has its place in a world of disposable content. But the best quality results usually come from hiring someone who understands your needs and can cook the perfect a meal for your tastes. If you need help with photography or video, we’d love to show you some of our work and help you with your next project.

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