When you hear the words stock photos you probably think of cliché images covered in watermarks. However, stock photos are essential for many new companies when developing a brand story and visual brand. Authentic stock photos like JumpStory’s, are great resources for companies to communicate their brand message. You just need to know when to utilize stock photography and how to properly use them.
#1 When Should I Use Stock Photography?
Stock photos are great for any project, especially if you are a new company with a tight budget. Affording an entire photoshoot is costly and time consuming. With stock photos you can save money and time. When creating a brand there are many moving parts at the beginning.
To help alleviate the tasks during the creation process, stock photos are great fillers if you don’t have the money or time to take photos right away. If you decide down the road you want original photos you can always change them, but having images to start your visual brand is essential.
Stock photos are also a great tool for independent designers, who don’t have a large budget. Designers have the skills to overlay images and create dynamic and unique landscapes from stock photography.
If you want to localize your brand in different markets stock photography is a great tool. For example, if the brand is from France and you want to sell it in the US you need to have images that localize that service or product. Instead of spending more money and time, you can utilize stock images from that country that localize in foreign consumers’ minds.
Developing a brand is a brainstorming process. Stock photography can be used to visualize the brand idea or concept for people who are not a part of the brainstorming process. A great way to visualize a brand concept is through mock ups and mood boards created with stock photography. Also, when a marketing agency brings a marketing concept to a client the agency wants to visualize this idea. The agency can visualize the idea through stock photography before having an entire photoshoot.
#2 How Should I Use Stock Photography?
It depends on the intended permanence of the images you are using. For example, if you are using the images for a mock up or mood board the guidelines are less strict because these are rough concepts to be used when developing a campaign, or project. If you intend on keeping the images then it is important to not be lazy with stock photos.
Meaning, don’t just grab a stock photo and post it on a blog or your social channels. A strong brand that utilizes stock photography incorporates the image with their own visual treatment to reflect their visual brand. Using an image and placing it in a design or overlaying images to create a scene is a great way to stay original and continue to reflect your visual brand.
Designers and marketers should also be aware of the copyrights surrounding stock photography. Some photographs have copyrights for editorial use or digital use, and some both. It’s important to be aware of where you can publish the image, so you don’t run into legal issues.
To sum it all up, next time you are starting a new project either as an independent designer, a marketing agency, or within your own business, consider these tips on when and how to effectively use stock photography. Authentic and compelling images are at your fingertips to create a compelling vision and brand story.