At some point during their marketing efforts almost every business will need to use imagery in the form of photographs. The choice of images can make or break a design piece or advertisement so it is essential to choose images that convey the appropriate message, are technically suitable for the job and work within the branding.

The two most common options when choosing images are to use stock photography or to use photographs from a professional photoshoot. Each have their advantages and disadvantages.

Professional photoshoots allow the most flexibility. With the added advantage of Photoshop, almost any image you imagine is possible. You can control lighting, choose talent and select a location that suits. By commissioning a photographer you will get a range of shots that all work together, which is perfect for a campaign or a project such as a website or brochure where several images will be seen together or will need to be associated with each other. You also have the advantage of being able to show your actual product, get high resolution images and you won’t have to worry about anyone else using the same photo in their marketing.

Stock Photography providers can also provide exceptional images for your marketing but you will be more limited in your choices and may need to compromise. Most stock photography websites have thousands of images available for purchase so they rely on keyword searches to source your perfect image. You’ll need to have a fairly good idea about what you want in the first place to find a suitable image. When using stock photography it can be difficult to find a range of images that work together and it is very important to purchase images which are a high enough resolution for your needs. There can also be the risk of someone else using the same image.
On the upside stock photos can be inexpensive and can work well for
generic applications.

When making the choice between stock photography and a custom photo-shoot there are a few things to take into consideration. For example, say you are the owner of a beachside resort and you are putting together a campaign that requires images of people enjoying the facilities you offer. What sort of photography should you use? It would be possible to source stock images of people lounging by a pool, cooking a BBQ, kids playing in the playground and adults relaxing with a glass of wine etc. You would however be restricted to using fairly generic ‘lifestyle’ images with limited backgrounds. It would look ridiculous to use an image of kids swimming in a huge pool by the beach if your resort has a small one surrounded by forest. It could even be considered false advertising. You also wouldn’t be able to show any specific facilities you offer. A custom photoshoot on the other hand, whilst being able to provide the exact images you want, and have them all matching in lighting and style, is probably going to cost you a bit more.

Sometimes the perfect image has already been taken and other times it requires someone to take it for you. Either way it is important to use high quality imagery that conveys the appropriate message. If you would like some advice about photography, please feel free to contact us. We have access to thousands of stock images and have a custom built professional photography studio on-site. If you would like to see some of our previous photography work check out our gallery.