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Website Photography: Hiring a Photographer vs. Using Stock Photos

There are many reasons to have photos on your website.  Photos add value to your design, can help enhance search engine optimization and increase traffic.  There is no doubt that images are important for your website.  But does it matter where these images come from?

There are several places to get photos for your site.  You can take them yourself.  You can hire a professional photographer to take them.  You can buy a license from a stock photography website or find free images that are in the public domain. The question is what makes most sense for your business’ site. When does hiring a photographer make more sense than using images found on stock photo websites?

Hiring a photographer means the photos on your website will be unique.  Because they are taken by someone you’ve hired especially for your business they will be shot specific to your business’ needs and requirements.  With your own photographs you will avoid generic and unoriginal images and can offer whatever design and feeling you create.  A photographer allows you to personalize your image design and offer memorable and imaginative images.  Professional photos allow you to brand your products and/or business.  The message you evoke with these unique design and images will become yours and identify your site.

For some businesses a photographer can really make a difference. If you are a restaurant or a florist – showing your signature dishes or creations – having unique images will showcase what you can offer and set you apart from the competition. If you use stock photos and generic images – you might look like any other burger joint or flower shop. On the other hand, if you offer daycare or medical services – you might prefer stock images as they can convey your message without being too personal and protecting the privacy of your patrons.

Grabbing the audience and making your site distinct can depend a lot on your photos.  If hiring a photographer is within your budget you might be wise to consider doing so.

In a future blog, we take a look at how best to use stock photography.


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