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Why genuine photography wins over stock imagery – every time

By July 5, 2017Design, Marketing3 min read

A picture tells a thousand words – but what does genuine photography say about your business that stock imagery can’t?

Before going further, this isn’t a post to deride the quality of stock images out there. There are thousands of beautifully styled online images by talented photographers, so it’s little wonder many businesses use them as a quick, cheap route to visual branding.

However, this post might make you think twice about the impact of those images, and whether you should be using them at all – especially when compared with the far better results you’d get with genuine photography.

Genuine photography is unique

If you’ve used a stock image you discovered online, chances are plenty of other businesses have done exactly the same!

There’s an easy way to check if this is the case: run them through a Google Image Search to see if they’ve been used elsewhere. Unfortunately, the results will likely prove your ‘original’ images may not be so original after all.

On the other hand, genuine photography produced by or for you won’t be available for all and sundry to use in their marketing. It will be yours alone, adding a uniqueness to your visual branding that stock imagery can never achieve.

Genuine photography connects with your customers

Why use a stock image of a model in a headset when you could show one of your employees at their desk or workbench? Why present a group of strangers as your workforce, even though you have the real deal to photograph instead?

We’ve all seen such photos – the slightly cheesy, dated and impersonal impressions of employees, doing little to inspire a genuine connection between brand and customer. The truth is, customers want to buy from authentic businesses. They want to see what they’re getting and who they’ll be dealing with. And if you use photographs of genuine employees instead, you can guarantee invaluable connections with your customers.

After all, real people buy real people. Let your customers see your real employees, rather than models who’ve never stepped foot inside your business!

Genuine photography is not easy to ignore

We form our first impression of a website in just 50 milliseconds, clicking away within 10-20 seconds if we’ve not found a reason to stay. This is why your visual branding is crucial in enticing customers to linger on your website and increase conversions. However, this is difficult to achieve if you’ve used stock imagery.

Research suggests we’ve been so exposed to generic, unauthentic stock imagery in a plethora of banner ads over the years, we now simply ignore it.

If, however, customers see an original photograph, they’re far more likely notice it, linger and keep reading. Pretty impressive for the sake of setting up a camera!

Genuine photography promotes your brand

As well as connecting with your customers, genuine photography is an easy and effective way of increasing your brand awareness. A photo of an employee in a branded t-shirt not only tells a story, but helps customers recognise your brand.

As you can tell, we at Garda are firm believers in the power of genuine photography! So why not get in touch to see what our expert photography and design team can do for you? We’re ready to help your business go so much further than it would with just a Google image search.