It is hard to find the right images to showcase your business and your products, especially if your business is a service. Hiring a photographer can be expensive, more if you don’t know exactly what you want, paying for a photographer to wait for hours for you to come up with the right idea is not a good use of money. But you still need images.
Stock photography is a great alternative to hiring a professional photographer AND models. Can you take the pictures yourself and use a couple of friends as models, sure you can. Will they have the crisp quality and excellent presentation of a professional photo? Most likely not. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you are not a great photographer, just that in my experience, I’ve only seen three people take great pictures that could be used in a website, and they all were professional photographers themselves.
But, can people tell that you are using stock photography? Maybe, but a true commissioned professional photography will look as polished as a stock photo too. People look at those pictures and think they look professional and help the website, if they pay much attention to that fact at all. Pictures are used to enhance and define a message, but what users on the web really care about is information. What is your business about? Who runs it? What makes you better than your competitor? Etc.
So, should you use stock photography? Absolutely. Just remember to be ethical about it, don’t go around saying your product or service is shown in a picture where its not! Use them wisely and more importantly, hire a professional web design firm that knows how to use the images and will create an overall feel to your website.
So, don’t be shy, google stock photography and you’ll find some great examples of companies that provide professional photos at accessible prices.