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Stock photos really turn me off

I am tired of stock photos that look like stock photos. You know, the photos of people shaking hands in a business environment. They’re always the trendy looking people wearing the gray suit with the $145. haircut. It’s so 1990s.

If you want to stand out, then please take the time to get an actual photo. It’s so easy with digital cameras that if you don’t take the time I just might not take the time to talk to you. People talk about having a personality to your business and values. Well I can’t hear your values or see your personality if you keep using corny stock photos that look like they came out of Generic, USA.

By Chris Tingom

Principal of Tornado Design, a Phoenix, AZ based web consultancy

6 replies on “Stock photos really turn me off”

I agree – sorta.

Yes, stock photography is, for the most part, trash. I did some work for a client recently where my only option was to use photos from their large repository of stock photos. Uughh, everything was perfectly posed, looking perfect in the perfect environment. It dripped of fake.

On the other hand though, relying on strictly amateur photos can come off looking just as bad as well — albiet on the other end of the badness spectrum, too real and too flawed

The nice balance is to find professional stock of real situations and environments. Perhaps posed, but naturally posed, not something that looks like two folks having to glad hand each other for hours with a forced smile while the photographer kept trying to get the perfect shot.

I like the suff at istockphoto.com. I’m also going to be going out and doing more photography on my own. You’ve got proven skillz in the photo department, I’d like to see you start a series on photography — that would rock harder than the caption contest.

Even though they look quite funny Beth, they’re really screaming “80s!”… Look at the size of that phone for god’s sake πŸ˜›

About the stock photos, I agree with Chris. They do get annoying. It’s like going over to MonsterTemplate, all of the pictures are on the top-100 clichΓ© list. When I make my sites templates I always hire a photographer to ake pictures for me. It’s so much better…

Yeah…it’s tough to find photography in stock that isn’t too cliche. A client of mine has actually taken the step of creating a communications style guide that defines what photos used should look/feel like. More importantly, what they should *not* look like.

Doing some work for them was when I discovered how few stock packages have photos that aren’t posed for the camera. πŸ™‚ There’s lots of good stuff out there, but there’s even more crap. Just like type. πŸ™‚ I’ve been using istockphoto more and more for client projects lately as well. There are a lot of really good contributors there now.

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