Should I Buy Stock?


So there might come a time when you need a photo of a dog with human hands eating a pizza or a man in a business suit and swim cap…but chances are probably not. Stock photography can be a nightmare to deal with when you’re looking for specific images to represent your business, and yet so many business owners rely on stock photos instead of hiring a photographer to save time or money. But in the end, is it really worth it?


Good quality, custom photography can be a life-saver for your ad campaign. When you take the time to plan out how you want to represent your business visually and work with a professional photographer to create these visuals, you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes in the quality of your marketing materials. Here’s a few reasons to hire a pro rather than waste time searching for a photo you’re ultimately going to be settling for.

You CAN Always Get What You Want

When you use stock photography, you are limited to whatever is available to purchase. And most of the time you will end up settling on something that somewhat fits your needs, but isn’t quite what you envisioned. When you hire a pro to take your photos, you get to make the decisions! So if you need a vertical shot of Pirate's Alley at night, you don’t have to settle for a horizontal shot of Pirate’s Alley in the daylight.

Accurate Representation

When you are using imagery to represent your product or service, the imagery needs to accurately represent what your customers are paying for. You won’t get that from stock photography. If you’re stuffed avocado appetizer includes crawfish and crabmeat, the avocado in your photo shouldn’t contain shrimp and eggs.

Who Wore it Best?

One risk you take using stock photos is that they aren’t exclusively yours. Everyone else has access to them as well. And if it’s a good photo, chances are other businesses - including your competition - will be using it too. So you may have found the “perfect” photo of a pumpkin to announce your Halloween sale, but there’s a good chance the shop down the street is using the same photo. And how embarrassing is that!?!

Stay Within Your Brand

Part of managing a business is managing a brand. And it’s important to stay within that brand in all visuals associated with your business. This includes the way photos are treated from coloring to cropping to contrast. When all of your photos are taken by the same professional photographer, the photographer will be able to keep a consistent style throughout all photography. So your photos look similar to each other and your audience will recognize that as being your style.

More Bang for Your Buck

When you buy stock photography, you’re generally just buying one photo. And you’re usually spending a lot of money on that one photo. A photographer will usually take hundreds of photos and send you several to have on file. At 2nd Story we don’t limit you to selecting one image per photoshoot. We select the best shots and send you a collection of finished photos to have on file.

A Little Less Cheese, Please!

Its a known fact that stock photos tend to be a little over-the-top sometimes. You just want a nice photo of normal kids at school working in a realistic science lab. Not a problem capturing that in a professional photoshoot. However stock photos tend to be overly dramatic with situations, props, costumes, and facial expressions.


Overall stock photos can be useful when you're in a pinch and need a last minute image. But when you have the time to carefully craft your marketing tactics, having customized quality photos that are yours and yours alone make your brand look so much more professional. 2nd Story offers a wide variety of photography services from lifestyle to products to headshots to events. Let us help bring your imagery to the next level by booking your photoshoot today!

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