A Guide To Picking Out Bad Stock Photos (before they get on your site)


A Guide To Picking Out Bad Stock Photos (before they get on your site)

Part of being a small business owner is making use of the resources at your disposal, even if they are limited.

For example, if you can’t afford a physical location, use a tool to create an e-commerce store as well. Images are a great example of this as well. Ideally, a good set of images can improve your website or other marketing materials in many ways. Behind the scenes, you can optimize them with tags for your SEO presence. Mainly, they can help communicate brand values and other items. However, one poor stock photo can throw this all off.

The Trouble With Bad Stock Photos

Bad stock photos are the type of things they many people can notice, but it’s difficult to pin down exactly what makes one. Perhaps you’re familiar with the series the Huffington Post ran a few years ago specifically dedicated to “This Week In Ridiculous Stock Photos.” In general, bad stock photos revolve around a few different things.

  1. Overly awkward or goofy: There are some stock photos that just naturally come across as unnatural, and these aren’t the things that you want on your site.
  2. Offbrand: Part of the issue with a stock photo is that even though you don’t create the photo, you need to choose something that is a good match for the message that you want to project. This can be difficult if you don’t have a good picture of your message.
  3. Overused: There are good stock images out there, but you don’t want to use a picture that every other site in your niche is using, as it makes your site appear interchangeable.


Avoiding Bad Stock Photos

If you’re looking to avoid bad stock photos, the ideal thing that you need to do is make sure that have a variety of different sites to work from. This increases your pool of options, meaning that you don’t need to rely on the weakest images possible.

With this said, at some point, you may want to graduate to the next level and try to lose stock photos altogether in favor of using your own. There are good reasons for this, but you need to be ready to invest in the equipment and tools necessary to do this properly. If you’re making a decision about this, here are two main things to consider:

  1. Do you find that you need more specific items than you can get normally when it comes to your average stock photo site? Alternatively, are you using so many stock photos for a niche option, you’re using up your potential options?
  2. Do you have the budget to not only buy a professional camera, but also potentially image-altering software? If not, it may make more sense to invest in a paid stock photo website instead.

Whatever option you use, a lot of selecting more images for your website is about avoiding things that distract from your message as opposed to enhancing it.