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Blog / Why we will never use stock photos again

Why we will never use stock photos again

July 29, 2020

A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

The question remains though, how do you get that picture to stand out? Since the mid 1990s when physical archives of photographs moved to servers, companies like Getty grew and grew, and with it, so did the use of stock photography. Fast forward a few years and those same photos have become ubiquitous, dotted across the 4 corners of the internet.

With the vast selection of stock sites now available, it can seem like the obvious route to go down when trying to find that perfect image.

Here's why we think you shouldn't.

What story will you tell?

Storytelling sits at the heart of great content. When selecting images to tell your story, it’s important they properly convey the message and engage the end user. It's important they feel relatable. It's important they feel real.

Why settle for generic stock images that have no real story behind them, when you could use user generated content to tell the story?

sunset
sea

Make a connection

Imagine you are interested in buying from a company. You head to their website and you are greeted by a stock photo you've seen before. How does it make you feel? Do you feel connected to that company in any way, or the message they are trying to send out?

The simple answer is no.

If you’ve used an image on your website or campaign which your customer has seen a thousand times before on other websites, then any message you try to convey using that photo isn't going to resonate.

Opting for user generated content, though it may not always look ‘perfect’ or ‘polished’, can help form a connection with your customer. It can help convey a message or story in a creative way with a fresh perspective, all without the need for professional cameras and long photoshoots! It can be done with a camera on the back of a smartphone, from anyone, anywhere.

man holding a beer
taking photo

#Goodbyestock

Stock images are not only generic, but they can be expensive in the long run. Stock images often have licensing fees, and restrictions on where they can be used, and for what purpose. On top of that, you’d potentially be spending hours scrolling through a library trying to find something which matches the vision you had in your mind of what you wanted the image to be, only to find something which is just ok.

A couple of years ago we decided to say #Goodbyestock and create our own stock library with our fans, customers, and community. We crowdsourced content from them and to date have over 1500 contributions. Every photo is unique. Every photo tells a story. We are able to run photo of the year competitions and celebrate the amazing creativity and talent of our community.

Opting for user generated content, though it may not always look ‘perfect’ or ‘polished’, can help form a connection with your customer. It can help convey a message or story in a creative way with a fresh perspective, all without the need for professional cameras and long photoshoots! It can be done with a camera on the back of a smartphone, from anyone, anywhere.

To learn more, watch our on-demand webinar to learn from our Seenit experts how to harness the power of user-generated photos, along with tips on how to make still images pop in your video edits.

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