When working on projects for a business, a common question comes up. What kind of content is best? Stock photography or original content? There is no right answer and there are pros and cons for both. You must choose what works best for your company.
Stock photos are taken and licenced for a specific purpose. The most famous companies involve in this industry are Getty Images and Corbis. There are a few types of stock photos based on their licensing. Macrostock are high-priced and exclusive stock photography, also known as traditional stock photography. There are sometimes even commissioned for an industry. Midstock are stock photos priced between micro stock and macro stock. Microstock are low-priced and inclusive stock photography. The last two sorts can easily be found and paid for online.
Anyone can take stock photos. Most microstock is uploaded to third party sites that allow people to search by artist, content, and even photography type.
Stock photography can have a few benefits. Photos are easy to find and easy to incorporate into a project or publication. Getting the content only takes minutes. This may lower the turn around time for a business, and in turn improve profits. Stock photos can also be quite cheap–sometimes less than a euro for a small image. Most stock photos are well shot, interesting, and general enough for any business. Stock photography has to pass standards about light, colour, composition, and noise.
There are a few drawbacks with stock photos. The images can have old or out-of date aspects which make them unusable. Because they are not exclusive they can be used by other businesses, even (and sometimes especially) businesses similar to your own. There is nothing that makes the contents unique to your company. Due to the standards that stock photos have, they can sometimes look too generic. If the photos are cliché your company will be presented the same way. The photos can also have a lot of restrictions, so be sure to read the fine print.
Original content is the term for a work made especially for a particular business. It can be something as small as a logo or large as a product photoshoot. There is nothing else like that work on the planet and it only represents your company.
There are agencies and individual photographers who specialise in business photography. The content can be made in house as well.
Original content is exclusive and cannot be used by other businesses. As the photography does not have to follow specific guidelines or standards, the content would be unique. It would avoid clichés and would not be generic. It gives businesses a personality. Because the content is made to order it would not be dated.
However, original content takes time to create. The fact that the work is usually made to order will impact the price as well. If it is for a specific project, the project itself will take time as well.
Consider what kind of content would work best for the project. Take into account the time, budget, and message of the product. exSite has experience with both kinds of content and can advise you on your next project. Contact exSite today!