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Stock vs. Custom: What You Need to Know

October 21, 2016

Difference Between Stock and Custom Photos

With social media being one of the biggest marketing platforms for businesses, stock photography has become extremely common. In fact, stock photos have become so common that it no longer takes a trained eye to be able to pick up on staged photos compared to original photography. Stock photos in moderation can work wonders for social media marketing campaigns. However, nothing can replace the quality of original photos taken by a professional photographer.

What is stock photography?

Stock photography is professional photographs that are bought and sold on a royalty-free basis and can be used and reused for commercial design purposes. For example, you could purchase a stock photo of a family picnic for a flyer. While downloading a stock photo to include in a Facebook post can be efficient, it is not always the best solution. It can be expensive to download an image from a stock website. If you are posting on a regular basis, then it may not make sense to spend the money.

When should you use custom photography versus stock photography?

Let's say you want to promote the Annual Holiday Festival your business is sponsoring via social media. You need an image to go with the Facebook post describing the festival. It may not be the best strategy to visit a stock photo website and download one of their countless holiday images. Keep in mind you are not the only company that has access to that image. This means that this one image could be posted on countless other websites and social media pages. Custom photography also works well because it increases engagement. For example, when actual staff members photos are posted on social media, the photo typically receives more likes, comments and shares. 

Custom photography is a wonderful way for our clients to showcase their products, services and staff. We can send a professional photographer to your business for special events and staff photos. Are you an interior design company? Then, let us come out and take photos of that new shipment of holiday décor in your showroom. Planning a ribbon cutting for the new office? We can take photos that could be used on social media capturing how your team is gearing up for the event.

We provide custom photography, videography and social media management services. 

Choosing when to use stock images and original photography for your social media content can be tricky, but Cork Tree Creative can help. Not only do we offer professional photography and videography, we also offer social media services. Our team will develop a calendar of posts and implement those posts into a desired schedule across all of your social media outlets. Your business’s social media imagery should establish an authentic, personal sense of your business. We can help make that happen! Call us today at 618-656-7333 to discuss photography and social media marketing services that are perfect for your business.