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Stock horror

posted on October 12, 2011 in Branding,Design

It’s funny. People want their websites to be unique, distinctive and fresh. Some pay many thousands of pounds for their website design and copywriting, but overlook one vital area – photography.

Yes, it’s the old problem of photo library shots, or stock shots as they’re also known.

Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of going down this route.

The disadvantages are many. First, stock shots are bland, tired and boring. They tend to sap the creativity out of your website even if it’s superbly designed and written.

Second, they’re overused. They’re like that Jack Vettriano painting of the couple dancing on the beach, or that photo of the jetty in the Lake District that you’re always seeing in people’s houses. Far from standing out, stock shots make websites disappear into the herd.

Third, they’re anonymous. They say nothing about your company; nobody believes that smiling girl on the telephone actually works for you. (If she does, she must have an awful lot of jobs.) In fact, they suggest that your service might be as cosmetic as your photos.

Fourth, the people in them look like models (probably because they are models). They might be very good at dressing or immaculately shaking hands across an office desk, but they don’t give the impression they could solve clients’ problems. Again, this is a subliminal negative.

We could go on. But let’s look at the advantages.

First, they’re cheap.

And, er, that’s it.

In today’s digital world, you only have a few seconds to grab a potential client’s attention. Your rivals are only a click away. Is it really worth losing him or her just to save a few pounds?

We can create original photography for you that will make your website shine out like a beacon in the drab, uniform world of stock shot sites. And we can also offer a range of other design-led solutions that bypass the stock problem. Neither route need be expensive.

In fact, they’re far more cost-effective than the alternative.

A final thought. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words; but most websites stuffed with stock shots are worth only a few – and they’re not very polite.