March 25, 2020
In today’s visually cluttered world where being Insta-famous is a daily #goal, customers put up blinders to unoriginality. That’s why keeping your photography fresh — and uniquely your brand — is important now more than ever. Here are six reasons why going custom with your photography is a good idea.
There’s nothing worse than seeing your competitor (and 10 other brands) using the same stock photo as the one in your most recent campaign. Yet, in a survey conducted by Venngage, 40% of marketers said they used stock photography more frequently than original graphics. Think of custom photography as another way to represent your products and services in a way that truly represents your brand’s unique point of view.
No matter how long you search, you might never find the “right” stock photo — especially the more creative a concept gets. This can lead to “settling” which can lead to producing a more watered-down version of your original idea. But with custom photography, you can let the ideas fly without restriction.
Stock photography is made to be generic so it can appeal to wider audiences. However, if you’re trying to be specific in who you want your brand to connect with, stock photography can potentially come off fake — downplaying your brand’s credibility and relatability. A photoshoot, on the other hand, can give you the opportunity to spotlight the unique nature of your products and create an image that actually resonates.
Your photos aren’t just for your customers’ eyes. Spotlighting brand champions, leaders and thinkers can give your employees something to aspire to as well as give them a sense of pride toward the work they do every day.
We know that setting aside a budget every year to shoot new photos might not seem like a worthwhile (or obvious) investment. However, building up your image library with the exact images you need will save you loads of time and money that would normally be spent searching stock sites and photoshopping stock photos that are “not quite right.” Plus, the great thing about a photoshoot is that it can scale with your budget, concept and needs.
BONUS TIP: You can stretch your dollar by planning a video and photoshoot together. So much of the expense of the shoot goes toward the planning and setup that adding in another person behind a video camera will easily pay for itself when you think about the amount of content you will create in one go.
The outcome from one photoshoot can provide enough visual content for most (if not all) of your communication channels. For example, our client Harris County was able to use the photos from one shoot across every one of its digital and printed touchpoints. This included its website, social media pages, emails, direct mail, internal communications, P.O.P., yearly calendars, videos, giveaway items and more. Plus, each photo is unique and relevant to the topics that matter most to the Harris County brand.
When a combination of budget, timeline and logistics issues build a wall between you and your photoshoot dreams, stock photography can definitely come in handy — just know that you might not be able to fully execute exactly what you had envisioned for your campaign. Stock photography can also be a good resource when you NEED generic images, like a shoe, happy crowd or beach sunrise.
Remember though, don’t rule out the idea of a custom photoshoot too early in the planning process. It can truly open the door to more creative possibilities for your brand than stock photography could ever deliver.