Photography & Advertising Toggle

Choosing between a custom photo shoot or stock photography

The misguidedness of clients choosing stock photography over their own custom content shot by a photographer should have gone without saying, but the tide has FINALLY turned back to Australian clients preferring custom imagery.
Stock photography libraries have put countless photographers out of business with a plethora of cliche images for clients to choose from for cheap. But since they’ve controlled a cornered market, the prices for the better (rights-managed) images have soared, often making a custom shoot a cheaper option for clients. For those photographers still left standing, this comes as a great relief in ensuring not only our business, but also creative imaging itself has been saved!

The below picture, showing the ads of insurance company MCIS and property group Urban Development Authority (UDA) appearing in the same paper’s edition was making it’s rounds on the internet a few years back. Yes, this has been a problem for years already – some brand managers learn slowly!

An image of 2 newspaper ads that have used the same stock photography image for 2 different brands

A professional from a creative agency who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that duplications in the use of said images will almost certainly lead to confusion for consumers as they would be unable to tell brands apart. He also noted that this stock image nightmare highlights a lack of options in terms of quality images available.
He said, “The smaller the pool, the larger the possibility of duplication occurring due to limited choice.”
He explained, “The main reason why this is happening is that digital image libraries allow many different parties to purchase images at low prices. In this current age more often than not, communications have to go out at speed and at low prices due to difficult market conditions.” Since brands are not willing to spend on shoots, they instead turn to image libraries.
“If brands wish to avoid the embarrassment of having their ads side-by-side with another brand utilising the exact same image, they will have to consider investing in shoots whereby they truly have ownership over the material. This will also lead to a higher degree of brand recall and better creative overall,” he added.
In conclusion, the entire purpose of marketing and advertising is to give exposure to a brand through differentiation. To discuss creative solutions that will elevate your brand above your competitors, Australian brands must have access to photography content that their competitors and other brands don’t. Contact me here to ensure your next campaign is a winning one.

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