Displaying items by tag: Stock Images

Thursday, 02 August 2018 14:48

What you need to know about using stock photos

Good quality images and photos are everywhere and if you a have keen eye for detail, you’ll notice good and not so good photos when you come across them. They are everywhere on social media, websites and in the printed materials you receive. The good ones will inspire you, make you think and help you remember the brand or business. The bad ones you might remember, but for the wrong reasons.

Use original photos if you have the expertise or budget to have a professional photographer to create them. But if you don’t have access to good quality, original images, there are websites where you can find suitable alternatives. These are called ‘stock photos’.

It might be tempting to download photos directly from a Google search, but generally these aren’t availed for public use. Most images are copyrighted, so using them without permission or payment, amounts to theft.

Why stock photos are useful

Stock photos provide a great resource to help you market your business. They can be images, existing photos, vector images or illustrations, and are ready to use as long as you have paid for them or sourced a free alternative. Using stock images saves you time and money, when hiring an expensive photographer isn’t an option.

Where to use them

Stock images can be used for most commercial and marketing purposes. Most commonly, you can use them on websites, social media and printed materials advertising your business.

Many websites like iStock and Shutterstock will charge you to use their images. Royalty Free licenses allow for a wide range of uses and Rights Managed images limit you to one use per license.

There are some websites where images are free to use for your materials. Unsplash and Pixabay have a good selection of photos, images, graphics and vector images. The selection and depth isn’t as wide as paid sites, but you should be able to find something to suit your product or service.

Things to consider   

1. When using stock photography, your materials may not look original. There’s a good chance that photo you love for your new brochure will have been used by another person or business already.

2. Anyone can buy and source stock photos for their marketing materials, so it could dilute your brand identity if you use too many images that others have. If you want to stand out, you might think about using photography or illustrations that are a little obscure or abstract.

3. Don’t get trapped into using cliched photos. Photos of suited business people, sat around a boardroom table looking over papers and a laptop are so overused, that they look tired and will make your brand look the same!

4. Stock photos are available to download in different sizes and resolutions. Most  importantly, they should be the right quality for your intended purpose. Use smaller images for websites and larger, high resolution photos for print.


If you have a great idea for a marketing campaign, it’s unlikely you will find it executed in a stock photo, but if you do, remember that is available for everyone else to use.

Employ a graphic designer or a photographer if you want your brand to be original, as they'll be able to create some unique images and photos just for you.

If you’d like to discuss a branding design project with us, drop us a line on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 01353 882111. You can also find out more information on our graphic design service here. 

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