Plenty of discussions have been raised on the impact of having visual imagery on your website, be it a landing page, a sales page, a blog post, an online store or a company web page. The next popular discussion is the use of stock photography. Should you or should  you avoid using stock photography, and what impact does it have on the web site?

Budget obviously is a number one point to bring up when it comes to hiring a professional photographer to do a custom job for you. The question is: Is it necessary and when should you get one done for you, or can you find good stock photos at a fraction of the cost to accomplish the same goal?

There is no straight answer to that. Because every business web site is different. If you are, let’s say, a manufacturer, and your web site end users are distributors or retailers, then stock photography would not add value to your web site. Your end users want to see your products, your team members, behind the scenes factory production, installation instructions etc, which can only be achieved through professional custom photography job. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it needs to connect you with the end users. That’s one way the Trust is built, by seeing ‘you’ and ‘your products’ in action.

A generic stock photo with a bunch of corporate people smiling at the camera, suited with corporate suit is probably of little value for a, let’s say, team building corporate training website. It doesn’t highlight uniqueness about you or your company and it doesn’t help with the audience engagement because “it’s another stock photography” which is possibly found on some other websites. It lacks authenticity and people don’t draw a connection between their problems (that you’re offering to solve) and the visual imagery they are looking at. A complete waste of money.

On the other hand, a selection of carefully chosen stock photos will work. Shutterstock, one of the largest stock photography providers, , with Changing Faces, give more diverse options in their stock photo selections that shows people from different backgrounds and face to better connect with the audience.


When it comes to selecting images for your website, be your audience’s shoes. Really understand them and their problems, and connect with them on the deeper level as humans. While searching for the images, choose those that really speak about your story, and choose ones that connect with their emotions as human beings. If you’re feeling it, chances are they will do, too.

People are looking for something they can relate to. When they see the photo on your website, they can feel that they are part of that story that you’re telling. It’s about being authentic and staying connected with your audience, which can be achieved by really understanding your audience and their needs and wants. If you can demonstrate that by the use of either custom or stock photography, you’re doing it right.

Getting Help

If you need help in your web design, please contact our Team at Trusted Web Expert and we’ll be more than happy to assist you. We have Hire by the Hour Package for ad-hoc website updates, as well as one-on-one strategy/consulting with Martha.

I hope this article has been helpful and thank you for reading.