Stock Images vs. Branded Photography: How to Boost Your Marketing and Take it to the Next Level

Stock Images vs. Branded Photography: How to Boost Your Marketing and Take it to the Next Level

How often do you use stock images instead of branded photography for your website, social media, and email campaigns?

If you’ve read any of my blogs, you know I’m hoping you say, “Never!” But if your answer is “Always” or even just “Sometimes,” you’re definitely not the only one.

A lot of business owners use stock images for their marketing imagery. And to a degree, I understand it. They’re helpful if you’re in a pinch financially—especially if you get them from free photo sites.

But you use stock images, there’s something you should know:

Branded Photography Is Better for Your Marketing

Your audience can always tell if a photo is a stock image.

Even though stock images can look nice sometimes, the problem is that you’re not in them, they don’t showcase your brand name or logo, they almost always look posed, and there’s typically no diversity (or it looks forced). You also run the risk of other businesses using those exact same images.

As a business owner, that’s the opposite of what you want.

Your potential clients want to see you and see what it’s like to work with your brand.

Take a look at the following photos:

Stock Photography Image 1 Stock Photography Image 2



Branded Photography Image 1 Branded Photography Image 2 Branded Photography Image 3

Which of these looked like they came from a real company? The last three, of course!

Now look at these images:

Stock Photography Image 3 Stock Photography Image 4




Branded Photography Image 4 Branded Photography Image 5 Branded Photography Image 6

Not only do the latter three photos look better overall, but they showcase the company’s logo. It’s clear these are actual products that the company sells—they authentically represent the brand.

How Branded Photos Can Strengthen Your Marketing

First, let me tell you what a branded photoshoot is not. It’s not taking a hundred photos of you posing unnaturally in a setting you rarely visit.

Branded photography is about capturing you and your team doing what you do best.

When doing branded photoshoots with my clients, I take the photos at their place of business. That might be at their office building or, if they work from home, it might be at a restaurant where they regularly meet up with clients.

The goal is to capture them working, chatting with their customers, serving their clients, or impacting their community.

I don’t just want to showcase you and your clients. I want to showcase you impacting your clients.

Ultimately, those are the kinds of photos that will attract your ideal customers and strengthen your marketing efforts.

How to Get Started With Branded Photography

If you feel you’re not ready to take the plunge with a full branded photoshoot, then start small. I always recommend that my clients start with a headshot first.

Often after getting their headshot, they feel much more comfortable doing a full photoshoot. They’re more confident in front of the camera and they have fun with it!

Are you ready to improve your marketing with branded photography?

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