Stock Photography: A Necessary Evil
Every time I talk to someone about money, the conversation goes in the same direction–how we hate it and despise what it symbolizes, yet how we cannot live without it.
Well, it’s the same with stock photography.
Creatives worldwide will come into conflict with stock photography from time to time. Clients don’t always have the budget or the respect for proprietary images and require the services that stock images provide.
Like money, creatives are forced to work within a system where they need stock photography. And this system has three negative impacts: The first is that it is extremely difficult to capture the message you want/need to convey with an image that already exists.
The second is time. The time required to find and edit the photograph to a close impression of the required element, and something that actually fits with what you need, often amounts to a lot more than expected. This cost often falls right back on the creative side.
And the third impact? Originality. You could find the perfect stock image for your creative idea, and then find out it has already been used by someone else. This is not as uncommon as you might think, especially with industry-specific photos.
But putting all complaints and negativity aside, I will say this: I would not be able to do my job without stock imagery. High budgets, time and resources are often more of a fantasy than a reality, so we’ve got to rely on stock.
I guess I just live in a love-hate relationship.
Written by Dan Pye.