Originally, I was going to cover the whole gamut: business sites, online stores, and blogs. But hat was just too much for one post. So I’m sticking with blogs today.
I do have a podcast about photography and online products that touch on some of this if you want to take a listen.
Having blogged for over 8 years I primarily have uses stock images. Why? Because they work for me. So let’s just look at this a bit closer.
Do I Use Stock Photos, Take My Own or a Mix It Up?
Let’s break this down.
What the Heck is Your Blog About?
This is what drives your decision. If you are blogging about your hobby, of course, you will use a lot of your photos. Food blogging? That all depends. Reviews and your own recipes call for original images. But if you are doing a health food blog, it may be a mix. You might want to take a shot of the results of a dish or dessert you made. But if you are talking broadly about the health benefits of broccoli, a stock image would do fine.
But if you are an accomplished photographer, sure, go ahead and use your own photos.
Time and Ease
We all have limited time. Heck, you already have to write the post. So if you can get by with stock images, do it. If you are adamant about getting that perfect shot for your post, and the only way you can do that is to take it yourself, I send you my blessings. Whatever you do, don’t go down the vortex of image hunting too deeply. It is a raging water with a strong undercurrent and will sweep you into oblivion.
Your Equipment and Photo Quality
Fortunately, in these days and times you can get some darn good shots with even your phone. Still, there are limits. Your lighting and other factors can get in the way. You may think original photography is the answer, but if your photos are crappy? Not so much. An image reflects back on your content and you don’t want your reader distracted by a horrible image. In the end, you are going to have to make that call yourself.
“Oh, Stock Photos Suck.”
You will hear this over and over. The anti-stock photo rebels. No matter what they, they cannot find a good reason to use them. I think some of these people dream about burning piles of stock images while dancing around the campfire. Let them wallow in their negativity. There is a time and place for both original photos and stock photos.
Just use your common sense.
Remember, it’s your choice. My traffic and readership has never been affected by my use of professional stock images. No one has ever said, “Bob, why do you use them? They hurt my eyes.”
But if you use stock, make sure you have permission to use it, especially if it was free. And if you are using your original photos, what about that one from your last trip? Are there two or three people in it that are recognizable and stand out? Did you get their permission? Depending on what you are using it for, you could get into a lot of trouble if you are busted. Make sure you know what you can and cannot do.
If you are wondering where to find some decent free stock images, check out our post here.
Until next time.