Are stock-images a no-go, are they bad?

Often on the world wide web we are shown, that stock-images are bad, look too stereotype-like and that we should „avoid them!“. But let’s take a step back, and think about it from another perspective.
And don’t forget to ask yourself this question before you start a new job.

The Clients Perspective

Often your client, will not have great images to hand, and might not have the time or money to spend on quality photography. While we always recommend to hire a photographer for some great photos, some clients will not realize, what they are missing out on. As a developer you most likely know, that good/bad photography can make or break a websites design – no matter how neat your CSS coding is.

The Clients Thoughts

He does not need to worry about a photographer, and has great quality images nevertheless. At the same time it is cheap for him, and he does not have to organize everything around the photographer. Worst case someone notices your stock-photography. Unless you are a professional photographer showing off stock-photography as your own, your business should be safe.

The Users Perspective

Visiting a website, the first impression is made in a split-second. Good or bad? Stock-images may make the difference. Let’s be honest; you rather have a good stock-image, than a bad or mediocre private photo. Does he trust you? If you have low quality imagery as a finance business, you may end up with a significantly lower conversion rate, because the client does not trust you to do the job well.

The Users Thoughts

He opens the website and might be stunned about how impressive the header image is. A visitor will most likely not care about whether the image comes from another website or if it is a custom one.


The Developers Perspective

We are glad if a customer chooses to use one of our proposed images, although a custom one would be great. It makes the process of designing a bit easier is some circumstances, since the design can be fit to the existing image. But most importantly it eliminates the process of communicating with a photographer, which will need to send the images in time. We all know how that usually ends. So if you get a photographer for your job, rather go for one that either works in your company, or with which you have professional relations.

Other Developers Perspective

An outstanding developer may speak badly about a stock-image, because it seems as if no effort was given to the design. But it may be quite the opposite. Possibly you were able to give more thought in the design, due to not having to deal with another photographer, sparing you the hassle. Outstanding developers usually don’t know what went into the project anyway – We are not trying to say, that opinions of others are superfluous, but that you should be able to filter what is important, and what not.

We recommend or if you are looking for free stock-images. All of those sites have slightly different pros and cons (for example the license-types may differ). You might also be interested on Where And Which Icons To Use On Your Website, check it out here.