An image is worth a thousand words.

You can’t produce marketing materials without using images. To effectively tell your story, you must incorporate visuals into the mix. With regards to photography, you have two choices: hire a professional photographer or use stock photography.


Brochures, websites, social media properties; they all require photography to be effective. To best communicate your brand message, professional photography is a must.  People are highly visual and a striking image can capture a reader’s attention. It evokes an emotional response connecting the viewer to your content on a visceral level.  I know cameras are more sophisticated these days and my iPhone takes photos that rival my professional SLR but trust me when I tell you if you don’t make your living as a professional photographer resist the inclination to take the photos yourself.  Bad photography can and will damage your Brand.  If you visit a website and the images are out of focus and poorly lit, your impression of that brand will be a negative one.  It communicates a lack of professionalism and potential customers will walk away.  So, now you know you need photographs – the question is; What type of photographs do I need?  Well, that depends.

What is stock photography?
Stock photos (stock photography) are professional photographs that are bought and sold either as royalty-free (RF-meaning unlimited usage) or rights managed (RM – meaning you pay by intended usage) to be used for commercial purposes. Stock photography is a cost-effective method of obtaining professional photos and images without hiring a photographer directly.

Stock photography gained popularity in the 1990s with the rise of online stock agencies.  It made searching for images much simpler and more accessible.  And with the popularity of social media channels like Facebook and the rise of business websites to compete in the global market, the need for professionally produced, low-cost images skyrocketed.

But using stock photography to enhance your corporate image has its pros and cons.


  • It’s much more cost-effective than hiring a professional photographer
  • The choices are unlimited; you have millions upon millions of images to choose from.  There are many excellent stock photography websites like iStockphoto, Shutterstock and Corbis that range in price and quality.
  • It’s fast – The photographs are literally at your fingertips.  You simply have to purchase and download them.


  • It’s impersonal – You cannot communicate your specific product or service as effectively using stock photography.
  • If you can buy it, so can someone else. Unless you’re willing to pay a very hefty price for exclusive rights, other companies can purchase the exact same images.
  • Stock photography looks like stock photography.  Consumers are savvy and they recognize a stock image when they see one.

When planning your marketing, all these factors should be taken into account. When advising our clients, we always suggest a combination of both.  There are definite benefits to using stock photography to enhance your corporate marketing efforts and by balancing them with personal, professionally produced images specific to your company or organization, you can communicate your brand message more effectively.

Get more tips on staying in front of your target market.

We Can Help

3D Studios helps businesses grow their influence and their brands. As a boutique brand management agency, we begin with a thorough analysis of your needs and partner with you to develop and execute a marketing plan that will help you take your business to the next level. To learn more about how 3D Studios can help you, visit us at or call 914-304-4229.