Should I Use Stock Photos? Weighing the Pros and Cons

Stock Photos Advantages and Disadvantages in San Diego, CA

Images can be an effective part of your online marketing efforts, especially since more online searchers are doing their browsing based on visual content. The actual task of finding quality images, however, can be challenging. While stock images can make this task easier, there are both pros and cons of using such images.


Minimal Expense

Most stock images can be purchased individually or as part of a set, depending on your needs. Many sites charge based on resolution, an expense that’s much less than what you’d pay for a professional photographer.

Fast and Easy

It can take days, if not weeks, to arrange for a professional shoot. Stock images, on the other hand, can be obtained with nothing more than a few clicks and some browsing.

Variety and Quality

Photographers from around the world are always contributing quality images to stock photo sites. The variety of available images is vast, ranging from landscape shots to stock shots of people from all walks of life.


Not Unique

There is no exclusivity with stock images. You may find that some competitors are using the same shots.

License Restrictions

Read the fine print before using stock images for advertising. Some photos can only be used for editorial use and not marketing purposes.

Design Limitations

Since stock photos can come off as ordinary, you may be limited with how distinctive you can make your brand image. The same is true when it comes to how you design your website and other online content in need of visual enhancement.

However, as a leading SEO company in San Diego, we suggest companies avoid simply using whatever pops up from a Google search since there could be license issues and the quality is notoriously unpredictable. The effectiveness of stock photography throughout your marketing content depends on how it’s used, with reliable sources including iStock, Getty Images, and Veer.