To use stock photos OR not to use stock photos

June 6, 2013 • By

Stock photos are very popular with web designers they come in a variety of different sizes and types, however as amazing as they can be there are also some drawbacks to using stock photos, we have listed five reasons why you should use stock photos as well as five reasons why you should avoid them.

Four reasons to use stock photos

Stock photos have recently gained immense popularity with web developers and designers in general, some of the biggest reasons to use stock photos are cost, time saving, choice and many more.


Stock photos can often be purchased at a rather small cost that makes stock photos perfect for those developers who are on a tight budget!

Abundance of choices

Since the whole business idea behind stock photo companies is that they want to offer high quality stock images, they need to have a wide variety of different choices, that is why most companies offer millions of photos, making it much easier for you to find exactly what you are looking for.

Makes the site look more inviting

Everyone knows that pictures will make a website look much more welcoming. If you use images on your website visitors are more likely to enjoy browsing and reading your website.

Choice in sizes

One aspect of stock photos that make them very popular is the fact that you can purchase the photos in exacthy the size you need, whether it be really small or a large photo that takes up your entire page.

Four reasons not to use stock photos

Even though using stock photos might seem like the best idea in the universe, there are also some things that you need to take into consideration, here are four reasons why you might want to avoid stock photos.

License restrictions

Perhaps the biggest reason not to use stock photos is License restrictions. Each stock photo company will have their own restrictions and therefore you need to be very careful, I cannot stress enough the importance of reading the small print. Some companies will only allow you to use their photos for editorial use and not for advertising, most photos can’t be used on packaging of products, as well as on templates. In other words READ THE FINE PRINT!

Not Unique

Since stock photos can be bought from a number of different websites you need to be aware of the fact that anyone can purchase these images, in other words your competitor could be using the same image. Also someone else might be using the same image however with a totally different heading and this could very well ruin your marketing campaign. Secondly the same images are sold on multiple websites so chances are at one point or another they will show up somewhere else.

Pictures don’t fit your website

One problem with stock photos is that sometimes you simply can’t find a stock photo that matches what you are trying to express. The result is ultimately photos that don’t present a visual connection with your message.

Low Resolution

One of the biggest problems with stock photos is that often people buy the lowest resolution that they think they might need, however with the advances of technology and computer screens after a while some websites just look like they were built in the 1990’s because the photos are such crappy quality.


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