The Fascinating Web of Stock Photography

August 4, 2015

As digital marketers, we here at Brandography are constantly browsing through websites; judging the good from the bad and looking for the latest trends in web design. After a short time, two things become glaringly apparent: there are some really bad websites out there and only so many stock photographs to choose from.

If you’ve spent any time on the Internet in the past 10 years you’ve probably noticed that stock photography is EVRYWHERE. Stock photography originated as a way for magazines to make money off the outtakes from their photo shoots. With the advent of the Internet, these photos took on a whole new purpose as website owners clambered for inexpensive ways to fill their pages with web graphics. Today, this practice has gotten slightly out of control and it’s totally normal to see the same photo across hundreds of websites.

However, the real fun comes when you see how different websites use the same picture. It’s truly amazing the range and (shelf life) one photograph can have. Here are two stock web photos with some of the many topics they can be found supporting:


• A Christian Men’s Ministry Blog

• An Article on Being Hangry”

• Which Celebrity Acts Like You Quiz


• Combatting Identity Fraud Blog

• Dementia and Alzheimer’s Resources

• An Article on Online Dating

• Common MBA Essay Questions



It’s also fascinating how the same stock photo can be used to support two conflicting sides of an issue on the Internet. For example, the photo below is used multiple times by websites on both sides of the same sex marriage debate:


• Oppose Same Sex Marriage

• Support Same Sex Marriage

• Support Same Sex Marriage


While stock photography may be a cheap way for you to deck out your website, there is no substitute for custom professional photography. The benefits of having eye-catching photos on your website will last much longer than the photographer’s invoice and you’ll avoid the classic taboo of using the same stock photos as your competitors.

If we’ve convinced you to end your love affair with stock web images, contact Brandography to add stunning credibility to your site with custom website photos. Trust our professional website photography services to enhance your web pictures and ensure your website is truly one-of-a-kind!

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