The client often ask me if they need to buy stock photos for their website!

Is not a simple question to answer. Either you take your photo, or you need to buy stock photos. Because one thing is clear, to have a search on Google image and borrow / steel images from there is not an alternative.

Stock photos (stock photography) are professional photographs of familiar places, landmarks, nature, events or people that are bought and sold on a royalty-free basis and can be used and reused for commercial design purposes. Read the full explanation here.

First, we need to clarify one thing. Images used on the website could be divided into different categories. You have background images, icons, images used in the design and then content images. Depending on what kind of website you have or depending on your design maybe not all groups are used.

Why should you or should you not use stock images?

I use to say that if you are using a background image, here you could use a stock photo. Why? The background usually is something that you will only notice a difference if you take it away. The same goes for icons. But apart from this I always recommend using your images to make your site unique.

So what shall you do if you don’t have a good camera? Or you don’t think you can take good enough photos? When it comes to the camera; a decent mobile camera is often more than enough. But the most important is always “how you take the photos” for that, you need to know what you are doing.

Professional photography is always the best.

The best you can do is to contract professional photography and explain to him/her what information you want to give the visitors. Good photography will then know what angle should be used, and will also help with lightning when they edit the photos.

You should also make clear for the photographer that you should have the copyright for the images. I would say that 99% of the photographer is severe, but it is better to have this cleared before any photos are taken.