Tip 8: Stock photography gone wrong

There are too many crimes against photography littering too many websites. Let’s fix that.

Website tip #8:

We have GOT to talk about stock photography!

Most companies don’t have useable images that tell their story, so stock photography is crucial to most businesses. But there’s stock photography and then there’s stock photography.

Bad stock photography

How many times have you seen

  • A stock photo of a man in a business suit holding his hand out as if to shake?
  • Or a person holding a small amount of soil in their hands with a seedling sprouting out of it?
  • What about a woman smiling or laughing at a forkful of salad or a spoon of yoghurt?
  • Or a 1990s-style 3D WordArt saying “SYNERGY”?

These visual clichés have become an eyesore on a great many websites. Part of the problem is that graphics like these start well, but then become so overused that they become a cliché or — worse — a meme (see “hide the pain Harold“).

Good stock photography

Some photos will never look old though. Food is always food. Landscapes are always landscapes. Try to find images that tell your story without relying on clichés. Things that have always looked the same, and always will look the same, are safe bets.

About Matt Lowe

Matt Lowe is a WordPress web designer / developer based in Newbury, Berkshire. After 8 years of doing the nine-to-five for other companies and watching them make the same mistakes over and over he set out in business on his own, forming Squelch Design to help businesses get online and make money.

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