Pros and Cons of Using Stock Photography for Your Community

December 8, 2020

Pros and Cons of Using Stock Photography for Your Community

A picture is worth a thousand words” is a phrase that has been heavily adopted into our American culture. Whether that is true or not, we know that they are worth the emotions that are stirred in the viewer. So properly choosing and implementing stock photography for your senior living community is crucial to accurately representing your brand and message.

Do the emotions of the viewer truly matter? Yes! We are bombarded with words and images everywhere we go. Whether digitally or through billboards, store ads, and street signs, it’s been said that the average person sees 4,000 advertisements a day… yikes! Now, imagine if each one was truly worth a thousand words. That’s a lot of emotion – which is why it’s become one of the strongest ways to grab a viewer’s attention.

Users have become skilled at skimming and, often, ignoring certain photos. Markentum is sharing some of the pros and cons of stock photography to help equip you to select images for your community that your audience won’t ignore. 

Pro – Accessibility

In terms of functionality, stock photography is one of the fastest and most affordable ways to collect a large number of photos. Thousands of relevant and beautiful images can be at your fingertips for a very reasonable price. 

Shutterstock Search Bar

Con – Price to Quality

Though accessible, the cost of your stock photography service is going to directly correlate with the quality and variety. More expensive services may have hundreds or thousands of photos on one single search term (for example, “active seniors”). Meanwhile, free or lower cost services may only offer 25-50. Middle of the road priced services will have somewhere in-between. 

Pro – Frequent Updates

A popular and active service will have frequent updates of photos. Continually adding to the library will ensure an increase in quality and relevancy and help your photos stay on topic with the times. 

Markentum Tip: Check to see if your service has added COVID-focused content; this will give you an idea of how relevant their photos are. 

Con – Lack of Variety

Unfortunately, some services still struggle with variety in models, ethnicities, activities, and so on. Though you may find hundreds of photos of “active seniors,” they may all be too similar to use for your community.

Five or six pictures of the same model in a different pose or outfit can be common in some services. It’s best to avoid too much similarity or a repeat of models to create a sense of realness and relatability within your marketing efforts.

Pro – Professionalism 

Quality breeds quality, and the use of high-quality professional cameras and experienced models brings a level of professionalism that candid photos sometimes just can’t capture. Though candid images have their place, finding stock photography that looks candid can be very beneficial, especially for your community’s social media pages.

Shutterstock Image

Con – Staged and Stiff

We have all probably seen an example of “bad” stock photography. Where the photo is high quality, but the model looks uncomfortable and emotionless. Or maybe the angle the photographer chose is a little awkward. Keep a sharp eye to avoid these types of photos for your community. 

– The Perfect Shot

With such a large bank of photos at your fingertips, you’ll likely find the right ones for your community and messaging. It’s easy to find the picture that will stand out to your viewers by selecting the photo that stands out to you. The same thing that caught your attention out of all the images you’ve skimmed is likely the same thing that will catch your audience’s attention. Warmth, happiness, fun, joy, and other emotions can be beautifully captured in stock photography and translated into the benefit of your community. 

Stock photography can be a powerful tool when navigated correctly. With the high saturation of posts and ads your audience sees every day, it’s essential to select your photos with intention. Seek images with less words and more emotion. 

Markentum Tip: Use an agency! Not only will a digital marketing agency such as Markentum have access to multiple stock photography services but they also have experienced designers and marketing specialists that know how to pick the very best photos for your community. 

If you are looking for custom photography, we can help with that too! Contact Markentum for a free evaluation and learn more about our photography, drone, and videography services.


Back to Blog