Stock Images Vs Custom Product Photography: Which Is Better

Images are well-known for increasing the efficiency of social media posts, but they also play a key role in other marketing activities.

The images you choose to market your business online can reveal a lot about it to potential clients. Images tell and summarize your brand's story. They must have a visual impact that will appeal to your target audience to be effective. Your brand will be more memorable if you use good visuals.

Consider some of the most unforgettable photos from your life if you don't trust me. The majority will be news photos since they are unusual, memorable, and compelling, but you will also keep images from friends, movies, trips, brand campaigns, and advertising.

Keeping the relevance of photos in mind, in this article, we draw a comparison between Stock images and Custom photos to find out which one is better.

Stock Photography Images

Stock pictures are photos, graphics, and icons that have been generated without a specific project in mind. They are then licensed to individuals or organizations for use in marketing materials, websites, packaging, book covers, and other applications, usually for a price.

Because stock photos are so ubiquitous, people have grown accustomed to them, and you run the danger of using an image that has already been widely used.

Remember that you can always edit a stock image to make it more suitable for you. You're not obligated to continue with anything that "kind of" works. Even if you don't know how to use Photoshop, there are plenty of other free photo editing options available, such as Pixlr. Even minor cropping adjustments might have a significant impact. If you really must use stock photos, make them work for you.

Stock images are easy to find and they can serve as a jumping-off point for new website concepts. However, copyright blunders can make it illegal for you to use the image. 

Also, as they are not one-of-a-kind people may have seen the same photos before which in turn can have a negative impact on your conversion rates.

Stock images don’t always adequately reflect your company's story which can lead to inconsistent branding. 

Custom Photography Images

Custom photography is an investment as well as a statement of how passionate you are about your business. Custom photographs can help with branding by providing consistency and building consumer confidence in your company.


Custom photos are unique to your company and they vouch for your companies’ legitimacy. You can use the photographs as many times as you want without paying extra to increase your conversion rates. Moreover, their uniqueness definitely makes them more memorable than stock images.

Difference between Stock images and Custom images

Brand consistency

Custom images have a favorable influence on websites because they demonstrate that you have taken the effort to present a vision of what your company has to offer in comparison to your competitors who use typical stock images shared with so many others on the internet. 

Stock images were shot with someone else's vision in mind, therefore you're now attempting to fit someone else's vision into your puzzle. With Custom images, you have complete control over the vision and the message your organization wishes to express.


Is there anything in your marketing text that says ‘customized,' ‘unique,' ‘trustworthy,' or ‘relationship'? These are some of the powerful terms used by corporations to define their relationships with their customers. How will these values be conveyed if your website is cluttered with stock photography?

When it comes to staff photos, the custom is the way to go. Instead of generic stock photographs of strangers that you would never meet in your contacts with a firm, potential clients can give a real face to the company with Custom Photography. It will always put a client at ease if they feel as if they know you better.

Creativity and Versatility 

Custom photography is unique, and if you know anything about marketing and attracting customers, you know that originality is essential.

Smart brands use their marketing campaigns to support their overall brand strategy, with photographs assisting them in sharing their brand story and communicating their values. It's far easier to do this with custom content (including images) than it is with stock content.

If you want your images to be versatile, consistent, and creative, custom photography is the way to go. You can collaborate with seasoned photo professionals to create exactly what you require.

There are technical standards for images when your designer has the vision to ensure the design works. Composition, lighting, texture, color tone, and so on are some of the requirements. Your designer will have the resources and freedom to highlight what your brand, product, or people are genuinely capable of through custom photos.


Stock pictures can be a cost-effective option, as a large selection of free and generic stock images are available. However, this leaves you with generic images and even if you alter stock photos digitally to meet your needs the resulting image is usually unpolished and awkward.

Moreover, hiring a photo editor to enhance stock images can end up costing you more than custom photographs. 

Any marketer good at their job will tell you that content is the supreme ruler. Visual languages have become the primary means of communication between businesses and customers as a result of the rise of digital marketing, and your company is no exception. 

Hence, hiring a professional Custom Photographer who delivers high-quality work, as well as, meets the vision of your brand is an ideal choice. Even for small businesses, Custom photography can be one of the most cost-effective aspects. Having a collection of professionally taken photos can generate free publicity for your company while also assisting in the development of effective brand recognition.


The exclusivity of stock and custom photography is another significant distinction. It's the equivalent of buying a dress off the rack vs. getting one custom-made on a website.

While using stock images is the most cost-effective approach to add photos and graphics to your website, keep in mind that the same image could be used by another person, corporation, or organization. As a result, your website may resemble that of another company, and you risk having your competitors use the same photographs on their websites.

It will always be someone else's vision and interpretation of the idea/concept, no matter how perfect the stock photo is. Why would you want those words to be written by someone else for your website? Using generic pictures does not scream "unique" or "innovative."

Photo Usage and Rights

Custom photography allows you to create a collection of photographs that you own and may use endlessly. It also gives you the freedom to use your images whenever and wherever you want.

When it comes to stock photography, there are frequent restrictions on how and for how long you can use the image.

Short-Term Versus Long-Term Benefits

When picking between stock photography and custom photography, keep in mind that custom photography can be personalized specifically to your concept and your audience. Your business may have unique items and objectives that a generic stock photo can't express. Photographs of your location are essential for communicating your brand if you have one. Professional-looking images go a long way toward helping you stand out from the crowd.

Stock photographs save time and money in the short term, but custom photos communicate your message in your unique way. This allows you to present a clear image to your target audience while also eliminating the need to edit generic stock photos to match your identity.


Hiring a photographer will cost more upfront than buying stock photographs, and planning and executing any necessary photo shoots will take time. Stock photographs, on the other hand, come with a slew of other charges in addition to the licensing fee. You must also account for the time you will spend sifting through hundreds of images in search of the "ideal" photos for your website.


There are a few crucial elements to consider while choosing images for your website:

  • Price/budget
  • Your branding approach
  • Custom photography and graphic design services are available.
  • Your marketing goals for the internet

Using ready-made stock pictures could be an alternative if you simply want to establish a basic, no-frills website. But there's always the chance that the images you choose will be reused on other websites, using stock images is preferable to not using any at all.

Custom photographs and graphics, on the other hand, are a worthwhile investment if you're ready to invest in a high-quality website that will serve as the cornerstone of your marketing efforts. This is especially true for organizations, both big and small, that wish to showcase their products and services on their websites, such as restaurants, hotels, contractors, and other service-oriented enterprises.

With a plethora of stock images flooding the internet that can be utilized by anyone, custom product photography offers a unique edge you need for your business to flourish.