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Stock Photos vs Custom Photos: A Web Designers Perspective

It’s no secret that humans are very visual. We’ve all seen studies that demonstrate as much as 90 percent of the information that average people absorb enters through the eyes. There’s no point in arguing if quality photos are important for web development — they are. What most web designers struggle with is the importance of using custom photos vs. stock photos on a website.

Custom Photos vs. Stock Photos

It’s probably safe to say that the majority of websites rely upon stock photos. For example, web designers who want to build a Denver tourism website can find over 10,000 Denver images on Shutter Stock right now. These images can either be purchased one at a time or through a monthly subscription that is pretty economical.

This is also a very convenient option because quality photos can get selected, purchased, and downloaded within minutes. The biggest risk is that attractive images may have been purchased multiple times, maybe by your competitors, so they may not help your site design stand out.

Companies who want to patronize a local photographer could visit a website like and pay somewhat more for stock that is more unique and personal, or they could also contact the photographer and ask for custom photos. This option is likely to be more time-consuming and expensive but in some cases, worth it.

Which Companies Absolutely Need Custom Photos?

In any case, companies that want to feature photos of employees, their own graphics, or any unique products should certainly use custom images. There are plenty of embarrassing examples when the picture of the company president was found to be a stock photo for sale on an inexpensive stock photo site.

Using a stock photo that carries a suggestion of deception just doesn’t do anything for a company’s credibility, and one of the main objects of a website should be to build trust. If an employee doesn’t want their own photo used on the Internet, it would be better to figure out a substitute image or just leave the photo out.

Also, unless somebody in the company has a very good camera and some solid photography skills, a professional photographer is a good investment. Besides deceptive photos that could hurt credibility, the next worst thing is a low-quality photo that makes the site look unprofessional.

Tag Team Design: We Know Graphic Design

In any case, our professional graphic designers will be happy to give you good advice about the mix of stock vs. custom photos for your own website. We also offer free stock photography in all of our website packages. If you are looking to get custom photos we can refer you to great photographers in the South Denver area. Contact us right away to learn how our web development services increase revenues and credibility.