Why You Shouldn't Buy Stock Photos

©Victoria Lagnehag

When I work with brands we talk a lot about finding their tone of voice, the authenticity, their story and how to convey their message. All of which, I believe are key elements to building a successful brand. So how does buying a stock photo fit into that? Well, it doesn’t.

You can’t be authentic by using the same photo as thousands of others.

As a consumer, as a creative and as someone who built my own company, I believe that the way to build a successful brand is to stay authentic.

The reason we opt for one brand over the other is because we like what they do. We love what they represent. The story they tell. This cannot be achieved by using someone else’s vision. By using staged photos and general captions. I talked about the importance of brand visuals in a previous post. How powerful it is. But it’s only powerful when you do it right. In fact, using a general strategy can damage your brand.

When I flick through my social feeds and see the same photo and the same captions appear on several accounts, I feel disconnected. As much as I want to support what they’re doing, their choices make them look insincere. It’s impersonal and disappointing.

So how do you do it? The truth is, building a successful brand takes time. And as much as I like to find a short cut, there really isn’t one. Creating brand visuals and captures that convey your brand message is hard work and if you don’t know how to do it right or want to invest in someone who can, you are bound to fail. If you want to stand out, grow and succeed, you have to create an authentic brand. A brand that is you, that speaks your story, that connects with your audience, that make people want to invest time and money in you.