What is styled stock photography?
Styled stock photography is any photography that is purposefully created for digital use. Styled means that extra care was taken to make sure the photo is illustrating the right emotions and tone. Stock photography can have that terrible doctor's office brochure feel - very general and all purpose. Styled stock is much more focused. There’s more care when it comes to composition, layout and storytelling. It’s like still life painting, but with things.
Where can I get it?
$ There are many ways to get styled stock photography. Good free stock photos exist. It just takes a little digging to get the right mix of images. (Factor in your time to this equation. Nothing is free!) We used free stock photos for the Miles4Major site design. Each of the images we selected have similar colors, lighting and over all feel. Click around the site to see what I'm talking about. And this is a list of free stock photo sites that don't suck!
$$ You can also buy styled stock photos from sites like Creative Market. These will vary in price and quality. Shay Cochran (heart eyes emoji) has an amazing styled stock shop for feminine brands. (We purchased and used some of Shay's images on the Better + Better site.) One thing I love about her is that she only a single image x number of times. This lowers the chance that a competitor is scooping up the same photos.
$$$ You can hire a stylist and photographer to create styled photos for your company. This is a great option because we can get very specific with brand colors, props, products, people and places. No one else will be using these images - they are tailor made for your brand and your brand story. This is can be an investment, but it pays off in a big way. (Especially if you have a physical product to sell like Marie Mae. And it's a great investment if you’re working on a re-brand or a new website.)
Why it's important.
Social media, websites, blogs - all rely heavily on an image's ability to tell a story. The faster the story is told, the better chance you have of your customer clicking “Let’s Get Started.” You know this already - we're visual creatures, now more than ever.
Signs you might need to update your photography:
- If you're working with dated, grainy, poorly lit images
- If you have been using the same 10 images for the last 2 years, or if you're always looking for something last minute to post or share
- If you're not getting the right kinds of leads (Are your photos attractive to your ideal customer? If not, your ideal customer might not feel at home with you and your brand. You want them to think, "this is for me," when they visit your site or see your social media posts.)
If you'd like to chat more about photos for your brand or have questions, reach out! All the images in this post were taken by Angie Webb and styled by me. (#dreamteam, yes?)