Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Stock or Custom Imagery

I need photos of people and graphic elements in harmony with the message I'm creating for the firm, and there are two paths to choose from. One path is find the photos and imagery I need from the millions already out there. Stock photography. The other path is to take my own pictures and create my own graphics. I will do the latter and here are my reasons.
  • Control: By creating my own images I have exact control of the content and context. And, the task of finding a deep set of stock images exactly matching what we have to communicate is difficult and defeating. Often images are "close", but not exactly right on.
  • Originality: How embarrassing is it when a marketer finds the exact image being used by a competitor or another company in the same magazine or publication. Some stock image companies do offer exclusivity contracts but at a premium.
  • Flexibility: Need new images to launch a campaign? Want to tweak what is already there? Just shoot some more images or PhotoShop what you already have. Many stock photos are copyrighted as none alterable.
  • Internal ownership: Internally any message I create on behalf of my firm is much more believable. They may laugh and kid each other a bit but believability starts on the inside. And, being a part of the process creates an honest sense of pride within the firm when the images are used publicly.
  • Fun: Posing and picture taking is one of those, "I'm having fun, am a little uncomfortable, not going to admit to either" sort of activities that people buzz about for a long time.
Just in case you're wondering, I will not be behind the camera. I've retained a very talented photographer to do the clicking, and will have a makeup artist on site to assist with making sure my people look their best every flash.
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