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Rant – Stock Photography of People Sucks

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 14 years and 342 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.

Stock people on a website decreases your credibility. No, I haven’t done extensive studies on this, but I can spot stock photos of people from a mile off, and sites with it are much less likely to get my dollar than a site with a REAL picture of REAL people on it. Yes, I may be a little more saavy than your average web consumer…but how long do you think it will be until they catch up? Do you ALWAYS treat your customers like they’re idiots? Do you really think they believe you dress in a suit everyday and your skin is flawless?

It was a bit scary for me to put up a picture of myself on my site at first. Heck, it still is sometimes and there are times I’ve considered taking it down. What it ABSOLUTELY does, however, is keeps me honest and accountable for the goods or services that I sell. It puts MY ass on the line, because I know you could hunt me down if I sell you some sh*t. If you REALLY have a good product that you believe in, and a team you believe in…why not do the same?

Don’t believe me:

Who would you rather buy SEO services from: This sharp looking crew (good luck hiring them;) – or one of the thousands of faceless companies (didn’t want to pick an individual – you know 98% of you do it;)

Just looking through a few sites today (one that was a GOOD product with GOOD people and a stock photo of some random imaginary “stock people”), and felt like making a semi-random post. Yes, it’s nice to see smiling faces of people, but admit the lie you’re telling with a stock photo of half a dozen smiling well dressed super models with laptops. Admit your nose is a little crooked, bite the bullet, and put a little more faith in your product or service.

Don’t be a stock person! Would you buy from a site with stock people on it? Would you be more likely to buy from a site with REAL people on it?

More information about Todd Malicoat aka stuntdubl.

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  • Erik Dafforn

    Agree 100%. Some of the non-human stock art is okay, but the typical “homage to the ethnic melting pot” stuff is pretty transparent. There’s a very funny critique of them here:

  • Stuart

    Yes but some of us are so ugly that if people saw the real ‘us’ they would never buy a thing from us :)

  • Heather

    My favorite is the one where the people are all looking at the same computer screen all fascinated by the blank screen. Oh, and one of them is always pointing. It just makes me laugh.

  • Ross

    Isn’t this more about ‘business’-themed stock photography than stock photography in general? I agree th business photos are shockingly bad – but I think that there is still a fair bit of use that can be gleaned from carefully selected stock.

    I think there is a balance…

    Or maybe I am just deluding myself…

  • site admin

    >funny critique

    That was hilarious Erik…thanks.

    >there is a balance

    There definitely is…I was mainly ranting about the business ones – when you actually HAVE real people in the office that could display something REAL.

    Probably a bit over the top, as I’m guilty of it myself – but I was in rant mode:)

  • Ross

    Heh, there is nowt wrong with a good rant!

  • IrishWonder

    Erm ok, I admit my hair is not quite as red as in that cartoon of me on my site! ;-)

  • Tim

    :-) So true, it is too easy to spot stock photo people. I never worked out what was so difficult about taking some photos of your staff? Hope to have something new and funny from us on our site soon.

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