C-Suite Network™

Here’s what sucks about stock photos on your website…

Do you leverage stock photos on your website?

Read on to see why that sucks.

As a speaker, author and expert-based business owner, your website is the magical nerve center of your online presence. 

It’s the top level that all other areas of your digital footprint leads to.

When you drive them to your hub, you want to greet them with all things YOU. 

And it starts with your image content. 

When people view your portraits, they’re looking to subconsciously answer three main questions: 

  • Is this person approachable?
  • Will I get along with this person?
  • Can this person be trusted?

If you only post stock photography on your website, you’re impeding the qualification process of those who would otherwise be ideal clients for you to serve. 

This impedance creates doubt in the minds of those who visit your site and have them look for alternatives rather than contact you directly. 

Why create that doubt when you can simply invest in an image content portfolio created specifically for you?

Some people argue that it’s hard to capture certain types of image content and it’s just easier to buy something already done. 

Sure, I can buy that it’s hard to capture certain types of image content based on the types of audiences you serve…

…but does that mean your brain is broken and can’t think of creative alternatives that involve you in them?

There’s ALWAYS more than one way to skin a cat.

For example, if you need photos of a boardroom meeting and your clients typically have you sign confidentiality agreements, then book a co-working space boardroom and have 3-5 of your friends show up for 30 minutes in their boardroom uniform best and instruct your photographer capture a wide variety of images:

  • You leading a discussion
  • Someone giving a presentation with slides
  • Attendees taking notes
  • Someone typing on a laptop
  • Shaking hands
  • People grouped together in discussion

This is a very generalized list, but you get the point. 

How many stock photos of the above scenarios have you seen floating around the internet? How easy would it be to simply capture images that you have full rights to and can do whatever you want with?

In collaboration with my clients, we’ve contrived a wide variety of lifestyle scenarios, including the above boardroom scenario, in order to get customized lifestyle portraits that they can use for their websites, including:

  • Webinars
  • Keynotes
  • Workshops
  • One-on-one consultations
  • Working on technology
  • Brainstorming ideas/mind mapping
  • Day-to-day activities

Some have argued to me that it’s cheaper to purchase stock images than to hire a photographer for a branded lifestyle portrait session.

Here’s my two cents on that.

Depending on where you purchase the stock photos – Getty, Pond 5, Adobe, etc. –  the pricing might be considerably cheaper than a portrait photography session. 

But here’s the catch.

That photo isn’t exclusively for you – it’s for everyone else who purchases rights to it. Do you want to run the risk of posting a photo that 20 other people are also using? Specifically, people who also operate in a similar space of expertise?

In that case, buy the exclusive rights, you say?

Have you seen how much it costs to garner exclusive rights for one photo? If you have more than a handful of stock images on your site, that strategy becomes cost prohibitive.

At the end of the day, all roads point to you investing in an image content portfolio that has a wide variety of branded lifestyle portraits and other image content that uniquely illustrates who you are, who you serve, and why you do what you do. 

Your website is too important a marketing asset to be littered with images that can be found all over the internet. 

There is only one you, and you need to be front and center on your website!

If you would like to learn more about image content portfolios and the relationship between visual content and the written word, I invite you to subscribe to my blog, where I also share other storytelling strategies that help to create a memorable and referable online presence.

Ready to skip the reading and get down to work?

Are you ready to delete all the stock images on your website and start fresh with your own branded lifestyle portraits?

Let’s have a chat and see if we’re a good fit to work together on this.


John DeMato is a NYC branded lifestyle portrait photographer and storytelling strategist who serves speakers, authors, coaches and high-level entrepreneurs across the country. His 50+ page e-book, S.H.A.R.E. M.A.G.I.C.A.L. I.D.E.A.S., lays out the how, what and why behind creating a memorable and referable online presence – sign up to get your FREE copy today.

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