I recently received an email inquiring the use of some of my images for a companies marketing materials and within the email was a common sentence I usually see “We have done an exhaustive search of the stock photo sights and are coming up short”. I know that stock photography is readily available and it could be useful when in a tight deadline (unless you create your marketing material a year in a advance) but why would a company want another companies image on their marketing material? On several occasions walking through industry trade shows I have seen the same image on several different booths. Shouldn’t the images in your marketing material be of your company? Your employees? Your products and services? The cost of stock photography to cover the companies branding usually ends up costing more than hiring a professional photographer to create custom images of the company. Your company! I always wondered if the people working the trade show booth get embarrassed when someone asks them who the person is in the picture and they reply “Oh. That’s just a stock photo”. Now I know not all marketing material requires custom images and most of the time advertising companies are on a tight deadline and need something fast, but, if time is available I do encourage to seek out a professional photographer for their photography needs.
I would like to hear other sides of this from other photographers, advertising agencies and companies in regards to this so please comment.