October 3

Never Ever Use These 10 Stock Photos For Marketing


Your in a panic, your blog post has to go out before you send your newsletter, but your missing the blog post image….

What do you do?

Search for Stock photography of course! Phew saved by stock right??...

Hands up who has done that before?

Most of us have done it. Needed an image so desperately that any image we found on a stock photography site would do. Yes, even the one with a woman laughing as she eats salad. #ClichéStockPhoto

As a designer it makes me cringe. As soon as I mention the word ‘stock photography’ the cliché always screams at me…

The Asian white girl in a business meeting. The man pulling out his hair while sitting in front of a laptop. The footprints in the sand.

What about the three balancing rocks?

Can you picture them? You probably can, we see them everywhere – I see one of those photos I mentioned above at least once a week, on a website, on a blog post, in a facebook group post….

My advice; don’t.

Just don’t do it.

When I see a cliché stock photo being used I think;

  • They didn’t put the effort in to dig a little deeper and find a better-suited image


  • They don’t care.

Cliché Stock photography is going to hurt your business brand (think of it as the vibe your business is giving out to people).

I want to show you 10 cliché stock photos that you should never use to market your business. Consider it a head’s up kinda warning from me.

Don't use stock photos on your website

I know for some of those photos (like the happy couple photo or the lady with her arms outstretched) you were thinking, but they were illustrating that emotion I was trying to solicit…

I hate to tell you, in actual fact – they weren’t. They were quite obviously overstating the emotion with a totally fake look. As I designer I can’t stand it and it will actually stop me from working with someone or purchasing from them if I see cliché stock photos being used in their marketing.

Cliché stock photos are

  • emotionally void,
  • staged
  • unrealistic of real life
  • have 100% been overused already

Go for another image instead, make a list of all the emotions and words around the topic you want to demonstrate, create a key word list and use that to search big name stock photo sites – you are much more likely to find a better-suited image that really fits in with your business brand and ideals.

All it takes is a little bit more effort to prepare yourself before you start searching, then you might just find that stock photo gem!

And if you have used a cliché stock photo before, it’s ok, forgive yourself, but now you know better right?


blog images, How to chose the right image, what images to use

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  1. Been there, done that Renee. Now I do take more time to dig for appropriate photos that not only mirror my post message and that align with my brand. Time consuming but I invested in a monthly photo subscription service–not the best but better.

    1. Rachel,

      Yeah we all learn don’t we. It is difficult though. Sometimes finding the right better image takes time and creative thinking. With blogging about blogging it isn’t something where I can just go outside and take a picture. Food bloggers have it much easier when it comes to images in my mind.

      Blog on,

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