How Corporate Photography Will Un-stock Your Photos

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Gripping images become part of daily conversation and interaction, filled with emotion and nuances.  It’s one reason that including photos in marketing efforts is so successful – photos are powerful.


When a company uses stock photos, however, they’re using someone else’s words in their marketing.  Converting images from stock photos to using customized corporate photography puts your company’s words and messages back into your marketing efforts.

Long-time friends at Eden Valley Partners have a unique story to tell and stock imagery just won’t cut it.

Long-time friends at Eden Valley Partners have a unique story to tell and stock imagery just won’t cut it.

What steps should your company take to un-stock your photos?

  1. Define the brand

Branding is one of the most important features of marketing, yet can be one of the most difficult qualities to capture with images.

One of the pitfalls of stock photography is the lack of connection to the company brand.  The image may be “good enough”, but doesn’t convey the unique qualities of your company.  While a stock image may give the viewer a general idea about the company, a carefully crafted custom image will portray the exact message you want your customers to receive.

Instead of using an image as filler, evaluate the photograph for its brand value.  Does it line up with the corporate image you want to promote? If the answer is no, it’s time to replace it.

Chris Kelly (left) role playing with his client during a signature Sandler Training session

Chris Kelly role playing with his client during a sales training session

  1. Think outside the stock

Particularly for professional companies that handle intangible products, capturing the company’s brand may seem difficult.  The corporate photo of two business professionals shaking hands has become almost iconic for companies unsure of how to represent their work in pictures.  They aim for a ‘professional’ look that doesn’t add much to the overall marketing efforts.  Instead of settling for a bland, forgettable photo, take advantage of the chance to create a connection with customers by using images that convey the heart of your company.

Several years ago, national corporations began using actual employees in their marketing efforts.  This tactic had multiple benefits: it personalized the company for customers, it gave employees ownership of their work and it resonated with authenticity.  Are there areas where you could showcase members of your staff within your marketing efforts?

Utilize storytelling to create images that speak to your target audience.  Images that represent the benefits of working with your company and cause a reaction with your customers are powerful, and simply cannot happen with a stock photo.  A professional photographer can provide assistance in developing ideas and themes that will portray the unique identity of your company.


Example of BMO corporate photography of employees

Subtle branding cues such as the company signature pin adds a custom touch

Example of BMO advertisement

Adding some graphic makes it all the more impactful

Corporate photography example of BMO ATM machine branding

Imagine your audience seeing people they know on this display,  representing your brand – real people, real places, real connection.

  1. Transition to new images

The thought of converting every stock image to a new, custom photo may seem overwhelming, particularly for national companies with multiple marketing efforts.  Instead of trying to convert all of the images at one time, manage the transition in stages.

Begin with the most visible images: the website’s landing page, the primary marketing materials, and investor materials.  Not only does this send the message that things are changing, it can trigger an immediate reaction to the new branding efforts and validate the necessity of the changes.

Systematically upgrade the images by department. Select a visible team (or location, etc) and transition their photo assets.  Successful conversion can create momentum, encouraging other departments to follow the precedence.

Audience is more connected when they know you are featuring the actual people in your team.

Audience is more in-tune with your brand when they know you are featuring the actual person in your team.

The switch from stock photo to customized photo assets can be one of the most powerful marketing efforts a company can make.  Ready to un-stock your photos? Contact us at Donna Santos Studio Photo + Video today to start developing your own photo library.