Stock Photo Conundrum

I was recently emailed the link to Steve Hall’s website entitled “Nine Reasons Not to Use Stock Photography (,” and it made me stop to think.  While I may not completely agree with the way Mr. Hall made a few of his points (some of his language is a bit “colorful” for my taste), I do have to agree with most of the points he was trying to make.

It seems like almost every time I sit down to read the newspaper or a magazine, I find at least one ad layout that uses a photo Johnson Direct also has in its stock photo library.  It makes me wonder how many things that poor woman, man or family has going wrong in life.  Last month, I saw her in an ad for hemorrhoid cream.  This week, she’s in dire need of a new and better diet plan.  And what do you know, she lives in the next town and goes to the same health clinic I do!  Good thing, too, with those hemorrhoids and poor diet.

Unfortunately, the abundance of stock photography out there, some of which is quite good, has stopped many clients from even considering the idea of custom photography.  They assume they will have “free access” to anything in their agency’s photo library.  Yes, custom photography will cost more.  But isn’t it worth it to know that the family having so much fun on their picnic in your life insurance ad isn’t the same family with a member in need of a kidney transplant?

Mary Nygaard

Johnson Direct LLC


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