Having been in photography since the mid 70’s I’ve seen it all. Higher film quality, cool darkroom techniques, the advent of digital, the cloud, the iPhone. Recently the photography industry has imploded, more and more graphic artists and designers are being asked to do something with cell phone shots and cheap stock photography.
If you are a photography buyer, how many times in the last year have you been asked to compromise, hire cheaper, by cheap stock, use the iPhone image? The problem with all of this is you’re compromising your own work. Making it look cheaper, doing what the client thinks is right, rather than what you know is right. In the future, take the time, call a photographer, ask how much, explain your situation. You may be surprised at the response you get. Not everyone is going to work with you if the budget is ridiculously low, but you might get some ammo to go back to the client to increase the budget.
There is an upside to hiring a photographer for the job instead of using stock photography. You’ve got an image that is yours to use, and your client has an image that sets them apart. That stock photograph your client wanted to use, has also been used by their competition. Now you have something new and unique, and your client looks better for it.
The next time the client asks you to use a stock photograph, ask them this simple question. Why compromise?