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What makes a good stock photo?

I’d say a good stock photo is a beautiful piece of art.

Some examples:

(Image by Paul S.)
Where to find your Adobe Stock contributor FTP ID (username) and ...

The photos on the left are from the same company. This one looks just like a good stock photo, but the two photographers got a little closer, making it look less like the stock photo.

The photo, on the right, is from a similar but much better photograph of a similar product. It also looks a bit similar to a good stock photo. However, because you have a better photo of the product than the two guys did, your version of the product actually looks better, right?

Another good reason to have a good photo is if your company’s logo is used, even if it’s a bit different from the stock photos you put together. Your logo is an important part of your brand. I see you making a copy on top of your logo and having a logo designer help you create a better version for the consumers.

(Image by Paul S.)

If you want to get into that, check out what Matt Mullinax had to say about this topic in a Reddit AMA:

“If people are comparing things they have in common, they’re comparing the image of someone with a logo and image of ‘the company’ to a stock photo. It’s a way to build up the credibility of a company.”

A Final Word: Make Some Up

The key to getting stock photos is to try to make some up. You have a lot of things you want to tell your customers, but you can only fit in so much. You need to go to stock photo websites, and you need to find some other good photos that have a similar feel to the one your are using right now.

What makes a great stock photo?


I’d say “a great stock photo” is a well documented piece of art. This means you’d probably prefer this one over the original, which I’ll discuss in a little bit at the end of this article.

I’m also not talking about photoshops, the stuff that has people copying an image into their website.

Instead, I’m talking about photographs we are familiar with in the form of print magazines.

(Image by Brian L.)

If you’re not familiar with magazines, I wrote a post about them that is still worth reading.

The beauty of magazines, though, is their versatility.

They’re both