Taking the “stock” out of stock photography

A time and place for stock photography

Stock photography is an interesting beast. There are some design puritans who consider stock images to be low-brow, the artistic equivalent of fast-food hamburgers: cheap, readily available, and empty of nutritional value. Other designers use them exclusively, finding them to be a cost-efficient way to quickly communicate concepts and emotions.

I am a realist and believe there is a time and place for the Getty Images, iStock and Shutterstock of the world. Wouldn’t it be great if every project used custom photography? Absolute-freaking-lutely! But oftentimes, budgets or timelines do not allow for such luxuries. In those cases, stock photography is not only a convenience, but a necessity.

As a contributing photographer to Getty Images, I’d be a hypocrite to preach otherwise. But I have found that, over the years, you can take stock photography and turn it into something significantly less “stock.”

For example, let’s take these two images. On their surface, both are fine. But when you work with FRW Studios, we don’t settle for “fine.” Using our advanced Photoshop expertise, we can adjust exposure, saturation, contrast and other elements to make photos more impactful.

As seen in these examples, we can customize stock images to achieve a wide variety of goals. For instance, craft beer clients have specific needs, such as changing the beer color (which is indicative of the style), amount of foam and even the relationships of faucets to glasses. We can adjust all these elements working from simple stock images. The result is an image that, to the consumer’s eyes, looks custom.

Lance and I have always said, “We make stuff look good” and this is just one of the endless examples of how we can accomplish this.

Reach out to us today, and let us help you look good, too!