We all use stock photography, there is no point in denying it, it’s the cheapest and most accessible means of obtaining images that would normally only be made available by commissioning a professional photographer. However, now that stock photography is used in abundance, especially in web design, there are certain images that have become widely regarded as cliches. I have compiled a list of the 10 Biggest Stock Photography Cliches which you should avoid if you are to create a unique design:
10. The Telephone
Give us a call! Normally seen on the contact page as the easiest method of visual communicating that a business is available by phone. If you can find a photo of an old fashined phone then even worse.
9. The Huddle
Nothing says unity more than a group of people huddled in a circle, right? This image is used to try and show that a business is fun, friendly and approachable, unlike their competitors who just use the standard serious business team pose as shown in cliche number 3. Group Hug!
8. The Dollar
Money, money, money, after all that’s what every business is in the game for, well, almost. Non-designers think that by using images of money it shows that they can generate sales for customers, when in effect it can decrease the element of trust and makes the viewer question their ethics.
7. The Happy Family
“If you use our service we can make you this happy!” is the main message of this image. This one is easy spot a mile off, normally under the testimonials page or in extreme cases as the main header image.
6. The Staged Meeting
I have yet to see a photographer on standby in any meeting I’ve been involved with. This is tackiness at it’s best and should be avoided at all costs.
5. The Fingertips
Similar to cliche number 10, except this time the image shows that the business is so modern that it can actually be contacted not by just phone, but by the ground breaking technology of email. Drop us a line!
4. The Impressive Office
A photograph of state-of-the-art buildings may make your business look bigger than you actually are but when your customers visit your real premises you may have a little explaining to do.
3. The Business Team
We are powerful and serious, do not mess with us! Whilst this image is meant to make a business look approachable it can actually be deemed as quite intimidating.
2. The Pretty Call Centre Girl
Sexist, demeaning & predictable. Sex sells, so adding a bit of glamour to try and increase sales shouldn’t do any harm, when infact all it does is make the business in question look fake. Unfortunately, this kind of photograph is used on thousands of websites and reduces the element of trust between the viewer and the business.
1. The Almighty Handshake
This image is meant to scream trust & getting the deal done whilst at the same time maintaining that serious, corporate image. This is business. This is THE stock photography cliche of all time.
I hope you enjoyed this post and will agree with my choices. I’d be interested to know of any suggestions.