Media Bakery ID: BLD0115862 Photographer working with client in studio

Should You Use A Stock Image or Hire A Stock Photographer?

Here at Media Bakery, we get requests everyday from creatives in search of the perfect image. We pride ourselves in providing a selection of millions of images for our clients to choose from. When scouting for the perfect image for your current project, knowing your comp, and concepts, and themes can be the difference between a few minutes of deliberation, or an arduous journey toward a final product. (Always remember that Media Bakery offers custom image search assistance) In the case of working directly with a photographer, many aspects of the process used in searching for images can be used successfully to portray your vision.

1. Concepts and Ideas – A short list of three or four adjectives describing the project can help get a feel for the type of images to be searching for. Often conceptual in nature, these terms are a common way that photographers classify their work for stock. Simple ideas such as fun, light, lively, active etc. can quickly give the photographer a perfect mental image of shots required. A solid concept can establish everything from the color palette to the models to be used in a shoot.

2. Specifics for Comp – General details such as horizontal or vertical layout, ratio of crop, and amount or lack of copy space that you are shooting for can make a huge difference from the compositional standpoint. Beyond this, if you are familiar with the media and usage of the final product, this will greatly assist in making many technical decisions regarding aspects such as contrast ratios and exposures.

3. Realistic or Stock – Current market trends have shown a movement toward stock photography that exhibits a feeling of realism. Images portray subjects in a manner that is active and engaging, as though events were occurring in an environment sans photographer. These types of images are engaging to the audience as they present the viewer with an event to which they can connect to. In this article, a reference to shooting in the style of “stock” means shooting more to the established paradigm of the classic style of stock photography. This style of photography usually presents a subject acknowledging the presence of the camera or viewer in a way which breaks the proverbial “4th wall”. In many circumstances, this presents the work as more serious or professional, as the acknowledgement of the camera presents the image in the style of classic portraiture.

4. The Smaller Details – A statement such as “know what project that you are shooting for” may seem too obvious to state, but they cannot be overstated. If there are colors, details, or nuances that you need to see in the final images, relay this information. Sometimes, the minor details make the difference between a successful image or a photographic failure. As one creative individual working with another, don’t be afraid to mention every aspect of your vision to the photographer even if they seem miniscule to you. If you have an idea, let it be known. This sort of attention to detail becomes all the more important if a client has a certain color or aspect of their branding that needs to be subtly showcased.

Media Bakery ID: WAV0114968 Attractive photo editor pointing at the computer screen while working with a colleague
Media Bakery ID: WAV0114968 Attractive photo editor pointing at the computer screen while working with a colleague

By following these few simple steps, the entire creative process between client and photographer can be improved. Many times, a project may be lessened in its success due simply to a small omission of detail on the part of a client. A professional photographer, especially in the case of work for hire, is looking to create an image in a manner which fulfills the needs of the client. If details of the project are not established at the beginning of the project, they can greatly inhibit the speed and accuracy at which the project is completed. By doing a small but of preproduction on your part will result in a better product at a quicker pace.

Remember that it can be more expensive to hire a stock photographer but new companies like Snapwire are making it easier and more affordable to get that perfect image you are looking for.

You can contact us anytime with questions at

Happy Designing!

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