PROS & CONS OF STOCK, PROFESSIONAL, & DIY PHOTOGRAPHY.
In the true spirit of a Gilmore Girl, we'd like to share our pros and cons list for which photography types you should use for your small business. This is for the Maker, who is not a photographer or that is too busy making stuff to also appear like you have years of photography experience too.
1. DIY photography.
high time, high effort, low cost, quality varies
Pro: This is the cheapest option, obviously because it costs you some dollar aisle props from Target, your phone (or camera), and a few hours of your time each week.
Pro: All your photos can have a really cohesive feel if you work at it.
Con: This can be time-consuming, so make sure the effort your putting in is worth the savings.
Con: If you're not practiced or equipped, this can be extremely frustrating to attempt. For type-A's this can be downright hair-pulling.
2. Pro Photography
low effort, low time, high cost, high quality
Pro: This means you get high quality images that are tailored to your specific needs. If you sell a product, consider reaching out to a photographer needing to build up a portfolio and offer a trade. This can benefit both parties greatly.
Pro: When you hire a professional, you are collaborating, which means you've doubled your creative headspace and they can chime in with ideas you may never have thought of.
Con: If you aren't able to work out a trade, pro photography can be costly. Again, if it's worth your time in opportunity cost, go for it!
Con: All photographers have varying turn around times, so ask questions about timing and be clear about your deadlines. It can sometimes take a few weeks before you see your final images, so make sure you think in advance before needing your photos. Consider finding someone local that can do a workshop with you where you are present. This will have a shorter turn around time.
3. Stock Photography
low effort, medium time, medium effort, high quality
Pro: Stock photos means you're paying for high quality images, right now. This can be extremely beneficial if you're in a bind and need a great photos to share. Some companies even let you overlay your own text or graphics onto their work.
Pro: You can spend hours perusing libraries if you don't have a clear vision in mind, so be sure to use a great website like Stocksy, with their advanced search.
Con: Images can be sold to anyone with the rights, so you are losing some originality when you adopt and share a stock photo. We've noticed lower interaction when we share stock over diy or pro.
Con: This can also be costly. Look into memberships such as Death To Stock Photo to avoid buying individual photos at higher prices.
As for us, we use a combination of the three, and have found that each has its place in our business. For example on our Instagram, we use a mix of pro (thanks Allyn & Teagan!) and DIY because we love the organic "we're real people" vibe we've got going on over there.
Conversely, for our blog posts, we mainly use stock photography because it keeps things looking professional and clean cut.
But whatever form we use, it all feels cohesive, which is the result of both searching for and creating the right types of photography that matches our business. In the end, your voice needs to speak through your photos, whether they're yours or someone elses'. Happy shooting, Makers & don't forget to show your work with the hashtag #waketomake!