In the Church Marketing Lab I’m always applauding people for using original photography. This is why.
Or how about the college girl pitching computers for Dell and Gateway, cameras for Samsung, tax advice from H&R Block, shoes for Avia, needs a boost from Vivarin and wants to be an actuary? And she can pitch whatever you like for the low, low price of $135.
Or how about the woman who appeared in the ads and marketing for multiple dating services, a pregnancy center, a mortgage company, a diet patch, Domino’s Pizza and more?
In Christian circles it can be even worse. Remember the image of the woman standing on the rural fence with her arms spread wide appearing on magazine covers and ads? Or the gritty urban image of buildings where the negative space of the sky makes a cross appearing on book covers and magazine covers?
And if seeing the stock person in your marketing materials show up in ads for the Democratic Singles Network isn’t weird enough, you could also fall into one of the top ten cliches of stockphotography.
I understand the need for stock photography. It’s a magnitude cheaper and easier than doing your own photoshoot. Often that savings is justified. But sometimes it can backfire and rather than lend profesionalism to your work, it can send the message that your church isn’t creative or authentic.
So consider doing original photography, especially for important pieces, like a visitor’s brochure or a web site. The authenticity can be worth the cost. And if you must use stock, choose your images wisely.