Stock Photography

A picture is worth a whole bunch of words.  We all know the expression and it’s true: it’s often easier to show than to tell.

Flower Stock Photography

Flower Stock Photography (Photo credit: Carlos Lorenzo)

Visuals make presentations (and blog posts) more interesting.  Way back in the days before we all had access to everything (that’s before the Internet for you youngsters), stock photo houses made a pretty good living as photo resources.  When you only needed a generic image to reinforce a point, the photo house was your first stop.

The photo I’ve used could be used to illustrate flowers or spring or gardening.  The point about stock photos is that they are generic products.  They are used multiple times by different people for varying purposes.  They don’t really have any distinctive personality.  Why start the week with this?

More of us seem to be in the business of stock photography than we believe.  What I mean is that we are making products that are stereotypical.  Web sites look the same in terms of layout and functionality.  There’s way too much “me too” and not enough of a focus on what makes us unique or better.

The companies that get it right take what could be something stock and make it their own.  Apple did it with the iPod, which wasn’t the first MP3 player.  Amazon did it with online commerce – they were far from being the first store but they have taken the notion of a store and made it very much their own.

I could go on about this but you get the point.  Sure, generic products made and sold less expensively have their place.  They’re low margin and don’t inspire much loyalty (a low price point is a hard-to-defend place since anyone can lower their price if they want to sell at a loss).  We need to take our own photos and not buy from the endless supply of generic stock.  We need to constantly ask what makes our product or service unique and better.  All of us in business are better off when that happens.

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Filed under Helpful Hints, Thinking Aloud

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