They are everywhere. From the bright-eyed models hocking cell phone plans to the classically styled courthouse steps and pillars that are ubiquitous on websites throughout the legal industry, stock photos abound. However, here at Skunkworks we are increasingly counseling clients towards custom photography.
This is not to say that stock photography does not have its place in legal advertising. As photo libraries like iStock Photo, Getty Images, and others increase both the depth and breadth of their libraries, the use of stock photos will no doubt continue to proliferate. However, despite this, custom photography will forever be the reigning champion in branding and design.
Why Custom Photography?
It’s important to recognize that your website is going to be the primary medium through which potential clients interact with your law firm’s branding. The one exception to this rule would be plaintiff-side personal injury firms with oversized TV and Print Advertising budgets. However, unless you’re Diamond & Diamond, the recently defunct Klein Lyons, or a similarly pervasive law firm, the statement above holds true. A potential client’s conception of your brand will be built almost exclusively through your firm’s website.
This is why custom photography reigns supreme in quality web design. With stock photo sites, you are limited to developing your branding through already-existing images. If you want a shot of your local courthouse or some other geographically significant location, the sad truth is that that image likely cannot be found online. Further, if you can find a few shots of that local landmark online, you will probably end up settling with a photo that is less than ideal. Generally speaking, the more localized the structure, the less likely there are multiple high-quality images of it in stock photo libraries.
The Cost Equation
Custom Photography costs more. This is an inescapable fact. However, it’s important to weigh the cost of hiring a capable photographer against the potential positive effect on revenues that high-quality custom photography can have through higher rates of customer conversion. As we’ve mentioned before, the images on your law firm website are much more important than many lawyers realize.
Want more information on how stock photography could help your brand? Contact Skunkworks Creative Group.