A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words. Stock Photography vs Original

We all know the value of a great photo. It is a window to the world that can make us laugh, cry or relate to things we will never see in person.

These two ads from Brazil take different approaches to promoting their photo services.

Original photos versus Stock
I liked the strategy behind Camera Clara, they are pitting stock photography against bespoke original photos. They mention the cost difference and try to justify it with some beautiful, original photos at the end.

However, I was disappointed at the execution. I’d hoped the photographer would show us his insight, vision, unusual perception, the things that make a stunning photo and add value to original photography.

The ad is further complicated by moving away from stock photography and focusing on the fact that this particular model is the most popular choice for casting directors. They show product ads where he was simply the model chosen for these commercial shoots, so your point would be…?

Have a look and see what you think of this film from the agency Filadelfia, Belo Horizonte.

A life in Stock photography
By contrast the simplicity of the idea for this Getty images promotion is great. Almap BBDO, Sao Paulo shows you “Life” from beginning to end, in an eclectic series of rapid fire photos, they instantly portray the breadth of what they have to offer.

I think in this battle of ad messages, the stock photography wins.

What do you think? Comment in the box below and tell us what you think of these ads.


  1. As a creative ( art director) i like stock images if i do not have time or money to take my own picture .

    I prefer to have what i have created in my mind ” shot” by a photographer , rather than picking a “stock” image from a book and having that generate my creative idea.

    A lot of clients base their decisions on the bottom line ( money) and see the difference in cost between shooting their own image vs the cost of renting an image , and most will go with the bought image as it is cheaper. Alot of clients do not want to spend money on a “creative photo” as a “woman on a beach” is just a “woman on a beach” , not realizing that “originality” and the dynamic between a photographer and art director working together can make a shot (image) totally original and unique vs the “bland” “packaged” and “conservative” images that stock image companies (like getty) sell to agencies .

  2. Hmmmm… I think it depends what your image is being used for. Certainly if the image IS the idea and it’s on a 48 sheet, then that’s different from needing 1000 thumbnail images for a website. Isn’t it?

    I like the Getty spot…

    1. Point taken, which is why we have Creative Directors to sort out when it’s worth the time, effort and money – the buck stops with you boys!

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