I Still Prefer No Photos to Stock Photos

Is it just me? Don’t stock photos seem outdated and phony? Why do so many bloggers still use them? Supposedly it increases traffic. Maybe it does. I don’t care. I still prefer no photos to stock photos.

There are several problems with stock photos.

  1. They all start to look the same.
  2. They’re too perfect.
  3. They often are just filler.
  4. They don’t relate to the post
  5. They lack artistic creativity.

I used to use stock photos. It’s easy. You find a photo that vaguely works for your post on one of several websites and download it. Bam. Everything looks great. Except it doesn’t. To me, it looks like another lazy creator who doesn’t want to take the time to do the work themselves. It looks like someone trying to impress me so they can attempt to sell me something.

When I started this site I swore off stock photos. It wasn’t the first time. But it has been the first time I’ve stuck with my promise. I believe in good writing. Good writing shouldn’t require a vaguely-related photo to improve it.

I’m using some of my own photography on this site. I don’t post photos with every essay, but I’m using original work for both posts and Anderhill album covers. That will continue. My goal is to do more photography in the future, but it takes time. I also hope to take more unique photos than most the standard touristy stuff.

Bottom line is simple. I still prefer no photos to stock photos. – dse

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Author: Dan Steven Erickson

Dan Steven Erickson is a great undiscovered American songwriter.