When there is no time, location or item to shoot, it’s time to start looking for a stock photograph.
Many time and budgetary constraints can prevent the opportunity to photograph something specifically for your marketing materials. For example: the requirement of a photo of an olive orchard. If you don’t have the budget to fly a photographer to Italy or California and if it isn’t during the peak of growing season when olives would be on the branches, then that image is just not going to happen. At this time, stock images will help you out of an impossible situation.
There are many solutions for stock, depending on the budget. A poorly chosen image can have a detrimental effect in your branding. It is important to work through the designer to attempt to find an image that works with the selection of images and design that has been created. The main issue is cost. In order to find a high quality image, the cost tends to creep upwards rapidly, even more so when you need a higher resolution image or if the image you require has a high volume output or becomes a centerpiece of your corporate image.
Stock photographs taken by companies that specialize in variations on themes can generate you the best return. Some photographers hire a variety of models based on gender, age, and race and shoot them in similar settings. This enabling them to provide any image combination you could desire.
So, if you must have a shot of a raccoon sitting on a couch in a field next to an illuminated lamp around dusk…there’s probably a shot of that.