Working on small business websites, I get asked a lot about stock photography vs DIY photos, or whether to spend money on a professional shoot.

Here is an example of some gorgeous DIY shots from a preschool that I’m currently working with. This preschool’s brand values and character is all about a nature-based cottage feel. A very earthy home away from home. So for them, I have recommended some adorably basic shots with loads of textures and character. And don’t you just adore the whimsy of these shots they created and captured? 😍

For another website I’m currently working on, they own a restaurant that is full of aesthetic eye-candy from the lighting, to the brickwork, greenery and tableware. They offer high quality food and spend every attention to detail. So I recommended a professional shoot for them, in order to catch every little thoughtful aesthetic and also hold a professional feel.

There is absolutely a place for stock photography and I could use it for both projects, but both these businesses have a personal character which forms their brand and so getting personal shots allows them to show their strengths and attract the right customers.

If deciding about your website imagery is holdings you back from showing off your business, then start with stock and keep moving on. Then come back and replace them later with your own shots. But my suggestion is to find stocks that look homemade. Not cheesy office ones.

This is one of the best reasons why my branding package helps small business owners to get their persona feeling right, from the beginning, because we figure out your style and I guide the process. Instead of leaving you guessing the best format for you.