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Should You Use Stock Photos Or Original Photos For Your Dental Practice Website?

Whether you’re writing a blog, updating your website, or running a new ad campaign, you’ll need strong content backed with powerful imagery. Photos are essential if you want to add a bit of life and personality to your website.

There are 2 different types of pictures commonly used on dental clinic websites:

  • Original photos
  • Stock photos

Original photos include images captured by you or snapped by a professional. These look great on a website and are fantastic to show off everything unique about your dental clinic.

Stock photos are photos taken by professionals or sometimes amateurs and can be bought for a small price online.

A common question we get asked is whether you should take your own photographs or get stock photos for your website.

To answer this we’ll dig into the details and understand the pros and cons of both options as well as when each type should and shouldn’t be used.

What Are The Advantages Of Using Stock Photos For Your Dental Clinic’s Website?

Stock photos are images captured by professional photographers or vector images drawn by professional illustrators that anyone can use. Stock photos are usually available for a small price but they can also be found for free on some websites.

The same image may be available with more than one stock photo agency which means they’re pretty extensively used by websites, blogs, and even in online campaigns.

What Are The Advantages Of Stock Photos?

1. Instant Access To Photos

You can get access to the photographs you want instantly and use them within seconds of purchase. You don’t need to wait for the photo to be developed and processed, saving you a lot of precious time.

All you need to do to get your hands on stock photos is an account with one of the many stock photo agencies. Then just click on the photo you want and download it straight away.

2. Affordable Pricing (Sometimes They’re Free!)

You can get most stock photos for a few cents to a few dollars each. Typically, stock photo agencies offer bulk packages or monthly subscriptions, even both. Some sites provide free images or free trial periods that typically last a month.

However, premium assets are generally available for a higher price and do not come under the regular packages. The websites decide which pictures are classified as premium assets.

3. Large Variety Of Images Available

All significant stock photo websites have millions of images to choose from.

Whether you’re looking for snaps of happy, smiley patients, or trying to find the perfect skyline of downtown, there’s a lot to choose from on stock photo websites.

You can find images on any subject within a few minutes of your search and their variety allows greater flexibility to website creative teams. So there will be no problem at all finding images for your dental clinic.

4. You Can Edit Them Easily

You can edit stock photo images to suit the needs of your dental practice. You can change the brightness, add text, and even add layers to these pictures. Unless the license states so, there is no restriction on how you use these stock photos.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Stock Photos?

There are plenty of reasons to opt for stock photos. However, you have to consider the downsides as well.

Before you decide to go for stock photos take a look at some of the disadvantages of using stock photos for your dental clinic.

1. Over Utilized Images

Stock photos offer some of the most outstanding images you’ll ever see. However, millions of people around the globe have access to the same images as you. Some of the better images may have been used tons of times already in different blogs, websites, and online ad campaigns.

So if you’re looking for a stock photo for your website, try to find one that’s relatively new and has not been used many times before. You can also make adjustments to the pictures to make them look different and unique to your dental office.

2. Lack of Personality

You can make changes to the pictures as per your liking, but you can’t always achieve the personalized feeling you’re looking for. For example, you can have fantastic images of dental offices and equipment available in stock for a library, but none of them will be taken in your own practice.

So, even though they’re brilliant, you’ll need to use some snaps of your place to give your website a proper unique and personalized feeling. You’ll also want to avoid false advertising.

3. License Limitations

There are multiple types of licenses for stock photos, and most of them allow commercial use and alterations to be made to these pictures. However, there may be restrictions in individual cases.

So always read the license agreement carefully to ensure that the perfect stock image you’ve found offers the proper terms of usage.

What Are The Advantages Of Using Original Photos For Your Dental Clinic’s Website?

This is an ideal option for people that have a good sense of photography but even if you’re not great at photography you can hire a professional to take some awesome shots for you.

1. Highly Personalized

If you’re looking for pictures that are personalized, taking your own photos is the perfect solution. You can decide the locations, the settings, and other details for the images to be perfect. You can also choose the creative elements of the photos.

2. No Licence Issues

Whether you take them yourself or hire a professional for this task, the photographs will be your property. You’ll, of course, need to get a release form signed by the photographer stating this but other than that you’ll completely own these images. Owning these images is a significant advantage compared to using stock photos because you can freely do whatever you like with them.

3. Fully Customizable

You can customize your original pictures as much as you like meaning you’ll be able to fit them into any section or page on your website. This not only allows for more originality but also makes the website more attractive to your potential patients.

Original photos will make your patients feel more comfortable and happier about attending for a check-up or a dental procedure.

The Disadvantages Of Taking Your Own Photos

There are some downsides of the original photos too. They might seem like the perfect option but they can be incredibly expensive and take up a lot of your time.

Here are three disadvantages of taking your own photos for your dental practice.

1. High Cost

These can be fairly expensive if you hire the services of a professional photographer.

Talented photographers can sometimes charge several hundred dollars for a couple of days of work.

While it is worth paying, it can put a dent in a smaller dental clinic’s budget.

2. Time-Consuming

You can immediately find and download stock photos online but taking original photos may require some planning and preparation. If you need urgent snaps, it might not be a good option. Sometimes photographers might be booked out and not have the time available to take photos for your dentist.

3. Limited Scope

Mostly there is a time and budget constraint in the use of original photos. A scope limitation is another factor.

If you need pictures of your dental practice then you’re going to need your photographer to take photos when you’re closed otherwise it’s going to be difficult to get them in to take pictures.

What’s Better? Taking Your Own Photos Or Using Stock Photos?

There isn’t a single perfect option in this case, and it’s the type of content that dictates whether you use original photos or stock images.

There are also some other factors at play that have an impact:

1. Webpage Type

The nature of the webpage has an impact on the photo option. Suppose you have an ad campaign that requires a lot of pictures from a specific subject; you’re probably better off using stock photos here.

If you’re looking to add pictures of your practice to your website, you should take the pictures yourself. You want the snaps to be a direct representation of your work. Ideally, the original photos of your services are snapped by a professional.

2. Budget Availability

If you’re working on a tight budget, stock photos are the perfect option. They’re especially helpful if you need a large number of pictures too.

However, if you have a big budget that allows for more creativity, you can and should hire a professional to take the pictures. In most cases, you can achieve the desired results within a couple of days in the field.

3. Time Availability

Another vital factor to consider is the availability of time. If you have time to take original pictures, it’s an excellent way to go forward. You should ensure that you have two to three weeks at hand. You should also look into getting the ideal pictures for your page or your online ad campaign all at the same time.

If you need to deliver the updates on short notice, say within 2-3 days, stick with stock photos unless you only need a couple of pictures that you can easily take yourself. If you’re a skilled photographer then put the time in to take amazing photos of your dental clinic.

Let’s Wrap This Up!

It comes down to several factors such as budget, time available, and in-person preferences. It also depends on the nature of the content.

Stock photos are great if you’re promoting a specific service. However, if you’re looking to promote a personal project, it should rely more on original images.

In many cases, people opt for a combination of their pictures as well as stock images. This quickly fixes any shortcomings and saves a lot of time and money.

So be willing to show flexibility and consider all options before you make the final call. You’ll find the perfect solution for your needs.


Dickens Yard Dental

Meet Dr. Sahil Thakkar. Owner, founder, and principal dentist of Dickens Yard Dental, a dental practice based in West London. As a brand new business, the main goal was to increase the number of new patients to kick things off.