Some friendly advice: if you’re ever working with an agency and a member of the team uses the word “stocky” to describe something, don’t take it as an insult to you! Stocky means something very specific inside the doors of an agency, and it usually refers to the look or feel of a photo or video. This is generally speaking, of course.

Nonetheless, the stock photography world has grown into big business, and chances are, you’ve already seen a stock photo today on an ad or website and not even realized it. There are dozens of high quality stock photo sites like or that offer imagery covering just about any subject imaginable (even some oddball ideas like the picture above). You can purchase the licensing to use these images however you like. This is a great tool for us creative types, but it also has a few challenges to consider.

First, it’s important to consider that every other marketing agency in the world draws from the same ocean of stock imagery. To combat this, you must look at how the photo serves your message. After all, your message is key. Sometimes there is a beautiful shining jewel of a stock photo that perfectly aligns with what you want to communicate. But sometimes there isn’t.

Next, you want to avoid having anything look or feel “stocky.” There’s that word again. Stock photos can sometimes look staged or come across as inauthentic. To combat this, you may want to consider creating your own assets, budget permitting. This brings the added benefit of being able to utilize your photo assets on a long term basis. Another option is to consider more dynamic, less traditional imagery. You can find plenty of sites with artistic stock imagery available.

We haven’t even covered stock video yet, which is also on the rise! There’s a wide world of great assets out there, but it all goes back to your message – who you are and what you want to tell people. As a full-service, scalable agency, we know the importance of considering the message before creating an advertisement, marketing strategy or press release. Maybe there’s some unique stock media that will help your brand. Maybe it’s time for some “lights, camera, action” to help communicate your message. Either way, let’s work together and make something dynamic happen for you!



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