I have a confession to make. I use stock photos. Not all the time – not that much, actually. But I use them.
This is kind of frowned upon in the blogging world. After all, aren’t we supposed to be content creators? Are we lying to people by not using our own photos?
But I think we should give bloggers a break. Most of us don’t do it for a job. I’ve had the odd freebie, but I’ve never been paid anything (yet – there may be something coming soon!). Which means that the time and effort I have to put into my blog is pretty limited.
For me, photography is the hardest part of blogging. It’s hardly ever light enough (when I’m not at work) and I have a camera equipment wish list as long as my arm. Why shouldn’t I have a little help?
I use my own photos whenever I can. I have no background in photography, and although I’ve got loads to learn I’m proud of some of the photos I’ve taken for this blog. Of course people would rather see a photo with personality than one anybody can use for free. But it’s not always possible.
As for duping people, well – there’s this post for starters. And it will usually be very obvious when I’ve used a stock photo, so I don’t feel like I’m lying to anyone. Any post about somewhere I’ve been or a product will be my own photo. It’s only the more general thoughts and opinion posts where I might use a stock image.
We expect bloggers to be expert writers, photographers, designers and for them to know all about SEO. We hold them up to stricter standards than we would a magazine or professional website. So let’s all give ourselves a break. If you need to use a stock photo now and again then I say go for it. And if that makes me a bad blogger, I’m a bad blogger and proud.