Stock Images: A Double Edge Sword

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Last week I received the following pieces of mail: a über large postcard for hearing devices and the neighborhood coupon booklet. Each of these arrived the same day. 

Take a look at the handsome couple. The same two people! My neighbors in the elevator must have thought I was nuts listening to me laugh. 

What are the chances that a designer would select the SAME couple for their layout and those unrelated pieces of direct mail would land in my mailbox on the SAME day?

I use stock photos and illustrations for my clients, I do prefer custom photography but most of the time the budget just doesn’t allow me to hire a professional photographer or illustrator.  I dig deep into a search, using key words appropriate for the project/message and attempt to avoid the most popular or downloaded images.

How do you handle your image searches to avoid this situation?