Why stock photos undermine trust.

Many people foolishly believe that photos of their staff or their facilities are either unnecessary or wouldn't work as effectively as a stock photo in their sales literature or website. They don't show either their facility or their staff. They just paste in some meaningless clip art in the form of stock photos. Photos that show a friendly looking person taking a customer service call, a multicultural group of models having a meeting in a conference room or something else just as generic. A wonderful opportunity to convey some real information - wasted.

Really people - is this the best you can do?

It's really all a big lie and EVERYBODY can see through it. It makes you look like a poser. It really betrays trust at the most fundamental level, and trust is the key to selling. I think you're probably better off with a bad photo than a stock photo (although that's far from ideal too).

Imagine that you booked a vacation at a resort. You flew 1000 miles to get there only to find out:
The beach in the photo wasn't their beach.
The pool in the photo wasn't theirs.
The rooms in the photos were from another resort.

How would you react? What would you tell your friends? How many people would you tell? Would you go back? Would you ever trust them again?

Now, for some images, stock is fine: A close up of a putt being made, a car key, a bouquet of roses. The problem arises when they're used for more than the trivial.

When I see stock photos being used where the images are important, (and most people find stock photos VERY easy to spot), I immediately think:
Who are they kidding? What are they hiding?
Are they really such a rinky-dink operation that they can't afford professional photos?
Why should I trust them?