The term “real-life” photo has just about lost all meaning in the age of Stock agencies. Who doesn’t know the clichés: Laughing woman + bouquet of flowers = woman happiness, jewellery + heart = love, white-haired gentleman with grandson = carefree age etc.
The list of stock photo clichés is endless. So why we should use “real-life” photos in our designs?
Brands want to seem more “real”. More often they’re searching for “real-life” photography and “authentic” design. Traditional stock photography is anything but “real” and we should stay away from it looking to stand out.
“Stock” has become a silly word nowadays. No one wants to admit they use it. But going through a lot of presentations, brochures, websites etc. you find stock media everywhere.
Now the question is how a “real-life” photograph looks like? What makes a photo “real”?
Real-life should be the documentation of something actual and authentic — not a posed model and not post-processed into a hyper-stylistic interpretation of reality. Too-perfect is the opposite of real. What doesn’t matter is the medium (film, digital, mobile) or the subject (people, nature, places, etc.), as long as it’s real, genuine, and has truthful/believable context.
Stay creative. Keep it real.