How Backstage Can Help You Replace Stock Photography

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Photo Source: Unsplash courtesy James Bold

You know stock photography when you see it. There’s a familiar quality to it that lets you know the image wasn’t made or commissioned by the brand and that the situation pictured could apply to many other brands or scenarios. As a company, there can be better visuals to associate with your business to both help establish your brand and send the message you want to send, and you can do it yourself. It might be more work to organize a shoot and hire actors or models to appear in custom, creatively directed images, but the work will pay off when you have a host of personalized photos associated with your business and brand to use and you always have the exact image you’re looking for. Plus, with casting platforms like Backstage, finding the people you need for these shoots is easy.

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First things first: Stock photography vs. custom options.
There are pages of stock photos out there of almost anything you might search for, especially that could be related to your brand. The downside is you have no control over who is in the photos, what devices appear, what the surroundings look like, or any other aspect of the pictures. It’s great that you need a photo of a meeting in a conference room or someone using a smartphone to make a video call, but if the people in the pictures don’t look like the people who work at your company, it might misrepresent or fall short of your desired message.

Take the time and resources you have to curate your own images and you’ll get exactly what you want. Photos will take place in your office (or a setting that’s what you envision), the people in them will look like those who work at your company and they will be using your product. The scenarios can be specific to the way your business works and the messages you want to send to consumers or potential clients. By choosing a custom shoot, you’re in control of everything: the narrative, the look, the message, and the final product. You’re investing in the future of your visual materials by creating an archive of images that are always available to use and will be distinct to your company and the look you want to put out into the world. Plus, the shoot is a one-off cost—the resulting images are free to use forever!

Take the first step towards your perfect non-stock photography shoot.

How to cast it yourself.
Make a shot list: Before you get to casting, you have to determine what you want. There’s probably a reason why you need these photos in the first place, so once the purpose has been established, you can make a list of scenarios you’ll need. Part of that list should include how many and what look of models you’re planning to have appear in your campaign.

Come up with a list of personas and write breakdowns: You might not be casting a feature film, but that doesn’t mean the people in your photos won’t be characters of some kind. This means you need to describe what you’re looking for. In your casting notice, list each role or “type” you’re casting, and describe what you’re looking for. From gender and ethnicity to a more abstract description of the role, Backstage lets you get into the details so potential models can apply when they feel they connect with a role, no matter how broad or specific the description is.

Post your notice on Backstage: This one’s easy—your notice goes up and users can find and apply. If you want to search the talent database on your own, you can do so with filters to find exactly what you need.

Choose your talent: Search through your submissions or those you found to match what you’re looking for and decide who you want to appear in your shoot. Then hire them! 

How to assemble a diverse cast in a small market.
Where to promote your casting notice for a broad and diverse response.

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How Backstage can help.
Whether you know what and who you’re looking for or not, posting a casting notice on Backstage is the first step to attracting the exact talent you need. With Backstage’s help, you can cast and produce a shoot that features your desired models and get custom shots with a dedicated look that will help drive your business forward in marketing materials, internal documents, and more.

Start casting your project right now!