The Benefits of Using Premium Stock Pet Imagery

by | Photography, Stock pet photography, Stock pet photos

WHAT

We license high-quality stock dog and cat and ‘pets with people’ imagery to a wide variety of pet brands from large to small.

Our stock pet photos are engaging, expressive, colorful, and filled with joy. They are some of the most authentic, unposed, yet high-quality images of pets on the web.

We license both directly to our clients and also through our stock photography website fetchstock.com.

premium stock goldendoodle puppy photo

premium stock dog photo

WHO

Global pet brands:

Some of our global brand clients will use our stock images as ‘b-roll‘ filler content for lower-value use when commissioning us to create custom imagery for their high-value use like print advertising and packaging.

Using our stock images instead of another companies’ stock images keeps the brands’ style of the images consistent across the board (‘brand consistency’), which is very important for brand stickiness.

It also helps the big brands (who typically invest $75k and up in a single photo shoot) within budget for their campaign needs.

Startup pet brands:

Many of our smaller startup clients don’t have the budget for custom lifestyle animal photography, which can easily run $6k or more once you add in multiple talent, locations, permits, crew, etc.

These startups still need high-quality images for their website and marketing use.

Enter our premium stock imagery which brands can purchase for a fraction of the cost of a photo shoot.

Our stock photo rates are higher than most stock photo agencies (with the exception of Getty Images), which means that the volume of stock we license is low. We also don’t advertise, and we don’t make 90% of our stock catalog public. These decisions are intentional.

All of this benefits the brands who license our stock greatly because they end up using beautiful imagery that very few brands are using, unlike the huge stock websites that license a single image thousands of times to thousands of different companies.

Medium pet brands:

Marketing timelines can be tight with these companies, and sometimes they don’t have time to do a custom photo shoot, which can take several weeks to plan.

They also know they don’t want to use stock photos from the big stock agencies because they want to set their brand apart from all the other companies using the same content.

So they come to use for our low-volume stock pet photos and we set them up with images that meet their exact campaign needs.

WHY

Along with the reasons I outlined above, the primary reason for a pet brand to license our premium low-volume stock pet imagery is simple:

To set their brand apart from competing brands.

The majority of startup, small and even medium brands simply don’t budget for photography or even stock images, often treating them as afterthoughts.

The idea of setting an annual budget for images doesn’t even occur to them.

They don’t understand why a free stock photo they find online won’t work for their various needs, or assume they can get quality commercial pet images from a retail photographer at a fraction of the price they’d pay to a true commercial professional or agency like ours.

So they go to the free or cheap stock websites, find some cute photos, download them and use them, without realizing they are already being used by thousands of other pet brands. Brands that consumers come across every day, that may even be a direct competitor.

Case in point. This overused cheap stock photo is currently being used on 426 different pet brand websites. Is yours one of them?

overused stock dog photo

I’ve personally been on directly competing pet websites before and have seen the exact same free or cheap stock photo. It makes me sad because I know they can do better.

I always gently point out to our prospective stock and photography clients which other brands are using the same stock photos as them. They are always enlightened.

HOW

Our prospective stock photo clients contact us and tell us what they are looking for for their project/campaign.

We tell all of our stock photo clients to ‘focus on the pet’ when looking at the options we present to them. The expressions are the most important part of the image, because everything else can be changed.

When fortune-1000 veterinary health brand Covetrus contacted us with a short-deadline stock photo need, we asked to see their Brand Style Guide. (Side note- all well-established pet brands have Brand Style Guides, which are PDFs that are often dozens of pages long that outline all of the brand guidelines. Included in those guidelines are photography guidelines.)

We received the Brand Style Guide and instantly knew what we’d need to do to the stock dog and cat photos they chose in order to fit the look and feel of the brand.

We did the following to the stock photos:

  • cropped the images to make them ‘skinnier’
  • extended the backgrounds on top in some photos
  • swapped out backgrounds in other photos
  • desaturated colors,
  • made them ‘bright and airy’, while still retaining natural contrast

Here are the stock photos they chose, in their original form:

before stock pet photo retouching

And then what our stock photos looked like after we delivered them:

after stock photo retouching

So you can see that we treat the photos as ‘raw materials’.

Either we can provide the retouching service, or you can use your in-house (or outsourced) retoucher/graphic designer, to create the perfect- and totally unique to you- finished product.

Do you need premium high-quality stock dog, cat and/or pets with people photos for your pet brand?

Get in touch and we’ll pull some photos that are perfect for your project. 

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About Us

Cowbelly® is a creative, web and design agency that provides commercial animal photography, stock dog and cat photos, graphic design, branding, web design, copywriting and other services to pet-industry businesses and brands.

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