Stock image or create your own?

So I have been thinking about stock imagery recently, mainly things like people cut outs and how expensive it can be to get the sets you need for your content.

I was wondering whether many people opt for the standard Storyline character set, buy stock images or create their own?  For my many sins I am also a professional photographer and it's made me think, why don't I just shoot my own stock character sets.  However that in itself brings extra cost, etc and the question of whether I would get a return on investment.

I suppose the question I am asking here, or the discussion I am trying to spark up, is would you pay for custom character images for your eLearns, or are you happy just using stock copies from SL and places like eLearning Brothers?

3 Replies
Bob S


Great question.  This has come up a few times for different organizations I've been at. Besides money (of course), it came down to who to use as the models....

  1. If you go with a recognized face from within the company, there is a huge risk there if that person leaves, is terminated, or their "stock" falls reputation wise.
  2. If you go with an outside model, then why pay for a custom shoot plus the modeling fees if you can buy generic poses off the shelf?
  3. What that left in the middle was a particular niche....  An outside model  wearing company specific outfits/uniforms.  

In the end that's the question we wrestled with. How important was it to have them wearing our uniforms, clothes, etc?

Unless you are planning on doing this on-site for companies where you can shoot in their specific spaces, with theier products/tools/workstations/machinery etc..... then I think you may find #3 above being your niche.

Hope this helps and good luck!

Laurel Schulert

My company uses a mix of the stock photos in Storyline and Elearning Art, plus some photos we've shot ourselves (people in uniform).

The uniform lends a nice authenticity, and they're generic employees (no offense to anyone) so there's no name or identity associated with their pictures. They're just our guys in uniform.