The use of photography in graphic design had its birth way long ago, back in late 1920 decade, when Herbert Bayer, after leaving Bauhaus school, where he was the teacher of  “Print and advertising Workshop”, started to study the interconnections between “advertising science” and psychology.
He started then to integrate photos in his work, with montages and screens, in order to give more dynamics and expressiveness to his creations and make of them what he called “an architectural framework“.
Those really were first photo montages of graphic design history.

In our days, with the use of computer graphics the use of pictures in any kind of job is a must.

Recently I’ve read an article in a blog that stated: “it is useless to spend a lot of time in Stock Photography websites to search for the right shot while you possibly have a nice camera and you can do the shot yourself”.
I personally STRONGLY disagree with this point of view.
Unless you are an experienced photographer yourself, I firmly believe that a paid job is not the moment to make experiments and play with the brand reputation of your customer!

An image in a website, in advertising or any other printed composition is never just a “shot”.
It has, in a first instance, the task to grab attention.
It has then to engage, beautify, tell a story, create desire, and all of this it must be done being consistent with the image of the brand.
To make it short “it has to sell”.

Your photography necessarily must be “professional”: if photography misses the mark, your brand message will be diluted, if not damaged!
After you’ve spent so much time brainstorming about a message that compels, it must be supported by compelling imagery.
Notice also that if you need your image for printing, professional quality is necessary to guarantee quality reproduction.
Never think customers won’t notice it: they will, whether consciously or not.

Furthermore, if you use photos with people you NEED to have the Model Release, a legal document signed by subjects portrayed, that grants you the permission to use and publish the photo.
I have read a lot of times on various design groups on Usenet, both about people that got into trouble because they used a picture without legal permission and others that were bragging about suing others because they used one of their shots, so, I always use professional stock photography.
A thing you have to know, however, are the differences between various kind of licenses:

Here are the stock photo companies that, to my opinion, offer the best value for money:

Getty Images

Getty images screenshot

Probably one of the most famous and one of the first to offer licensed images, since 1995. According to what they say, every months about 4 million people utilizes their website. You find there award winning images, illustrations and even videos and music. Their new offers are The Flickr and the Vector collections.

Thinkstock

Thinkstock homepage

A great offer for a great value. They have subscription plans that allows you to download up to 25 images a day in a database that has millions of images.

Jupiterimages

Jupiterimages homepage

Another huge collection of photos of famous photographers and a lot of niche collections. They often propose discount. Actually you can have 10% discount with the promo code in the home page.

To finish, some sample images from these websites:


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Comments ( 5 )

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Boris Rasonja, Mik. Mik said: Blog post | The importance of professional photography in designs http://bit.ly/cQ3PBi [...]

Tweets that mention Blog post | The importance of professional photography in designs -- Topsy.com added these pithy words on Jul 20 10 at 12:28 am

The importance of Stock Photograph in design | GRAPHDESIGN.com…

You can’t substitute professional Stock Photography with DIY images if you want your marketing message to be compelling and build a strong brand…

designfloat.com added these pithy words on Jul 20 10 at 5:47 pm

The importance of Stock Photograph in design | GRAPHDESIGN.com…

The use of photography in graphic design had its birth way long ago, back in late 1920 decade, when Herbert Bayer, after leaving Bauhaus school, where he was the teacher of “Print and advertising Workshop”, started to study the interconnections between…

zabox.net added these pithy words on Jul 20 10 at 6:18 pm

The stock photography agencies you’ve mentioned are definitely top tier. For a more comprehensive overview, Which Stock Agency (www.whichstockagency.com) rates, ranks & reviews what we consider to be the top stock agencies. We also list the current discounts, offers, promotions and news plus you can post your comments about individual agencies.

Marianne added these pithy words on Aug 30 10 at 9:50 pm

Great informative post! Thanks for sharing…. :)
Regards
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Shazzad Hoshien added these pithy words on Feb 10 11 at 6:26 am

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