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I’d say a stock photo is convincing in the same way a motion picture works. You could apply the same principle on whether or not it “suspends disbelief”. Take for instance the movie “Signs” with Mel Gibson. Most of us would find the concept of an alien hiding out the pantry a little far-fetched but if the script, filming, acting etc. is executed in a way that suspend our disbelief, we’re drawn into the story so much so that we’re willing to pause our reasoning minds and enjoy the experience. The trick is knowing how to adapt audiences’ ever changing expectations - the special effects that worked in Jaws 1 is for instance is less likely to work again today. The same goes for a stock image of a business meeting with a lot of clean cut suited people with laser-white smiles staring happily into the camera… Do corporates suit up all the time and all have pearly whites? (we’re not all in real estate!) It’s probably less to do with beauty and more about whether we can relate to the imagery we see. The character in the photo needs to be just as believable as the actor. Good comparisons here: If you’re in anguish would you have this expression or more likely this one When you happen to run into a beautiful woman in a supermarket would it be like this or like this The interesting thing is a brochure / website / presentation will work in the same manner – we choose images that are unconvincing (and there’s a lot to choose from), we’re likely to come across that way – unconvincing…
Toggle Commented Oct 29, 2009 on Who the hell ARE these people? at Web Ink Now