I have an obvious interest in the topic of hiring a professional model for advertising vs using stock photography (or even clients or employees) but there are a lot of reasons to do this that you may not have entertained.
First- This is the most obvious, but if you thought it was a great photo, a lot of other people probably thought the very same thing. I would hate to be a fly on the wall when a client saw their “Perfect Health Care Family” in an ad for the perfect muffler…or worse: a competitor.
Second- HIPAA. What the heck has HIPAA got to do with it? When a doctor wants to use a real patient instead of hiring a model they risk that patient at some point invoking HIPAA and the ad being pulled. If the “Patient/Model” invokes their HIPAA rights- which they can do at any time even if they signed a release. HIPAA trumps a release and their image must be pulled. The reasons can run from they no longer see that doctor, they had a falling out with that doctor OR they just no longer want the world to know they SEE that doctor. The heart of HIPAA is to protect patient's privacy. I can't think of anything less private than my face on a billboard for my doctor.
Third- If your client decides to save a few bucks and use an employee, what happens when that employee leaves and goes to work for the competition? That is not at all farfetched- and people do tend to stay in their industry. Watching a TV ad while binge watching the Big Bang Theory that features an ex-employee who took a promotion for the competition seems a little stress inducing.
Lastly consider these restrictions from Stockphotoguides.com:
Restrictions on the use of royalty free images vary in the details, but overall the following uses are standard restrictions:
- Large distributions or print runs (numbers differ from stock photo company to stock photo company). An extended license is usually required for large use.
- Cannot be resold or redistributed as is, or as used in a design theme, wallpaper, etc. intended for resale
- Cannot be shared with other users or placed on a network, intranet, or drive with shared access
- Cannot be used on print-on-demand products (t-shirts, mugs, calendars, mouse pads, etc.)
- Cannot be sold as prints, posters, or used on greeting cards
- Photos with people/models cannot be used in a way that depicts them as endorsing a product or business, or in a way that may be considered offensive
- Cannot be used as part of a trademark, design-mark, or logo
- Cannot be used for illegal, pornographic, malicious, or defamatory uses
- When used for Editorial purposes, the stock photo supplier and artist/photographer must be credited
- Cannot be used in unsolicited email marketing campaigns (ie, Spam)
- Cannot post the image to be downloaded or accessed separately from its intended application
- Other limits are defined by individual stock photo companies
Ann Marie Stonecypher is a former Model and the owner of AMS Models and Talent and AMS Models South. She has over 35 years of industry experience in the model and talent industry. Www.AMSmodels.com firstname.lastname@example.org (Photo of AMS Model Joyce G courtesy of Dan Doyle Photography)