When Stock Images Are Out of Stock, Do You Turn to AI?

With MidJourney and ChatGPT4 upping their artificial intelligence ante, stock image usage will evolve. Your decisions on selecting real images versus AI imagery must evolve, too.

Pierre DeBois
5 min readMar 30


Image created on MidJourney by author Pierre DeBois

If you stop and think about it, stock photos and stock text have been marching towards obsolescence for quite a bit of time. The advance of real-time video on social media has made stock images less valuable. Thank the new artificial intelligence tools for further resetting what people can do with stock images. It means you need to think about decisions for using real vs AI-generate images for your website and marketing media.

You would blame ChatGPT at first, but Chat GPT is not the only AI in town. MidJourney provides images based on prompts that the users speak into or type into. Doing so if discord allows it to come up with imaginative images, that better fit the need of a blog post, or article while maintaining ownership and being creative and inventive. Both have made recent updates. ChatGPT4 launched with multi-modal capability, meaning that you can also work with images and audio as well as text. MidJourney also released V5, promising more responsive performance to prompt inputs.

From my experience with small businesses, I’ve seen how over-reliant business owners are with stock images. They often fill their entire website with stock images, trying to mask their identity behind their websites. The reasoning often lies in their wanting to be “the next Amazon”, that their customers do not need to know who is running the business. So they want to hide behind pictures.

But the problem is that many types of spamming websites use stock images exclusively. So having too many stock images makes your business appear as a bogus website.

The Original Purpose of Stock Photos

The original purpose of stock images was to convey an idea of the service or product expected. Small business owners and website designers often face decisions on what image to place on a website.

When I worked with a small business owner, a dear childhood friend who owned his recording studio, we…



Pierre DeBois

#analytics |#datascience |#JS |#rstats |#marketing services for #smallbiz | #retail | #nonprofits Contrib @CMSWire @smallbiztrends #blackbusiness #BLM