Using budget image libraries – the NEW alchemy

Stock photography is a gamble. A cheap gamble. Royalty-free images are available to download from websites for peanuts. Compare this immediacy and low cost to getting a photographer, set, product, models and art directing a shoot, and more often than not, the stock image bank wins. Especially when you consider that currently everyone’s budget is tighter than cycling attire.
Well? Can you polish the proverbial?
Consider what you’ve got to work with. Poorly constructed vector files. Crude/lazy/amateur image manipulation. Badly shot people with bizarre-shaped heads and hair by Duplo, staring into camera as though they’ve just had a pineapple introduced to their body in a way that would outrage many inhabitants of Bangkok…
But it’s so cheap!
It’s the ultimate test for any designer worth his salt…Take a few quid, purchase stock photography. Add the right software and a few hours of grafting and make it look ‘the business’. I don’t know a better way to show off your skills than with a spot of mild alchemy.