Why are manufacturer product images so bad?

While browsing reddits watch dedicated sub-forum, /r/watches, I came across this great wrist shot of the Seiko SSA183, posted by koverda:

Seiko SSA183 Wrist Shot

Photo credit reddit user kovoda, /r/watches

I hadn’t seen the SSA183 before, and it caught my attention. What a great looking watch, with a unique dial layout.

So I went on the search for basic information – going price (~$200), specifications (100m WR), reviews (pretty good). And guess what I found plastered over the internet, representing this beautiful time-piece? This picture, and pictures like it:

Seiko SSA183 product shot

Just doesn’t really strike me as a good looking watch, you?

Here’s a side by side comparison:

Seiko SSA183 comparison side by side

One of these pictures might make you want to buy this watch. The other one would probably make you skip it. You’d think the stock imagery used by the majority of online watch shops would be a step up, with multiple angles and good lighting. Instead they almost all use these drab looking white background face shots.

I’ve noticed this discrepancy before, but it really bugged me this time. I thought I’d ask the question and see if anybody knew the answer –

Why are most manufacturers stock images SO BAD? 

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Writer, sailor, photographer, kayak guide and SCUBA diver. Based on Bainbridge Island, Washington State, USA