Using Photography in Web Design: A Quick Guide
One of the simplest and most effective ways to add an extra dimension to the look and feel of your website is to incorporate good photography.
It only takes people a fraction of a second to form a first impression. Which makes imagery in web design absolutely vital. Especially when you consider how much more efficient we are at processing images as opposed to text.
Bespoke photography vs stock images
There’s a time and place for stock images. They’re great when it comes to low budget projects with shorter timelines. Or for use in a general, non-specific context. But you should exercise caution when considering stock photography for your website.
One of the first issues to be aware of is that they’re available to anyone. Which means that you might not be the only business using a particular image at any one time. This could diminish both your credibility and trustability in the eyes of prospective clients who have seen the image elsewhere.
Another problem with stock imagery is relevance. Most of the photography available for purchase online won’t have anything to do with your brand (as in its personality, quality, and values). So there’s a risk of miscommunication of your core values.
This is where using a professional photographer really comes in handy. It allows you to make sure your images are 100% relevant to the content, and that they work in tandem with your overall design.
Really, when it comes to web design, if you have the budget for it then nothing compares to bespoke images taken by a professional.
Expanding from the last section, real photographs also help to build rapport and trust with your clients. People are naturally sceptical when it comes to buying from the internet. And whether you’re selling a product or a service, prospective clients want to be reassured that you and your business are not only real, but legitimate.
Showing good, high-quality headshots — or office ‘action’ shots — of yourself and/or staff on your homepage is a great way of letting people know that you aren’t just a faceless corporate entity. Or a cowboy.
In addition to photographs of you and your staff, think about including product shots. If you build fences, show the fences. If you’re a tattoo artist, show some of your designs. On my own work page I like to show images of the final, printed products of the projects I’ve worked on (all taken by a professional, I should add).
Remember: when it comes to placing photographs on your website, never neglect the homepage. That’s arguably the most important place for images to appear.
Work with a professional
It’s hard to stress just how important it is to work with a professional photographer. Most people these days have access to a good quality camera, even if it’s the one on their smartphone. And many think that having the right amount of megapixels is paramount to hiring someone who knows how to use them. Don’t make this mistake.
Working with a pro is guaranteed to cultivate the best images for your project. So don’t shy away and you won’t regret it!