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How To Choose The Right Website Photography

From the images you use to engage visitors on your homepage to the photos of your staff  - a picture speaks a thousand words. Make sure your photos are giving the right impression of your business.

Website photography and product photography being places on a website by cartoons

Website photos

Why do they matter?

The images that you use can have a big impact on the look and feel of your site, it's important to get it right. Would you want to visit a dentist who's homepage didn't have clean, happy photographs? Any hint of pain or bad hygiene would be a big red flag.

Stock Images Vs Your Own Photography

As much as we love a good stock photo, having your own professional photography is definitely a better choice for the key areas of your website.

If your entire website is filled with stock photography, especially ones which are easy to recognise as stock, it gives an overall spammy feel to your site. We use original photography on the main pages of our site, and stock photos and illustrations on our blog, as this isn't a visually key area for us.

Using your own, original images really adds to the customer or clients belief in your content. If you have a shop front, even just one header image on the homepage of your physical location will lend authenticity to your business.

If you sell online and do not advertise a physical location, the products images should be original and not copied from the manufacturer or other online stores. Quality product photographs need to be high resolution, taken from several angles and accurate to the items that you have in stock.

If you find an image that you love online, but don't know where it came from, you can perform an image search to find out where else it's placed online and work out who you need to ask/pay for permission to use it - here's the best image search tools online. They're also handy if you like the look and feel of an image, and want to find images with a similar look.

A magnifying glass over a page with writing which is orange, while all others are blue

Photography for your Website and SEO

As well as original photography being great for the conversion of browsers to buyers, it also helps to get the eyes on your website in the first place.

Google looks more favourably on original, high-resolution photography that it can't find on other websites, especially if you have added the right alt tags to them.

More engaging imagery can really improve the engagement of viewers on your website, which has also been shown to help your site rank higher for chosen keywords.

If this bit is too much for you, then you should probably get in touch with us for pointers on your SEO.

Types of Imagery

We don't want to teach you to suck eggs, but here are a few image types you might not have considered and the best practice for using them.

Images for Website Backgrounds

A quick word of warning, if you intend to use images as the background of your website it's important to consider the effect that will have on the content you display over it.

We have a video as the header for our homepage and display just our logo, two lines of text and a button with a background over it. To make these more visible we've added a blue overlay. Keep in mind the blander the background the more you and display over it, and vice versa.

Our CMS allows you to add multiple blocks, which can feature a background image. This way you can add visual interest by displaying text over the top of some images, but have other blocks with no background image to display the majority of your content. It's also really easy to set up and change whenever you want.

Team photos

An image of you as the business owner, and your team if you have one, will add to the credibility of the website for your customers. The feeling that there is a human behind it all that will care about their customer experience will make them more likely to take on your services.

Probably most important for professional services, people want to catch a glimpse of the real human being they'll be employing before they sign up for anything, even if that service never requires you to meet.

Your staff imagery needs to endorse all the values of the business, for example, our team photos, videos and individual shots all look professional, but also friendly and approachable. We do not deal in overly confusing marketing jargon and bamboozling people into parting with their hard-earned cash, so our values as a company are reflected in our photography.

It's also important to keep these photos up to date, to give an accurate reflection of your business.

Professional photographer taking photos of food

Hiring a Professional Photographer

We always recommend hiring a professional, even if you are a small business and the cost seems high, when you hire the right photographer it'll be worth it.

We don't take our own photography, although some of our staff are more than capable with a camera and Photoshop. There's value in getting an outside perspective from someone who spends their time framing and perfecting shots and hunting down natural light.

Before you commission some professional photos make sure you have a detailed brief of the images you want, the values of your business and the way you want your customers to view your products or services.

A professional photographer will also take care of any photo editing and amending that needs to be done after the shoot. It's not just a case of pointing and clicking, it takes a lot of work to create a suite of photos for your site that will really work for your business website.

Not Sure What To Do Next?

Whether you're stuck on the vibe you'd like for the photos or you are struggling to find a photographer with experience in the style of photography that you know you want, just get in touch and we can help. 

Posted on August 31st 2020

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