Choosing the Perfect Photos for your Website
Photography can make or break your website, so you really want to give some thought to choosing the right ones. After all, photos are a great way to communicate what your brand is about, they add personality to your website, and can help your ideal client trust you. Plus, studies show photos are more likely to be remembered than the words, so let’s make them count!
Think about this: You go to a website to buy something and the photos are blurry or grainy, very dark, super unprofessional of someone partying or just completely off brand to what you expect. Would you trust the company enough to fork over your hard earned cash? No matter how amazing the website it, this will likely put you off purchasing.
These tips will help you find the perfect photos to really make your website shine, whether you are DIY’ing or hiring a website designer!
Choosing your Photos
Before you start looking for photos for your website, you really want to think about the style you are after and how you will use them. This will help you to choose the right images that will bring your website to life!
Some things to consider when choosing your photos are:
How you will use the photos on your website
If you are planning on using banner images on your website (those beautiful wide images that take up the whole width of the screen), then you will want to choose horizontal images. This will prevent your image getting blurry or cutting too much of the photos out.
Another factor to consider for banner images is how they will look with text or buttons on top. You don’t want them to compete with the information, so choosing more abstract photos, photos of landscapes or photos with lots of white space is a good option. Also look at the colors in the photos and ensure you are choosing all dark or all light images for banner images if you plan on putting anything on top, since Squarespace sets colors, fonts and buttons together, so they will be the same across the whole site. This means if you have one dark photo and one light photos, the text or buttons may not stand out on one of them.
You’ve likely already chosen your brand colors, and you want to make sure your photos fit well with them. Your photos should compliment the other design choices you make on your website, so look at the photos while having your brand colors handy, so you can compare them before you purchase.
What sort of emotion do you want your brand to portray? What is the mood of the photo and how does it make you feel? Your photos should align with the emotion your want for your brand. If you have a happy, bright, energetic brand, you don’t want to go and include a sad photo, so make sure you think about these feelings.
Your ideal client
If you use images of people (other than the photos of yourself!), you want them to reflect your target audience. For example, it would be quite weird to have a photo of a business woman on a website for kids clothing, no matter how perfect the image may be. Thinking of your ideal client can help make picking images easier.
You want your images to work together seamlessly, so you need to make sure they match. This is especially important if you are choosing individual photos. Download them and look at the collection as one to see if they work together. Does anything stand out or clash? If so, it’s best to remove it from the collection, even if the photo is perfect in every other way. One way to save time with this is to make sure you purchase all of your photos from the one photographer.
Where to get Photos for your Website
Firstly, let’s talk about where NOT to get photos for your website – Google! The images you find on Google belong to someone else, and the last thing you want to do is use them on your website, then receive a notice from a lawyer saying you owe thousands of dollars to breaching someone’s copyright! Just don’t do it!
Now, we’ve covered that, and you know what type of photos you are after for your website, here are some great ways to source photos for your brand that you can use with no issues at all!
Hire a photographer to take some brand photos for you
If you value amazing photography and want to include completely original photos on your website, this can be a great option! You will end up with a collection of amazing quality photos that will help you stand out online and save you a lot of time searching for photos to use.
There are lots of photographers that offer brand photography packages these days, so look around for one that suits the look you are going for, and compare prices. Although this is the most expensive way to source photos for your website, it’s often a lot more affordable that people expect!
When you go into your session, you want to have a clear vision of the look you are going for so you can communicate this with your photographer to ensure you are happy with the end result. You want to aim for at least 5-6 different photos of your doing your thing or looking at the camera so you have a variety to use on your website, plus a collection of everyday items that are relevant to your brand, like your computer and phone.
To be prepared for your photo shoot, you want to have a few different outfits and props that you can bring. These will help show your personality in the photos. Just make sure you keep them in line with your brand colors so they work well on your website.
If budget is a concern, another twist on this option could be getting a friend or family member to take some nice head shots for you. Remember to use good lighting (outside in indirect sunlight or near a window is best), and use an actual camera not a mobile phone, so you end up with great quality photos that can be used on large screens.
Purchase a set of styled stock photos
Styled stock photos are not the same as generic stock images that you can download! There are now many photographers that will sell sets of styled photos that look great together, so you can end up with a collection of photos you can use on your website.
You will generally be able to find something that will reflect your brand easily since there are so many different options, and the prices are often a lot more affordable than hiring a photographer yet you still end up with a beautiful set of cohesive photos.
One drawback of this option is that anyone can purchase the same set of photos and use them online. This isn’t overly common though, and once you add your own twist with your brand colors, fonts and logos, the outcome will likely be quite different.
Free stock photos
There are some pretty awesome options for free stock images that you can use on your website these days, and this is a great option if you are just starting out or your budget is stretched thin! It may take some time to find the perfectly curates set of photos, but you can save some serious cash!
When you are looking for free images, you want to make sure that you are using high quality images from a reputable website like Unsplash or Pexels to ensure you don’t inadvertently steal someone photo.
Finding the right photos from the start will really take your website to the next level, so it’s worth taking the time to get it right!
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