JULY, 2018 / By Mahlia Simpson
HOW IMPORTANT IS PHOTOGRAPHY FOR YOUR WEBSITE?
A successful, high performing website needs to include visual impact. First impressions last. You want a website that is inviting to your visitors, something that represents your brand through professional website design, colors, layout, text and photos.
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. So, make sure you select your images wisely. They will tell a lot about your brand and your business.
There are multiple ways to source photos for your website, including hiring a photographer, purchasing stock images and utilizing free images. Which option you choose will depend on your budget, objectives, target audience, industry, and products/services available.
Hiring a Photographer
Hiring a photographer will guarantee original photos tailored specifically to your needs and your brand’s image. A professional photographer will know how to compose a picture, they will understand lighting and editing and should work with you to achieve a successful shoot. You will be paying for the photographer, so you will be able to help craft a photo session that you’re happy with and have creative input. If your budget permits, hiring a photographer is the best option for photo content on your website.
The only disadvantage to hiring a photographer is the cost. Not all budgets will allow for this. Keep in mind, there is a spectrum for costs associated with professional photography. While there will always be a cost, you can vary this depending on your requirements. For example: the cost will be dictated by how long you’re shooting for, whether multiple locations are required, whether talent is needed etc.
It is best to ring around different agencies and compare quotes, as photography can vary vastly. Also read reviews or testimonials. Find out if other people had a good experience with the photographer. You want someone who will make this a pleasant experience for you.
Paid Stock Images
The advantage of paying for a stock image is you know what you’re getting for your money. There’s no risk of not being happy with the results. You will be able to browse websites online and strategically choose the images. You will know your budget and you can purchase images accordingly. Paid stock images can be found on websites such as shutterstock.com and gettyimages.com.au among others.
The disadvantage is there is no exclusivity with paid stock images. There’s no guarantee another website won’t be using the same images which makes your page less unique.
The more expensive a photo is, the less likely a lot of people are buying it. However, weigh up the expense of a paid photo versus hiring your own photographer. If there’s not a huge difference, the exclusivity and tailor-made shoot that will come with your own photographer will await the saving of going with the paid stock image.
This a great idea for a website that is on a tight budget. It allows you to still incorporate photography without having to go to any expense. The downside is those photos have no exclusivity. Free images are used by different websites all of the time. They are accessible to everybody.
A generic image doesn’t really tell your customer about your brand and your values. These photos might not have the impact you want them to have because they’re not original or tailored to your business. If it’s a commonly used photo, a customer might have seen this before and may associate that image with another brand.
Pixabay is an example of a royalty free website where you can source free images: pixabay.com. Pexels is another option: pexels.com
When distributing someone else’s images, be aware of a term called Creative Commons license (CC). This is used when the photographer who has copyrighted work, wants to give everyone the right to use their images and distributes them accordingly. Make sure you, as the distributor, abide by the terms of the license as they can vary. Usually with CC, you will be able to distribute the photograph as long as you are not profiting from the image.
Once you have decided how you’re going to obtain your images, you will be ready to incorporate them into your website.
When uploading images to your content management system, ensure the file sizes are optimized to guarantee they load fast. This will enhance your users’ experience. Google prefers this technique, so it also helps with your search engine rankings.
Photography greatly enhances a website and Web Force 5 offers an array of website design services. The team will assist you with choosing the right option for your business to ensure your key objectives are prioritized and achieved within your budget.
Speak to one of our specialist consultants today for a free no obligation chat.