First impressions are everything. Visual impact is critical for a high performing website. Your website should be inviting to visitors while cohesively representing your brand. So firstly, ensure you have a professional website design, which includes thoughtful choices around layout, written content, colour choices and images.
Consider your own experience when browsing business websites - those that are clean, have a unique voice, are on brand, easy to navigate/understand and aesthetically pleasing tend to have a higher user engagement than those that are not. No one wants to look at a wall of text, no matter how well it’s written. We as humans are visual, images are always noticed first, and should support and enhance the written word.
Your website's images should resonate with your audience and the right ones at the right time will speak volumes about your brand, expertise, reputation, and professionalism. So, don’t just stick in a couple of random pictures for the sake of it – it’s crucial to select images carefully, they should be memorable and relevant. Make them count.
How to Source the Best Photos for Your Website
There are a few options for sourcing photos for your website. The path you choose will be dependent on budget, objectives, target audience, what your products and/or services are and what your audience expects when interacting with your brand.
Hiring a photographer provides both specialised and authentic results and will most accurately capture your specific products and services by showing your brand in real-time. Paid and free stock photography is also a great option, though does require careful selection and consideration, this will ensure your chosen images feel authentic and aligned with your brand.
Hiring a Photographer
An experienced photographer will provide original photos that are tailored exactly to your brand’s overall image and your business needs. You can showcase your friendly staff, your unique products, and an insight into your services and how you operate.
Digital cameras may provide some great pics, but a professional photographer’s specialist skills with composition, lighting and editing software garner a far more expert result.
This is generally the costliest option but is a worthy investment for your business. Quotes can vary dramatically so shop around, check their portfolio is in alignment with your aesthetic, read the testimonials and seek recommendations. While there is a cost, keep in mind there will be a range depending on your requirements. Have a thorough discussion with a few selected photographers about what you are looking for and determine the varying factors including how long the shoot will take, whether you need multiple locations, whether you need models, and what props etc you may need.
Because you are paying for this service, ensure you have input into the photo shoot to make certain you are happy with the final result. You want to work with a photographer who is keen to work towards enhancing your brand’s reputation.
Simply go to www.google.com and search for a photographer in your area. Google is an excellent resource as it has verified reviews and direct links to websites and portfolios.
Local online business directories such as www.truelocal.com.au. Which much like Google provide links to the photographer’s website/portfolio and verified reviews.
is a great place to search, as you can really take a deep dive into local photographer portfolios quickly and review more than one at a time if you’re searching by hashtags in your area. For example, #melbournephotographer. Though in this case, we would strongly suggest vetting their customer reviews on Google as well to ensure they have a solid reputation and operate professionally.
Word of mouth is an excellent way to find a photographer. What better way than a recommendation from a trusted source, particularly if you’ve seen the photographer's work and you feel it aligns with your creative vision. Once you’ve received your recommendation, we would also recommend checking their customer reviews on Google as well. Better safe than sorry!
Paid Stock Images
Stock images are great because you know exactly what you’re getting for your money. You can browse online stock libraries and take your time selecting the images that will best work for you. You can tailor your spending to your budget without any risk of it blowing out and know you are getting high-quality images.
The downside of paid stock images is that there is no exclusivity so other websites may be using the same images. This potentially makes your web page less unique in your industry market. Also, paid stock images are general images, so they won’t be branded or specifically advertising your products or services. If you want portraits of your staff or photos of your business space, you can’t do that with stock images.
The more expensive images are less likely to be purchased so you can be more confident your website appears unique, but if you are paying a high price for stock images then weigh up the overall cost and compare it to hiring a photographer. If there isn’t a lot of difference in cost, then the benefits of exclusive photos may be worth the additional spend.
If your budget is tight then free online images are an excellent option, this allows you to still incorporate photography into your website without the expense. However, these photos are accessible to everyone so there is no exclusivity, and they tend to be extensively used in websites, print, advertising, and social media platforms.
The main risk is that if you choose photos that are commonly used then a customer may have seen them before which can detract from your brand, or they may already associate them with another brand, or worse still a competitor.
If you are using someone else’s images, it is important to understand the term Creative Commons (CC) licence. This is used when a photographer has copyrighted work but wants to allow everyone to use their images. Always abide by the terms of the licence as they can vary, but usually you are welcome to distribute photographs as long as you are not profiting from them.
Photography Tips for Your Website
Images on your website make it come to life by adding colour and contrast to text content. There are a few things to remember when including images.
Do not crowd your website with content or images. Don’t fill every space with photos, just place a select few to enhance your web page that supports your written content.
Personalise your website with photos of your staff, your business premises or your team at work. This evokes emotion in your visitors and helps to build trust.
When it comes time to upload your images to your content management system ensure the file sizes are optimised so they load fast - a sluggish website equals poor user experience. Google also rewards speedy load times with higher search engine rankings. A great free online resource for compressing images is www.tinypng.com.
Always use high-resolution images and be wary of bad editing to ensure your photos don’t end up warped or squashed if you resize them. To guarantee perfect results enlist the help of a website design service such as Web Force 5 who can do the tricky tasks for you.
Integrate keywords into the image file names as well as the alt text to improve your SEO.
Web Force 5 has an experienced team who dedicate themselves to their clients by providing exceptional website design services and can guide your website build or alterations every step of the way. We’ll help you meet your key business objectives, within budget, to grow your business. Call to speak to a Web Force 5 specialist consultant for a free no-obligation chat.