Photographs surround us everywhere. On television, magazines, books, calendars, everywhere. They also appear on websites, and their quality can make or break the design and feel of the site. The importance of good photography in web design is imperative. A wonderful shot highly related to the content of the website can help to bring a visitor in, and if there are great photographs which are prominent on each page, then this helps encourage the visitor to stay even longer. High quality photography is therefore essential to help making the website professional and great to look at.
What if the site had mediocre to average photos? Then it is likely that the visitor will look at the site and hit the back button in seconds. Why? Simply because it looks as if the site owner hasn’t put a great deal of effort into the site. If little effort has been made on the aesthetics of the site, including photography, then it’s also logical to assume that the content isn’t going to be great either. Even if this wasn’t the case and the content was good, that visitor will not hang around long enough to discover. Instantly, you have lost a potential customer on your site.
Therefore great quality photography is essential for your site. It highlights your professionalism, greatly enhances the look of your site, and improves your own credibility.
You can use a great quality photograph as the main focal point of your main page. It will attract attention, draw the visitors’ eye, and encourage them to stay.
So, how to go about ensuring good quality photography for your site? There are several ways to ensure high quality photos for your site.
1. Use a Professional Photographer
The first way is to hire a professional photographer who will be able to take high quality images for your site. These photos are going to be exclusive for your site; no one else will be allowed to use them (without your permission of course). Furthermore, they will be extremely personal or directly about your site, and therefore unique.
The downside to this of course, is cost. Hiring a professional photographer can be very expensive, and time consuming. You may have to wait a while to get your photos too.
2. Do Your Own Photography
Alternatively, you can do the photography yourself. This way is cheaper, but you will be doing away with a great deal of expertise and your images probably will not be anywhere near as good as a professional. But if you are handy with a camera, then you could possibly get some shots good enough for your site. Try to use a good quality camera, a DSLR if possible, and shoot in RAW mode too. With this format, you will be able to post process with a great deal of flexibility, and you can even save and edit many shots which otherwise would have been ignored. Then simply resize, and export in jpeg format for the web.
3. Stock Images
Stock images is the next way of getting great photos for your site. There are many stock photo sites around the net which offer great quality images for little money. Because you are likely to only be using them from your site, you can probably get away with the smallest size, resolution wise, and these are the cheapest to buy. The downside to this is that these shots are likely to be very generic, and not that well targeted to your site.
But having a great looking image is only half of the story. The images you choose for your site must go some way to enhancing it. A picture may speak a thousand words, but it only does this if it is the right image. So you really need to sit down and consider what images you need for your site. Do not merely include images for decoration; you really want your images to speak a thousand words for you.
Ask yourself what you want visitors to do on your site. Think about the products you are selling. Do not simply put an image of it on your site, but have a great shot of it performing the main function it is to perform. This will say a thousand words.
Photography in web design is a crucial element to helping your website come to life, look professional, and most importantly, telling a story of what the site or the products you have.