As a digital agency, one of our biggest challenges is convincing clients that investing in good quality professional photography is a key component in the success of their website.
A photo speaks 1000 words. You can invest in impressive design, carefully crafted written content and seamless user journeys but if your photographic images aren’t up to standard, you might well be wasting your time and money. The internet is a visual environment, your online imagery is one of your most powerful tools to communicate with your audience, yet it’s so often an afterthought and then becomes a sticking point for the whole design process. Your website is your storefront to the world, treat it as you would treat a real shop window, make sure it is visually stimulating, enticing and a reflection of your business in the best possible way. If you are about to embark on new website or a website refresh in 2015, here are a few things to think about when considering your photographic content.
Invest in professional photography
We always use professional photographers who have experience in shooting photography specifically for web design and are up-to-date with the latest technology. Check out other websites they’ve worked on and ensure that their style matches your business image.
Get your web designer involved in the shoot
Including your web designer in the photographic shoot will avoid having to compromise the design to fit the images later on. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the designer has to be present at the shoot but having a conversation about how the images are to be used can be very useful. Consider sharing wireframes or designs with the photographer in advance to give an insight into the types of shots that are required, for example, wide portraits of staff members with ample space to the left could be necessary for a particular layout over close up shots.
Be cautious with stock photography
Stock photography can be incredibly useful and has its place in some web projects BUT always use it with caution. In an online environment, gaining the trust of the user is crucial if you want them to engage in your business. Real photographs, of YOUR people and YOUR products will go a long way to creating user trust.
Stock photography often lacks personality, whereas using genuine photography of your products or business will allow you to portray your brand’s values. So while it can be cheaper to buy stock over hiring a photographer, the benefits of using authentic photography to your business and your brand will out-weigh the potential cost.
We were able to take advantage of the great photography taken for our client Firefly by Leckey when we designed their new website. The high quality product and lifestyle images taken for the client have helped to emphasise how much joy the products can bring to families and show Firefly as a brand that really care about their customers.