Using Photography In Web Design

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Sourcing compelling photography and/or imagery for your website is crucial. In particular, photographs convey a lot about your product, premises or service. Poor photographs will make a web site appear cheap and unprofessional. Therefore it’s essential to expend a little time, effort and resource to make sure you get the right result.

Commissioning Photos

For more specific photography such as food, premises, people or products, hiring a professional photographer to make the subject matter shine is a wise investment. Professional photographers have the equipment and experience to portray your business in the best possible light and this is often the best way to get an outstanding and personalised result.

DIY Photos

If you need to take continual photos over a long period of time however (eg, if you run an online store that frequently gets new stock in), it may be a better investment to buy the equipment needed to take great quality photos yourself. Not everyone has the gift of taking creatively stunning photographs, but having a tripod, the right lighting and a professional looking backdrop makes it easy to get shots that will represent your brand adequately. You can get by with very minimal equipment, but developing a more advanced set up will pay off with beautiful product photos..

Stock Photos

If you don’t have a specific product, stock photos can be a simple way to get a highly professional image at a fraction of the price of a customised shoot. There are huge libraries of stock images all over the internet, and you can purchase images in a variety of sizes. These are useful for conveying a concept rather than an actual product – for instance a business meeting or interactions with children. It suits service-based businesses and can be used to create a certain mood or atmosphere on the site.  

Some useful sites to find and purchase the right photo:

Virtual Tours

One way of giving web users a fuller view of your business has become popular in recent years – virtual tours take a collage of photos of the premises and arrange them so that the user can “walk” through and look around. Google Places offers this as a service that attaches to your listing, however you must use one of their approved photographers. You can also take the photos and arrange them yourself. The key is providing confidence and enticement for the user to make the next step and visit your physical location.

360 Degree Photos

For those wanting to give a full picture of their premises, a 360 degree panoramic experience can be the perfect way to connect with customers. Like Google Maps, it creates a seamless view that can be navigated, zoomed and explored at their leisure. It takes specialised equipment to do this, and some companies specialise exclusively in creating 360 degree photographs.

Product Photography

If you own an online shopping website, it may be worth it to invest in a set up that will allow you to continue to take high quality photographs on your own. The correct lights, background, camera and tripod will be a one-off cost that continues to return value by making your merchandise appear professional and real. Taking your own stock photos is a good way to prove to customers that you actually have the goods, rather than just shipping them from elsewhere as many internet retailers do. 

Photographs make a great addition to websites, but it’s important to get them looking slick and professional to represent your website the way you want to.

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Katie is a lover of words and art, born and raised in Christchurch. With a BA in English and Japanese, she’s happiest tapping away at her keyboard writing copy or articles, or else working on the latest illustration. To balance the creative side, Katie is also very motivated and a bit of a perfectionist, which helps with her SEO duties. Although her hobbies could probably be described as art, art and more art, she also enjoys long walks, good friends and travel.

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