Now that everybody has a camera in their hand at all times, we have seen the rise of the selfie. But just because our phones can take photos doesn’t mean that every photograph is appropriate for every venue. If you have a professional website, you need high quality photographs that represent the epitome of professionalism, not just your mastery of the selfie stick.
Here are some elements of website-worthy photos:
- Photographs need to be high resolution. A lower resolution image looks grainy, blurry or pixellated when it is enlarged for a website.
- Images must be legal. Just because you can copy and paste an image doesn’t mean you have the right or privilege to include the image on your website. A google search of an image will often aid you in determining the source of the image and whether or not the image is reproducible in a commercial setting. Sometimes, the image is reproducible if properly captioned or with permission from the photographer or publisher.
- Portrait photography should be well thought out. You may want an image of you or your employees on a website. That is perfectly OK; however you should consider what settings of your photos would be the most natural fit for your website. Images of you in your office, meeting with clients or patients are often much more friendly, and less stilted looking than a classic headshot.
- Consider the backdrop. A deluxe country club in the background might be jarring if you are trying to market yourself as cost effective and “man of the people”. Green screen backgrounds are often inappropriate and don’t always translate to websites.
- Think about all aspects of your appearance if you are sitting for photos. Don’t wear summery outfits for an all-year website. Don’t wear loud patterns. Avoid sloppy or frayed clothing. Consider a professional make-up artist prior to photographs.
- Consider purchasing images. There are many sources of what are called stock images. You can search for images and even crop the images. Once you purchase the image, you can use it to your liking on your website. Sometimes, we will purchase “demos” of these images and place them in a website that we are creating. These temporary images have a “watermark” over them that disappears once the image is officially purchased. By placing one of these images in an unpublished website, the client can eyeball the images before we have spent money on them. Once the images are approved, then we purchase them. Stock images are often available of your hometown, your industry, products, processes and a diverse group of people.
- Hire a photographer, but only if he or she has shown you images that are similar to what you are seeking. Maybe there is a specific landmark that is important to you geographically. In addition, interiors of your office are often a way to show off what you do. For a client of ours who was a carpet cleaner, images of before and after added legitimacy to the website.
Websites are really words and images. The images attract our attention, but they shouldn’t distract from the text or offend our senses or sensibilities.