How to get professional photos for your website
How to get professional photos for your website
Investing in professional photos for your website allows you to reap the rewards for years to come. High-quality photos demonstrating what you do immediately set your website apart. Use them everywhere from your social posts and paid adverts to brochures and emails.
If you’re looking for photos for your website in general, there are a few different options to explore. The option you choose depends on your budget and time.
Professional photos for your website – the options:
- Free stock photo sites
- Paid for stock photo sites
- Buying a DLSR camera
- Paying for a professional shoot
Free stock photo websites
This is the cheapest (free) way to find professional quality photos for your website, in large enough sizes. There are lots of useful sites that are regularly updated with new and interesting photos, free for use on your website and within design materials.
However, you will soon find the images related to your products and services dry up. Finding the odd free stock photo to accompany a blog post is ideal, but you will struggle to build a website (and clear brand) relying solely on free images.
Paid for stock photo sites
Paid stock photo websites, such as Shutterstock, have a much wider selection of professional images to choose from. It’s rare to not be able to find what you’re looking for. You pay by subscription and it’s an affordable way to source new images.
The main issue with relying on these sites is it leaves your website and brand feeling impersonal. People are wise to stock images and it’s obvious to most people you’ve used them. It’s difficult to get a sense of who you are as a company when everything looks generic.
Buying a DLSR camera
Buying a camera and tripod for your business is an affordable one-time investment. It gives you the ability to take new photos of exactly what you need when you need them. If you have new products or projects to put on your website, having a camera at the ready is a huge asset.
The limitation of this method is having someone in the business capable of taking photos that look professional. Entry-level DSLR cameras have auto settings to make things easier for beginners, but you may struggle with lighting and staging your photos. Filling your website with high resolution, poorly executed photos isn’t the professional tone you want to set.
Paying for a professional shoot for your business
Hiring a professional photographer for one or two days to shoot a large bank of images is the most effective way to get professional photos for your website. Working with the photographer, you compile a photography brief listing everything you need images of. It’s the photographer’s job to run the shoot and capture everything detailed in the brief.
Commercial photographers have the skills, expertise, and equipment to produce high quality images that showcase who you are and what you do. They know how best to set up and stage photos and have the skills to take compelling action and in the moment snaps.
Things to get photos of for your website:
- Your premises – around the office, store, factory, or workshop
- Your employees – head shots and natural photos of them at work
- Products and projects – the full range of what you provide
- Processes in action – every stage of your operation, from production to delivery
- Head shots – of your team (the whole team or leadership team)
- Interactions with customers or clients – the people behind your business
- Your branding – on buildings, receptions, vehicles and anywhere else it’s seen
- Abstract shots – for backdrops and design work
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What’s the value of professional photography?
Photos taken of your business demonstrate in real terms what you do – they are visible proof of your skills and expertise. Images are more powerful than text alone because they contextualise the message. Photos make your point instantly clearer and understandable.
It’s easy to say your business has a state-of-the-art facility, a large workforce, or an enviable portfolio of projects. Anyone can say this. What makes the difference is showing people and proving it to them with real life photography.
How to get professional photos for your website – the process
We recently rebranded and created a new website. Part of this was having a photoshoot and we worked with Simon Dewhurst Photography. Simon is a photographer we know and trust to get the brief spot on, capturing all the images in the fewest number of hours.
Here’s what we did:
- Wrote a brief which we shared with Simon for his input
- Booked in two days for him to visit to take the photos
- Gathered the props and example work we wanted to include
- Cleaned up the office and arranged to drop in on some clients
- Created an itinerary with timings for the day
- Turned up on the day (best face forward) and got shooting!
Because we spread the shoot over two days, we had chance to review the first day’s shooting and make sure there were no gaps. At the end of the two days, Simon edited our photos and provided full access to the final images.
The result is a bank of hundreds of images ready whenever we need them. Be it for our website, social, or an email, we can simply look at the message and pick out a supporting image to fit.
Having photos taken for your business is an upfront investment, but you’ll see the benefits for years to come. Any business, no matter what it sells, has people and processes that are worth sharing. It’s one easy way to build trust with your customers and prospects.
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