You’ll want to hire professional (or semi-professional!) photographers to give your site the best edge over your competition, whether you’re building a new website or refreshing an old one. Why do you need photography? To introduce your audience to you, your team, your products, your service… if a “picture speaks a thousand words,” then you have to make sure you’re using the best words-or photos in this case-that you possibly can. Here’s some tips we advise clients to share with their photographer to make the most of their skills, and to give your website that pro look.
1. Tell photographers to shoot in “landscape”
2. Whatever the subject is, don’t crop with the lens
Most traditional photographers are used to shooting like they would for print. They are making a pretty picture look like it should for framing. But with web design, there is more often than not the desire to isolate the subject—a person or product usually—in order to give it either prominence, give it a new background, or give it greater focus.
For example, take this fellow here:
Look ma—half of my arms are gone!
3. If you need people photos, be sure the subject is relaxed!
There are reasons that models get a lot of work: They know how to look relaxed and confident in front of a camera. Most of us are used to birthday party shots where someone says, “Say CHEEEESE!!”. We’re not used to smiling on command, and when we do, we look forced, stiff, and a little maniacal.
4. If you’re working with a web designer, let them give you some direction
Art direction is quite subjective, but if you’re working with a good website designer, you’ll want to follow his/her lead. And remember, you’re not advertising to yourself, but to an audience that’s learning about you. It might seem to you quite obvious that you need pictures of your office and staff, but how they’re posed and shot can make a big difference. And unless you’re a photographer yourself, you might not see the photographic potential that’s right under your nose. Bottom line: Don’t only listen to photographers when it comes to the kinds of photos you need for your site. They’re thinking like photographers. Effective websites benefit from some best practices like those mentioned above, and photographers don’t usually think like website designers.