Photo of Camera

It’s 2017. Websites need photos these days. There are lots of places to get them and I have some advice. I get asked about stock photos all the time, where to get them, which ones to use. And stock photos have their place, for sure.

But let me tell you this – using real photos of you, your office, your staff, and your work is 100x better than using stock photos.

Everyone is reluctant to put their own photos on their website, so we find stock photos of office workers doing office work, or stock photos of construction workers doing construction, or stock photos of dogs being trained. The list goes on and on. And there’s a reason these photos exist. People need photos and don’t always have a way to get them. But a customer is going to be much more inclined to do business with you if they can see you when they do their research.

Things to know when getting photos for your website

  1. Hire a professional photographer. I tell this to everyone. I could write a song about. It pays to hire a professional to take photos. No photos taken with your phone. No “my sister’s friend has a nice camera” photos. Hire someone who does this for a living. Check out their work before you hire them and verify if their photos are good. Real photographers have better equipment than you, know how to use proper lighting to get the best photos, know how to position you to get the best angles and can edit your photos to be the best. Trust me on this, use your iPhone to call a pro and not to take your own website photos.
  2. Get both candid and staged photos. There is a place for your headshot or company office photo on your website. But there’s also a place for candid photos. These often tell a story about your business, who you are, and how you work with people. I would much rather see a photo of you on the job site, or you working with a patient or a customer than some random stock photo girl smiling and holding a toothbrush. Have your photographer shadow you for a few hours and just take photos as you work. You’ll be surprised at some of the interesting and unique shots they might get.
  3. More is not always better. I put up a lot of photo galleries, and these are great. Do you do construction or remodeling? I love a great before and after story! But you may not need 17 photos of tile being laid. One or two photos would convey the message without using up a ton of real estate on your site.
  4. Get some up close and some far away. Sometimes you need to crop a photo, but can’t because your subject fills the frame. Get a variety of poses in up close and far off so you have plenty to choose from. If you only take two or three photos for your website, you won’t have very many to choose from.
  5. Pay attention to your background. If you are a realtor, then it makes sense to have a photo of you in front of a house. It doesn’t make sense to have a photo of you at the pumpkin patch or cheering on your favorite team at a baseball game, no matter how much you like that photo.

I would much rather see photos of the real team doing their work than random stock photo people. Your customers most likely will too. Take the time and invest in good quality photos.

Here, have a stock photo of a camera. 🙂

Photo of Camera

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Amy Masson, Web Developer

Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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