You’ve probably heard the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” That is probably truer than you think when it comes to web design and content. You see an image, you get your own visual context, and you evaluate it. But, what if your picture projects the wrong words? Uh-oh!
What do you mean, how can a picture have the wrong words? Consider this, you have a website for a jewelry store with many fine rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces for sale. But all the photos are slightly out of focus and at poor angles. Ouch, who’s going to buy that ring or necklace?
The importance of photography in web design relates to the expression of core values and the emotional connection of your site visitors. It focuses on your professionalism, credibility, and attention to detail. So, it is essential that your web photography is speaking the right words. How do you achieve this?
There are three basic resources of great photography which need to meet the three defining criteria for your business and website.
Professional Photographers – The best choice, if you can afford it because you will get a professional image that takes into account lighting, staging, color balance, and perspective. Plus, it is a unique and exclusive image, and you own it! The down-side is the cost and the time it will take to schedule the shoot, along with all the other intangibles involved (weather, availability, etc.).
Do-It-Yourself Photography – A more affordable solution, but unless you have some photography background, you may not get the “money” shot you were hoping for. Here is a nice video tutorial for product photography DIY Product Photography and for general business photos, check out this resource: DIY Business Photos. Take your time and pay attention to the detail for a low-cost solution to your photographic needs.
Purchase Stock Photography – The last, but certainly not least favorite solution is to purchase stock photography to fulfill your needs. Advantages: Plenty of resources, generally good quality, numerous shots and styles to choose from. Disadvantages: Too many choices, Very generic content, others using the same photo. Work with your web designer if this is your source for photography, they’ll have a good idea of what to look for.
Quality – “The perceived value of a product is related directly to the quality of the photography.” One great photo might have more value than a number of similar shots, so choose wisely. It goes without saying that photos must be in focus, high resolution, color balanced and properly exposed. Avoid sloppy prep, inconsistency, poor backgrounds, annoying reflections, poor contrast, and inconsistent cropping and sizing.
Relevance – Your visitors must identify with your products through your photography. Having people using or describing your product is more effective than static photos, if appropriate. Try to avoid the cliched “stock” photos of business people and landscapes, they may hurt more than help. Consider the surroundings and environment that the products are shown in to illustrate how they fit in the real world.
Format – Having your images formatted for the web space where they will be used is as important as the photo itself. Don’t try to use a narrow portrait photo in a banner or header photograph. Use the “Rule of 3’s” and allow for resizing and cropping in the post processing phase when you frame each shot. Keep in mind, for any web image, the final format will be a 72 dpi image, ideally at 100% scale and in either .jpg or .png format.
If you can follow these guidelines and add your own custom style, your images will be speaking volumes about you, your business and your products.
Still confused? Call (941-999-4655) or write to Seed Internet Solutions and we’ll be happy to assist you.