Poor quality photography can ruin the best designed websites – putting off customers and preventing your business from performing online. 
Despite this, a lack of quality photography is one of the biggest challenges we face when creating websites. It’s often seen as an afterthought, and as somehow secondary to the build, when in reality, it should be an integral part of the design. 
In this post, we take a look at why high quality photography is so important to your website, examining some of the science behind the power of visual imagery, before looking at what makes great website photography. 
The power of visuals – the science 
There’s a reason people say that a picture paints a thousand words! 
Human beings are visual creatures – we process, recognise and decipher images significantly faster than we decode strings of words. Children start learning to recognise shapes and people from the moment they are born, but it isn’t until years later that we start to learn how to read. 
This is one of the reasons our brains are naturally drawn to pictures and video content before text. Your website only has a few seconds to make a positive first impression, and it’s the visuals and imagery that they will look at first – not the text. If your photography is poor, it will put customers off, instantly! 
On a deeper level, imagery is stored in the long term memory, whereas text is stored in the short term memory. By having appropriate images that are tied to relevant content, we can strengthen our core messages and increase the impact in the minds of our customers. 
Supporting your content – photography with purpose 
Effective website photography isn’t about pretty pictures that look nice – it’s there for a reason. Every page on your website should have a clear purpose, and the photography is there to back that up. This might include: 
• Communicating the personality of your brand 
• Showcasing work, products and services 
• Reinforcing key messages 
• Evoking emotions in website visitors 
• Building trust 
• Improving navigation and the user experience 
Great website photography should be integral to the design – it’s a clear, visual representation of your business, what it does and what it stands for. Get it right, and your key messages are much more likely to resonate with customers. 
Stock vs. original 
One of the most common questions we’re asked is whether to use stock photography or professional, unique images. 
The reality is that both have their benefits – and it depends on the quality of the images. A great stock photograph beats a terrible original one any day! The benefits of using stock photography is the price, and the fact that there is a huge amount of choice out there – you’re likely to be able to find a high quality image that fits your business and supports your messaging. 
One issue is that stock photography is available to everyone – these images aren’t unique, and the best ones are likely to be found all over the web on other sites (possibly even by your competitors).  
It is however possible to edit and amend stock images to make them unique to your business. 
Employ a professional photographer to take some unique images that fit your business, and you won’t have that problem. If you’re trying to build a brand and create an original website that stands out from the competition, paying for professional, original shots can be a good investment. 
Professional vs. DIY 
“We’ve got images” and “we’ll take our own pictures” are two things we always hear from clients in web design meetings when it comes to talking about photography. 
Sometimes, this approach works, but too often it produces sub-standard, low quality, poorly lit and composed images that simply don’t present a business in the right way. Just because you have a camera (or someone in your office does), doesn’t mean you should try to do the commercial photography yourself. 
Unless they have professional, commercial photography experience, it’s almost always better to hire the services of a local professional photographer.  
It’s an investment in your company branding that will pay dividends, giving you a bank of high quality, original imagery you can use with confidence across your website and wider marketing materials. 
High quality stock photography beats poor quality DIY photography every time. 
Stunning websites (with great photography!) from it’seeze. 
Has your website seen better days? Is poor photography holding back your business online? 
Get a website that looks fantastic on any device and performs for your business in the real world – with help from it’seeze Ryedale. We’re here to help drive your business performance online with a beautiful, custom-designed site you can edit yourself. 
If you need great photography, we can also put you in touch with a trusted local photographer who will ensure you get the right images to enhance the design and represent your business perfectly. 
Set up your free, no obligation meeting with Rob Davies from it’seeze Ryedale today by calling 01653 690 982, or by emailing rob.davies@itseeze.co.uk. 
Tagged as: Online Marketing
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