So many details come into question when building a new website, such as: what fonts best represent your company, what colors should be used, what will the layout look like and what message will be conveyed to visitors? These are a few of the top considerations to mull over when building a new website, but for the love of God, do not forget the importance of quality photography!
Good photographs are incredibly important because people are inherently visual creatures. We are drawn to sexy, striking, emotionally jarring, and downright beautiful photography. We love quality imagery and the success of Instagram and Pinterest proves my point. I personally, would rather look at a convincing photo of a new product than read a dry spec sheet or feature list, and I’m sure I’m not alone on that.
Your website is often the first impression potential customers or clients have of your business. As we all learned in high school, people are quick to judge based on appearances and first impressions. Professional photography is like a friendly smile from the most popular girl in school; it makes you feel special or like you’re part of an elite group, and it makes you want more. Bad photography on the other hand, is like showing the world your pockmarked, drunken duck face. An image like that will haunt your business for a long time, so it’s best to avoid the embarrassment. Put your best image forward with quality photos.
Photography is a skill, an art form and a science. Good photography doesn’t necessarily mean professional photography, but if you don’t have the creativity, the skills and the equipment to do it yourself, you should definitely consider professional help. Trust me on this one, your customers will know the difference.
Using quality and relevant photographs on your website engages viewers and creates a bond between your brand and your customers. They start a visual dialog that should be consistent in your brand message. Just as you edit words on a page, you must also edit photograph choices. Weed out anything that doesn’t convey a strong message or represent your company in a clear way. The more you edit your selection, the more your message will be engrained in your site and the stronger your brand will become.
Take Apple for example. (We, here at Pixel, love using Apple as an example to illustrate many design issues, if you haven’t noticed.) We get clients who say “we want a site like Apple” but they don’t realize the main reason they are drawn to Apple’s website isn’t the typography and it isn’t the layout; it’s the images. Apple spends a lot of energy editing their image selections and making sure only the most sleek, sexy product shots make it onto their site. The images make the site. Swap them out for shoddy at-home product shots and you’ve just replaced their beautiful smile with a hideous duck face.
When you integrate good photography in your web design, especially if you have an e-commerce site, your images will sell your products for you. They champion your brand and your customers are more likely to keep coming back to you. They will lend credibility, legitimacy and professionalism to your web presence. If you want your business to be taken seriously, take your photography seriously. And please, no more duck faces.
If this article has you reconsidering your photography choices, but you don’t have the budget to hire a professional photographer, check out our list of Top 6 Stock Photography Resources.
And if you are looking to waste time amusing yourself with bad pictures of duck faces, by all means check out this link: The 25 Worst Cases of Duckface.
About the Author: Shannon spends most her days as a graphic designer at Pixel Productions, Inc. where she enjoys fantastic coffee, awesome coworkers and creating professional design work for clients of all shapes and sizes. She has an eye for detail and her talents include design for branding, packaging, web design and custom illustration.