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The Importance of High-Quality Photography on the Web

Michael Reynolds

Posted by Michael Reynolds on 10/14/09 2:00 PM

camera_lensThe quality of your photos can make or break a website design. Though it's often overlooked, one of the most critical components of a website is the photography.

The right photos make a huge difference in the overall impression and effectiveness of your website. I’ve seen many otherwise decent websites that are ruined by poor photo choices or low-quality photos.

Do not skimp on photography. The best case scenario is to have custom professional photos taken for your website. If this is not possible, at the very least choose good stock photos that properly represent your brand.

When visitors view your website, they are making a snap decision on the credibility of your company and what level of trust they will have. Your website is setting a tone. This is your chance to create a specific reality that will influence your prospective customer through imagery. Great photos will have a positive impact.

Here are some guidelines in using photography on your website:

  • Always use professional photos – hire someone or ask your design agency if they offer this service. Photos taken by someone in your company as a hobby don’t count.
  • As an alternative, utilize high-quality stock photos from a leading photo site.
  • Photos of people are good – people relate to seeing other people.
  • Even though photos of people are good, avoid the clichéd and meaningless “business people shaking hands” photos.
  • Always show positive imagery – smiling, happy people invoke the proper positive emotions in website visitors.
  • Resist before and after photos – only show the after. Nobody wants to go to a dentist’s website and see photos of ugly teeth. Just show the final result: beautiful teeth.
  • Fewer, bolder photos are better than lots of little photos. Less is more. Make each photo significant.

When planning your website, be sure to budget for tasteful, high-quality photos. It will make a significant difference in how your company is perceived.

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