One of the elements that catches your eye first on a website is the photography…or lack of photography.
In marketing and media, our eyes tend to gravitate towards more visual elements. Maybe a high-res photo of a delicious meal, or an HD video that gives you a tour of a cool event space.
Paired with a great tagline, eye-catching imagery will tell your story in a universally understood way. So how does this apply to your website and online presence?
When it comes to your website, we believe photos should be on subject, tell a story, and above all build trust.
We talked to professional photographers working in the industry to get their opinions on how they view the importance of photography. You’ll see their insights below.
The Purpose of Photography
So what is the purpose of photography? Well that answer changes depending on who you ask.
Silas Cook is a photographer from Kansas City who runs the company Ants & Uncles. He has worked professionally with a number of organizations such as Vintage KC, Uptown Arts Bar, Kansas City Fashion Week, and more.
Independently and with his company, Silas has a decade of experience in photography, working with clients, and capturing art on film.
Here’s what Silas had to say:
“To look at a photograph and feel an emotion isn’t something just anyone can achieve consistently. Being moved to emotion is something that I feel photography can do more effectively than almost any other form of media.”
A photo focusing on emotion will help your website better achieve it’s goals. How do you want your visitors to feel once they arrive on your website?
Think about what images you need to obtain in order to really tell your story. Furthermore, take the time to go and actually take them or hire someone to help you do so.
Now that you have your photos, how do you know which ones to use on your website?
Identifying The Right Images To Use
After a photo shoot, you probably have your work cut out for you looking through dozens if not hundreds of images. Even after your photographer sends you the images, you will likely only use a fraction of the pictures taken.
How do you choose the best images to use to convey your message?
We talked to Lauren Nicole who owns Lauren Nicole Photography to get her opinion on this question. Lauren focuses on people, family, and special moments rather than object or location photography. She always manages to shoot and choose the right images that keep clients happy.
Here’s what Lauren had to say:
“I personally first sift through the blurs, blinks, and just poor photos first. Then I start to get pickier – which photos are not only in focus, exposed properly, framed nicely, but also speak an impactful message?”
The photo’s quality has to be great. After you or the photographer edits the images, it’s still important to choose the one that speaks an impactful message. It’s probably best to let your photographer edit your photos, while you both choose them together.
If your photos are raw and you are unsure of how to edit them, check out Enhance.Pho.To for an easy online photo editing tool.
Stock Photos Vs. Original Photography
There are a handful of free stock photography websites out there. We talk about a few sites in previous articles such as our 5 Common Website Mistakes analysis.
Stock photos are great for use in certain areas online and offline. You should use stock photos for:
- Blog Posts
- Occasional social media posts
- Additional images for email newsletters
- Additional images for review cards, pamphlets, etc.
While there are other areas besides these you can use stock photos, you should follow the golden rule we’ve highlighted up to this point. The photo needs to have meaning. Trust us, customers will certainly know the difference!
Christopher Hosmann is a freelance photographer that seeks out photos that others may not. Specializing in wildlife and landscape photography, Chris captures images that are truly stunning to look at.
Chris also understands the importance of what users are looking for. Because of this, all that’s needed is his short and sweet answer on producing original visual content.
“Content hungry, everybody wants more and to see something new. This isn’t bad just means you have to keep up.“
Content is king in the kingdom of the internet.
As a result, your brand’s narrative depends this content being the best quality you can obtain. Now that you’re ready to find a photographer, how do you find the one that’s right for you?
Questions to Ask A Photographer
While it seems like there are no shortage of photographers in 2018, this could be a good and bad thing. You’ll want to make sure to ask the right questions so that the photographer you choose can properly convey your vision.
Here are some questions you’ll want to remember to ask:
1. What kind of gear do you use?
2. What is your favorite lens to shoot with and why?
3. How do you get the person, thing, or place exactly how you want it in the end result?
4. How long have you been a photographer?
5. What inspires you to be a photographer?
You don’t have to know anything about camera bodies, lenses, filters, or lighting kits. The key thing to look for in these answers are how prepared they are, how confident they sound, and how passionate they are in their answers.
Did they seem sure of themselves and were you convinced by what they had to say? It’s best to talk to more than one photographer just so you can hear the difference in how these questions are answered. After this, you can ask to see additional work before making your final decision.
Hiring a photographer is one of the greatest decisions in content creation that you can make, and as a result there will be a noticeable difference in how people view your website.
Good photography and imagery is a centerpiece of great marketing. Find a photographer who not only understands the importance of photography, but has also learned why they have come to their own conclusion.
That’s certainly going to be someone you can grow with.