Photography has become an essential part of our everyday lives, whether it’s documenting for social media, capturing special moments at home or using it to promote and boost your business. For this months blog we wanted to focus on the importance of Good Photography in Web Design. Here you will find tips and the detailed importance that it can have on your website!
Why is it Important to have good Images on your website?
Imagery tends to capture an audience before text will on any website or print. This is because we as a society we will focus on the images before reading words as our brain stores images in our long term memory whereas text is stored in our short term memory. It’s in our biological makeup! The images just register with our brains a lot faster. It goes without saying though that the text on a website is a vital part of helping the users understand what services or products you offer.
Typically a user will decide within 30 seconds or less, if they are going to stay on your website or not. Images is where the users eye tends to look at first, so it is vital that the images that are used are strong, good quality and appealing to them. Your website is all about first impressions so therefore good imagery is a big key factor in the design and build up of your site.
Good photography can be used on your site for many purposes. It can be used to promote your services, products or showcase your premises and staff. This can help influence the users confidence in your business and with internet speeds increasing each year you can put some focus into using stunning, distinctive and high quality images of who you are and what you do.
Check these sites out for motivation!
The Do’s and Don’ts when Taking or Editing a Photo
Sometimes images may need to fit a certain size for your web design and may need to crop your image. This is a handy tool if you have a larger image that may suit and just needs sized down. The key to any good crop is to make sure and get the main part of the image that you want your audience to look at in the frame. Careful cropping is particularly important on responsive websites as you will want to make sure that the images looks as good as possible throughout all types of devices!
Warped (Squashed or Skewed) Images
This is probably one of the biggest and most commonly made mistakes when images are not edited properly or professionally. When resizing your images it is so important to look at the width and height of the original image and keep the same ratio when cropping down. This will make sure the image stays in proportion and you do not get a warped image. Do this by using the lock tool, if editing in photoshop!
Low Quality Images
When resizing and cropping any image make sure to keep in mind the original file size. If it was a small file size to begin with, chances are you are going to make the quality worse than when you started editing and end up with a blurry or low quality image.
There are two ways you can achieve professional imagery throughout your website, by using bespoke imagery or by using stock imagery.
Bespoke Imagery – Use a Professional / D.I.Y Option
Using bespoke imagery throughout your site can communicate clearly your brand and how you want your identity to be known. It is easy to go for the temptation of using stock photos in today’s accessible society, almost everything is there for everyone to buy! But that’s the problem with stock imagery – everyone can buy it! Why not start your new web design with the bespoke feature that clearly identify’s your business and only your business?
Lets have a think about the ‘about us’ section of your website, using images of your actual staff and premises is a straight and easy way to give the user some insight to your business and can help build trust in your organisation!
Hire a Professional
You can achieve bespoke imagery by hiring a professional photographer, although initial costs may be high, its important to look at it like an investment in the business. As mentioned before using imagery that looks professional could be the difference in the user staying on your site for a proper look or leaving within 30 seconds. If you decide to go for a professional photographer the images can be used not just on the website but in any print material you or your business use. Bespoke flyers, personalised brochures, the list is endless.
There is also the D.I.Y. option to achieve bespoke imagery. With the newest technology becoming more and more high tech each day, something as simple as your phone can allow you to take fantastic images for your site. The newest smart phones today have some of the highest specification cameras out today and even beat out some DSLR cameras! Have a look to see what kind of camera you have and you may just be able to do this yourself! Of course if you own a digital camera or a DSLR this option is the best as it allows you to adjust different settings that you just can’t do on your mobile phone or device.
Before taking your own photos though be sure to read a beginner’s guide to photography blog or book to help you understand the basics of what makes a good image.
Using stock imagery is quick and easy and has usually been the ‘go to’ for most web and graphic designers who do not get the best photography from their clients. This method can be cost effective and with lots of libraries out there to choose from, you are sure to find something that would suit your needs and they will usually always be high quality images to use on your website!
Whether you go for Professional images, D.I.Y images or stock images try and always consider your target audience, your brand and how you want the website to feel. You want to make sure you convey the right message when creating a website.
Always remember the user will focus on the image rather than the text! So if you want your website to boom, make sure and choose the right images for you and your business to leave a lasting great first impression!
If you’d like to chat with WebsiteNI about how we can help improve your online presence and ongoing digital marketing contact us via email or call us on 028 3754 9025 (Dungannon) or 028 9002 5050 (Belfast).