Imagery can be a very important element in the development of a website. Your ability to use professional photographs on your website may depend on your budget and the purpose of your website. While a family blog may be an appropriate place to display untrained digital camera/ smartphone photography, a business website is no place for unprofessional imagery to be on display.
There are many different online resources where you can purchase stock photos for use on your website. Most stock photos services sell you credits and then you can use those credits to buy stock photos that come with licensing terms for use on your website. iStock, shutterstock, and CanStockPhoto are perhaps two of the most widely known stock photo services. The price for an individual photo can range from $10s-$100s of dollars depending on the image and/or the licensing structure. If the perfect image is really going to be central to your websites presentation then it’s probably worth the purchase.
While I respect the level of quality and selection of stock photos on some of the premium stock photo service websites it didn’t stop me from looking for some more affordable options so here are a few resources that I have used in the past:
Quick Tip: Don’t use stock photos that are not indicative of your business or your product. If you use a stock photo of a waiting room, box of chocolates, or a massage table and those images look nothing like the commercial space or product you are selling you are just inviting negative feedback. If you can’t afford to have your own space/ product professionally photographed it still seems preferable to have images that are lesser in quality rather than inaccurate in presentation.
If professional photography isn’t in the budget and stock photos aren’t appropriate you might have to go the DIY-route. Let’s say you want to show off your office and business showroom on your website but the budget isn’t there for a professional photographer. It’s still no excuse to put up something that is poorly photographed or badly lit. There are various online resources that can show you how to get the most out of whatever product you are using to take pictures. By following a few basic “how-to” instructions you’ll find that your DIY photography can be really improved. Remember that your website is often someone’s first impression of your business and you want it to be a good.
If you have read through this blog post and have any additional web resources you would like to share please email any recommendations/ resources that might contribute to a better and more successful website!