When designing any website, the quality of the photos used on the site can make a huge difference on the appearance of the site. Most businesses do not have the time and/or resources to take quality pictures that will benefit their website, but let’s face it, most websites look much more appealing if they contain high quality photos.
That’s why we turn to stock photography websites such as istockphoto.com to find images that reflect what you want to say on your website. Stock photos can range from free to hundreds of dollars so you will have to set a budget before you start looking for photos. Most times though, purchasing stock photos end up being much cheaper than hiring a professional photographer to take the pictures you need.
Types of Photos for Different Purposes
If you run a business where you have staff that deal directly with clients, it would benefit you to include pictures of people on your website. The pictures don’t need to be the people who actually work at your business, but it should be people portraying an action that your business partakes in. If you meet with clients, maybe use a photo of a few people sitting around a board room table. If you have a team of independent sales people, find a photo of a smiling person who looks like they are ready to help you.
For industrial and trade type websites, you can use photos that portray the type of work that you do. Construction type photos are easy to come by and there are a lot of quality images out there for this industry.
Use Pictures that Stir Emotion
People buy for emotional reasons. Use pictures on your website that will help them feel the emotion your product or service will give them and they’ll take action. An image of a smile, a smirk or a gesture will bring out positive emotions. An image of relaxation can help people picture themselves in comfort after using your product. If you make your visitors feel good, happy, proud, wanted, you will be able to connect better with them and convert more sales.
My favorite example is that of a jewelry store. Using pictures of happy couples will help you convert more visitors into buyers. Find pictures that will stir emotions up in people. Pictures of people who just got engaged or just got married will help your website visitor picture themselves in those situations.
Stock Photos for Holidays and Special Occasions
Holidays such as Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving or Valentine’s day, are always great times to try and spruce up your website with something festive. Updating your site to replace existing photos with ones that showcase the season can help someone enjoy your website more.
When Not to use Stock Photos
I want to note though that you do not want to use stock photography for everything. If you are a manufacturer or retailer and are selling your products on your website, you will want to take professional photos of that product instead of showing stock photos that don’t match what you’re selling. Also, if you’re a home builder or realtor, you should only use pictures of the actual home or property you’re selling.
Crystal Ridge Developments
This website is one example of how we used stock photography to help this company sell their lake lots.
If you take a look at the home page, you will see a slider of images that show a serene and peaceful landscape; images that will remind people about getting away to the lake to unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature. None of these photos are of the actual area where the lots are located, but the lots are by a lake with lots of trees.
Don’t use Cheezy Photos
When looking for stock photos, there are plenty of websites out there that provide you with free resources, but many of the free photos are not of the quality you should use on your website. So make sure you ask a friend or colleague what they think of the pictures before you add them to your site so not to tarnish your image.
Stock Photo Resources
There are two website we mostly turn to when for stock photos. Both these sites are a great resource for both photos and videos.
We also have a full page on our website dedicated to resources to help you with design and marketing.
Check it out and let us know what you think about this post or any of our resources in the comments below.