I’ve worked on countless websites from a strategic perspective – marrying the ‘what works’ with ‘what looks good’. There are so many elements that contribute to a website being appealing and having great usability, but today I’m going to concentrate on something that sometimes doesn’t make it into the budget (and is totally critical).
Often this is the last thing thought about once the structure and look and feel of a site have been developed but I have been cracking down hard on this one!
Your brother in law, daughter or best friends half-brother may have a great interest in photography or even completed a short course at some point. The wonderful invention, the iPhone, has allowed us to be able to take photos anywhere, anytime.
My advice is – if someone is not shooting photography professionally, there’s a reason why. Do not use anyone but a reputable professional photographer for any marketing images! It might seem pretty simple to click a shutter button but a lot more goes into developing visual content for a website. There’s strategic reasoning behind everything and the imagery used in marketing MUST be taken seriously.
The flow of a website is so important and the agency developing the site most likely has the capabilities to shoot what is required. If you do know a professional photographer outside the agency you would like to engage for the job, ensure you have at least set up a phone call or requested a shot list to guide them. You do not want to destroy your beautiful website with images that are totally unrelated to the copy or don’t create the levels of engagement or user experience that has been carefully planned.
There is a small expense for having photos professionally shot, but let me be clear, good photography is an investment and is a huge reason why people stay on your website. To be successful, you must stand out and you cannot do this through being ordinary.
After all, psychological research has revealed that people only remember 10% of things they hear and 20% of what they have read – but 80% of people remember things they see!
Agencies desperately want you to be successful, it’s our job. Rather than think of us as being grumpy if your website photography isn’t up to standard, just remember it’s the passion!