Create Your Website: Gathering Visuals
When it comes to imagery, you have three options.
3 Options for Website Photos
1 - Use free or purchased stock photos
2 - Take your own photos
3 - Hire a photographer
Let's dig a little deeper into which option is best for your business website.
Using Stock Photos for Your Website
- Professional image quality
- Already created for you
Stock photos can be a great way to inexpensively add professional quality images to your website. There are plenty of places online to find gorgeous free or inexpensive photos. There's no shame to using stock photos if you don't have the time or skills to create your own or the funds to hire a professional.
- Free images are overused, can cause brand confusion
- Can be difficult to repeatedly find on brand images
- Paid images cost money, often a membership
Because free or inexpensive stock photos are easily accessible, they are used a lot. Have you ever been on Pinterest and seen the same photo used by multiple websites? Yeah, me, too.
If you want to find unique free stock images, you are going to have to commit to spending time searching for photos that match your brand aesthetic.
Paid images can mean fewer people are using them, but you'll still have to spend time hunting for that perfect photo to use for each blog post.
A great choice if you have no desire to create your own content and are a service based business.
Take Your Own Website Photos
- If you have a smartphone, you already have a camera
- You intimately know your brand
Taking your own photos means you have total creative control over the finished images. You can ensure each photo includes branded items or colors.
- Takes time to develop photography skills and style
- Need to come up with ideas for photos, time to take them
- While phone photos are generally sufficient for smaller or blog post photos, you need large photos for a heading or banner, your phone photos may not high a high enough resolution. In those cases, you may need a DSLR or use stock photos.
You need to be willing to spend time staging photo shoots, taking lots of photos and editing.
A great place for DIYers or businesses with a very limited budget to start. There are lots of terrific resources online for learning about how to take phone photos.
Hire a photographer
- Professional quality image
- Can work directly with photographer to get on brand images
You get unique images in the style you want, without having to go through all the steps.
- Can be expensive
- Limited supply, will need to do multiple photo shoots to constantly have fresh content
Hiring a professional photographer might not be in the budget of every small business.
Only start here if you can afford to outsource it and have a high end/luxury product to sell. Exception: if you are a coach, creative or the face of your brand. In this case, professional quality images of yourself will be important for making a connection with prospective clients.
What type of images will you use on your website - stock, your own DIY or photos from a hired photographer?