Photography plays an important role in site design, especially for businesses. Visitors want to feel engaged when they visit your site, and this is achieved by including a variety of content, with one of the key features being a good set of photographs.

Sometimes, it’s hard for site owners to get this right, as Kris Jeary of Squidders explains in Creative Bloq:

“Probably the biggest issue we have in designing a website is the lack of compelling photography. I really can’t state enough just how vital a cog photography is, combined with well written copy it is the meat that goes on the bones of any site, no matter the subject (I will cover content writing in a separate post). Let’s be clear, the internet is a visual media, visitors judge with their eyes and will only digest the content if you make the whole experience a pleasurable one.”

In this post, Creative Freedom offers some useful tips on how to use photography in web design and the various options available to you.

The essence of good site photography

So, what is the essence of good site photography? Well, aside from quality – which is the foundation of all awesome photography, this question has many answers: it all depends on you and what you want to achieve with it. For all site photography however, it needs to be chosen with care, using something for the sake of it won’t do! Take your time in thinking about the personality of your business and the message you want to convey to your clients and potential clients.

Depending on what you want, there are two options – going for stock photography or hiring a photographer to do the job.

Stock photography

For the most part, it’s pretty simple – the photographs you use need to be visually appealing and relate to what your site is all about. Although many sites offer free stock photography, the photographs can often be a little too rudimentary and bog standard, which when added to your site inevitably look dull and boring.

Pixabay stock photo archive

That said, sites such as Pixabay offer a hearty selection of free, professional photos that are more creative in style than many others you’ll find on free photo sites. If you’re looking for something specific, that offers a certain professional style and visual mastery then you will have to pay. Sites such as Dreamstime and Shutterstock are the best in the business, with professional photographers world wide offering 1000’s of unique images.

Hiring a photographer

If stock photography simply won’t do, hiring a photographer is the best solution and don’t worry – it’s not going to cost too much. Yes, there are a few photographers out there that charge the earth, however, there’s many others who offer excellent quality photography for less.

A good photographer doesn’t just take appealing photos, but they’re someone who can understand what your aim is. So, sit down with them and discuss the fine details of your ideas, company message and usage, so is the photo going to be prominently featured or is it for background, possibly having a few lines of text on top of it. For the latter, you’re going to need something where the colours aren’t too loud, thus distorting the text.

So, after reading this – you can see why so many site owners and designers alike get it so wrong, it’s not simply about featuring a photo, it’s about seeing photography as part and parcel of your site design.

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Adam Parrish
Owner and creative director at Creative Freedom Ltd. Unbelievably cool icon design expert, husband, and father of two awesome girls. A proper decent chappy and thoroughly fab to work with. Ok, so I wrote my own bio…

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