How to take great photos for your website
I had written this document for my clients and have used it for a number of years. I recently gave it to another client and thought I should have this somewhere central to easily share with clients. So whether you are employing a photgrapher or taking shots for your website yourself these tips might help.
Notes on photography for your website.
Images for websites need to be able to resize. People view websites on an enormous variety of screens. You want your website to look its best on every single one of them. Photographs in which the object being photographed fills the frame mostly don’t work. The photographer must if possible take some shots of the subject leaving space around it to display comfortably in portrait and landscape format. It can look bad if a photo cropped too tight to the object means automatic resizing cut off parts of the object.
If you leave the space the image is versatile and the designer can crop to fit.
For website designers the best photographs have ‘breathing space’ around the subject which can be used by the designer to overlay further graphics or text. Often it is easiest for non professional photographers to shoot for a square format, a la instagram and not too close. That allows the versatility the image needs for the dynamic visual environment.
Put simply if you’re doing it yourself – use as good camera as possible. Make sure the lens is clean. That the object/person is in sharp focus in good light and stand a bit further back than you imagine you should.
Good lighting is critical. You may not have enough light inside the building. If your photographer doesn’t bring some lights I would suggest taking some of your work outside on in a sunny day and shooting some smiling (not squinty eyed ?) coloured pictures. A few brightly coloured shots can make all the difference. Worth bearing in mind that if all the pictures on the site are muddy or grey day looking because of a lack of light then the overall site has that impression. If you’re shooting the building exterior make sure it is on a sunny day, your photographer won’t mind coming back if the light isn’t right.
Having said stand back there is also a human desire to see things in detail and close up, feet, hands and eyes doing their thing in close detail can make interesting and arresting photographs.
If you are shooting products it is a good idea to use a tripod and shoot from the same position in the same light each time.
Check the competition
Look carefully at your competitors images if you think they are good for your subject why? if they are not good why? remember that as you shoot yours – you want yours to look better than theirs.
Finally if at all possible let us see everything the photographer shoots (dropbox or onedrive the photographer will have similar) There may be images that would work brilliantly or unusually on the website which you and your photographer may pass over.
‘Show off the smallest and greatest details of your business.
https://enablewebdesign.com/the-importance-of-photography-for-your-website/ this is a really good link to an article about the subject and the role a photographer may play in your brand – have a quick read – particularly about the images as an expression of your brand – having photos that people can identify as coming from your business.
Hope this helps.