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The importance of photos in Web Design

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November 19, 2015 5:51 pm

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Photos have always evoked emotions and responses, and with online connectivity now the norm, we see hundreds of images a day. If you’re a business owner, images on your website and social media pages can showcase your brand personality in a matter of seconds.

High quality images are ESPECIALLY important if you’re selling products online. Good quality images for web design will make you stand out, and appear professional and trustworthy.


On the outset of a website project, we often come across a lack of good imagery (or imagery at all) with most of our clients. It is a pretty normal scenario.

Here I outline 4 options for website photos if you’re a small business owner, to ensure you get the most for your brand (and shiny new website). 

1. Hire a professional

Like most things, you get what you pay for, and sometimes it’s worth paying a little more to ensure you’re giving your business the best shot it has at attracting the right customer.

A professional photographer will be able to advise you on how to set up a photo shoot in a way that’s right for your brand. They will also inject some creativity that really speaks to potential customers, and provide you with large high resolution imagery that you can use across your digital spaces.

web design

Hiring a professional photographer obviously comes at a price, but it really is the best outcome, especially if you’re selling premium products online.

2. Buy photos (from a stock photo library)

This is the most popular option for small business owners who understand that quality images are important for their brand. There are a number of large stock photography sites, such as shutterstock and istock. Do not steal images via a Google search. You could either wind up in a lawsuit with a stock photography company or upset a hard working photographer!

You should brief your web design contact on the type of imagery you are after (including what you definitely don’t want to have – trust me, it’s equally important and could save a lot of time!). The web designer will search for the exact type of imagery that is on brief and right for your brand, and that will work as part of the web design. For up to 5 high resolution photos, you’re only looking at around $50 to purchase.

3. Find free stock photography

If you really can’t afford to buy any imagery, another option is to search for royalty free stock imagery. There are a number of decent sites offering this now, such as pexels, unsplash and Life of Pix. Image quality is very good and most have good search functionality now. Using free images is an ideal way to create backgrounds in design.

One drawback is that there are less images to choose from then if you were to go with a paid stock library, and therefore you may find that your image is being used on other start up or small business websites. Ideally you want unique imagery that completely matches your brand.

The other drawback is that if your business is in a niche market, you may come up with no imagery that is even related to what you do.

4. Handy with a SLR?

If you happen to possess a talent for photography and own a decent SLR (please no camera phones!) then perhaps in some circumstances, it would be ok for you to take photos yourself.

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Just make sure you speak to your web designer about the type of photos required, including ideal dimensions, position and colour/light. This way, you wont waste time putting the effort in to take decent shots yourself if they don’t end up working on the website.

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