As the primary photographer for Detail & Design Studio, I often hear business owners say, “I just can’t afford photography in my budget!” But, when asked to make a list of the websites that they find most visually appealing and impactful, the defining feature of the collection is almost always sites with big, beautiful images.
Here are some tips for incorporating photographic images into your website:
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
I know, I know, it’s a cliche, but people are visual creatures. While savvy design is the most important aspect of any good website, it is the images that are going to hook potential clients. The more compelling and striking the images on your website, the more your clients will be driven to engage with your business.
We process images 60,000 times more quickly than text and are more likely to store them in long-term memory. Your potential clients should be able to quickly view your website and come away with a clear concept of your brand, services, and, most importantly, the confident knowledge that they WANT what you are offering.
“People only remember 10% of what people hear and 20% of what they read, but about 80% of what they see and do”. - Dr. Jerome Butler, Psychologist, New York University
Photography and well-written copy go hand-in-hand. The image makes your viewer want to read what is on your site.
Face the Facts
Use human faces. Whether it is an image of you, your clients, or your staff in action, images of human faces can double conversion rates. Studies show that users spend more time looking at faces (and specifically eyes) than any other element of web design; users connect with the emotion conveyed in the image, follow the gaze of the of the subject to read text, and feel a sense of familiarity with the brand.
The only caveat is that it must be a photo of what they consider a real person, not a model or stock photo, which the brain processes as visual bloat. Larger images have up to 350% higher conversion rates than smaller images, as long as the image doesn’t get in the way of what the user wants.
You Are Your Brand
When potential clients see your face on your website, they are more likely to assume that you are trustworthy and competent, while developing a sense commitment and connection to your business.
While you may have a lovely photo that your brother took on his iPhone, ask yourself the following questions about your image:
- Does this portrait accurately and authentically reflect my brand?
- Is this a beautiful, professional-looking image will positively reflect your company?
- Does this image have the right dimensions and resolution to work with my web design?
- Are my eyes clear and crisp in this image?
- Does this image tell a story that will engage your user?
Personally, I love using a sprinkling of stock photos. I even sell some of my own images to stock providers. But when you are choosing images for your website, a stock photo will never be as customized to your brand as a photo that was taken specifically with the intention of marketing your services.
While budget is always an issue, the truth is that most businesses can’t afford NOT to hire a professional commercial photographer when designing their website. A commercial photographer can work with your design team to create a cohesive marketing concept and effectively convert leads into clients.
Lis Tyroler, of Lis Tyroler Photography, truly loves to connect with her clients using her camera to creatively and honestly capture the essence of each individual, family, or business. As a Durham native and entrepreneur, she feels passionately about supporting Durham businesses. She spends her free time frolicking around Durham with her son and husband, and has a myriad of interests in all aspects of the arts, including fiber, brush, and food.