I’ve talked a lot in the past about how essential design is to a good customer experience this is absolutely true. But there is another element to your site that you cannot overlook and that’s photography. Having professional, high quality photos:
1. Makes you look professional
You have a very short time to grab a users attention and to convey the essence of your brand. If you have professional looking photos then it will make your business seem more professional.
This is particularly true if you are a store or restaurant where the quality of your product photos has a direct and strong correlation to the success of your business.
2. Increases user engagement in the site and encourages them to spend more time on the site
Having quality photographs makes it easier to communicate your message to consumers and also encourages them to spend more time on your site.
3. Forming a link between the customer and company and making your brand feel more relatable
If you have actual images showing your store front, employees and products it creates a greater connection when they actually visit you in person.
So we’ve established why it’s important to have good photography on your site but now we need to talk about what makes a good photograph.
1. Ensure Good lighting
Light is essential for setting the mood of a photograph. Product photos in particular need to be well lit. If possible it is best to use natural light for your photos. Avoid if possible shooting under fluorescent light.
2. Is It In focus and good resolution?
Nothing makes a photo look more unprofessional than if it’s blurry or pixelated. Making sure images are high resolution, particularly if those images are being used as background photos or header images is key.
3. Be Conscious of framing, background and the subject
When using photos the subject is the most important element and it’s important to be aware of how it’s being framed. If you’re using a photo of a product then you don’t want the background to be to distracting, Making sure that you are thinking about what you want the user to see and making sure that is the thing they focus on is key.
If you are using a photo of a person you want to be conscious of not cropping it awkwardly. In general you want to avoid cropping photos of people at the joints. (ie. neck or ankles.)
4. How do the photos fit in with the rest of your website?
If you have a minimalist site then having very cluttered busy images won’t create a cohesive design. The same way if your whole site is black and white then having bright multi coloured images might not be the most fitting.
Contrast between the site design and the photos used can be effective but it needs to be done thoughtfully and purposefully.
With the number of things a small business owner needs to be thinking of it’s natural that photography will not be top of mind. However putting the investment into professional photos early on can pay dividends down the road. If you are not comfortable taking professional quality photographs then hiring a professional so you get a product you are truly happy with in the long run is your best option.