Images are a lot more important in website design than many developers give it credit for. Research shows that the human brain interprets imagery 60,000 times faster than it does text. For that reason, it’s often more moving, attention grabbing, and action-driving than any landing page content you could write.
But photos are only this useful when they’re high quality. You could hire a professional to take your photos for you or purchase them from a stock photo website, but this gets costly, and often doesn’t produce the results you’re hoping for. You can often get the best photos when you take them yourself.
There’s a lot that goes into photography, however, and it’s not as easy as you might think to generate high quality images. If you’re looking to cut costs on your website development and learn a valuable skill along the way, brush up on your photography skills. Here are some tips for creating great website photos.
1. Don’t Go Too Expensive at First
Equipment for photography is very expensive, and you might want to invest eventually, but right now, don’t spend too much money. Focus on learning first. Use an affordable camera (preferably not a phone) to snap a few shots, trying different angles.
For long range photos, you might practice on a hunting scope or a similar magnification tool. Lighting can be fabricated with a lamp and a sheet. The fancy equipment is useful, but while you’re learning, it’s best to avoid spending too much.
2. Find the Golden Hour
Professional photos are often taking during what photographers call the golden hour because the light is virtually perfect. It’s the time in late afternoon when it’s not too light or dark, and the light is soft, but natural. Everything looks beautiful in this light, and it takes some of the difficulty out of catching great photos.
3. Take a Class
There are plenty of courses that teach photography. Look into a local college or university to see if you can take a basic course as a non-matriculating student. There are also online courses that can teach you all the basics without a huge time commitment.
4. Study Photography
Spend some time looking at photographs used on well-designed websites. What features stand out? How do the photos convey the right message according to the site’s purpose? As you study images on successful websites, you’ll gain a sixth sense of sorts regarding what works best for web photos.
5. Select Great Subjects
Photography is much easier when you have the right subject. When taking product photos, it’s easy to select the subject, but it’s more difficult to choose a focus when you’re looking for landing page photos.
The best course of action is to do research. Study the industry and look at other websites for companies in that niche. It’s important to convey the right image with your photography, and studying your subjects carefully before snapping photos can make all the difference.