Good quality photography is one of the most important elements of your website. Regardless of whether you’ve got five pages or 50, you want your images to look clear, sharp and engaging. It can be a bit of a pain to get images updated and taken professionally, especially if you have to be in front of the lens, but it’s definitely worth it.
There are a few things we look for in website photography when it comes to designing, building and integrating content on websites, so we’ve put together a handy guide to help you out.
There is a sweet spot when it comes to image size. Too low and your pictures will look, at best, grainy, pixelated and difficult to see, and at worst, they’ll be pretty unprofessional.
On the other hand, images that are absolutely massive are a bit of a nightmare too – WordPress can only upload images up to 8MB, so any bigger than that and they end up having to be compressed anyway. We understand that sometimes you really want to use certain images in certain places, so it’s worth making sure that they are good quality before we even get started.
If you are using photographs that you did not take yourself, then you must have permission to use them. Whether that’s using free stock images, or paying a photographer to use their pictures, ensure that you have the right to be using them on your website. Please don’t send us pictures you’ve downloaded from Google images, or screenshots from another person’s website, as we probably won’t be able to use them.
It makes our lives so much easier if you name your image files, for several reasons. It means we know which image you’re talking about, it makes them easier to find, and it means we’re not bothering you going back and forth with questions. If you can let us know you want to use ‘SpecifcImageName’ instead of ‘IMG_08_09_0087232Z’ then it makes the whole process a lot easier. It’s a timesaver when it comes to looking through the file as well, no-one needs a conversation that goes along the lines of “The one with the dog/boat/woman in the yellow dress… No not that one… Or that one… Or that one…” interrupting their day.
Keep your photos timeless
Try to avoid anything that will date your photos – specific styles, trends or events can be used if you’re aware that you may need to update your images further down the line. Timeless photography sounds simple, but it’s really easy for it to become outdated. If you’ve ever seen a recipe book from the 1970s, you’ll know exactly what we mean.
Another tick in the efficiency column is if you group your images with reference to page location. This isn’t relevant if you don’t know what your website is going to look like, but if you want pages such as ‘About’, ‘Venue’, or ‘Produce’, then having the relevant images you want on each page labelled and in their own folder is a huge win.
Consider the space / shape
If there are specific images you would like to use in certain places, it’s worth taking a moment to consider how they will look – if you want to use a portrait image in a wide space for example, then it might not look as good in situ if the image is stretched or cropped to fit.
Some people don’t need lots of pictures on their website, so it might not be worth paying a photographer to get them done. In this case, you can source free to use images from sites like Unsplash and Pexels. These images are great quality, but it can be tough to find specific pictures if you’re looking for a particular place or item.
Some handy image tips there for you to consider if you’re looking for a new website. There are several that essentially boil down to being real time savers, and whilst we’re always big fans of anything that makes our lives easier, it also means we don’t have to badger you going back and forth about what goes where!