Web photography couldn’t be more important. In today’s modern world, imagery is used to capture the attention of the visitor, who will only stay for a few seconds before clicking away should first impressions be poor. If you’re in the market for a new website then consider our tips below…
Go in with an action plan, but keep things fluid
The pre-production stage of web design is just as important as the construction itself, but few people realise just what’s included or the work that goes in. It’s an idea to have a selection of images ready to go for the start of production. You’ll need to adapt however, as shots you planned to use might not look right in the areas you initially wanted. There’s no point placing a busy image behind a title, for instance. Instead, it might be best to give the image its own space. A rigid mind is the enemy of great web design.
Be wary of Google images
Only rarely do clients realise that you can’t simply lift photography from Google due to copyright laws. A number of sites out there tout free images, though the quality of these can be questionable. The odds are you’ll need to use your own shots or jump on iStock or Shutterstock, which provide images for download at a price. Should you find one you especially like, it’s worth pulling it to your desktop, placing it in the Google image search engine and trawling for free images which look similar. You won’t always get lucky, but money can be saved when you keep an open mind.
Pacing and spacing
It’s much more effective to have an appealing layout with some open spaces than it is to bog your website down with clutter. We know you probably want as much on the homepage as possible, but it’s worth prioritising content with one or two solid images to begin with, giving your mission statement room to breathe in the process. Visual appeal is about pacing so be sure to keep things as consistent as possible.
Keeping the tone
The odds are you’ll already have a general look and feel for your website in mind. Your favourite photograph can likely still be used, but you might want to tinker with it depending on what you hope to achieve. It isn’t hard to lower the contrast and raise the brightness for that popular hazy effect, for instance. Black and white photography is popular yet divisive, so keep this in mind if you’re looking to be arty.
Nothing beats great photography
There is a limit to what Photoshop can accomplish, so don’t expect miracles after you take a blurry shot a a dark room. Prevention is always better than cure, so keep your wits about you when taking a photo. Lighting and composition are perhaps the most important aspects of photography. You’ll want to take lots of images of the same subjects, discarding most and selecting your favourite – the digital age means there’s no excuse for a single, off-centred image unless the moment itself was fleeting.
We love using great photography in the websites we create. Do you have any techniques you wish to share? Let us know on Twitter…