Your website isn’t just an old book online, it’s a glossy magazine of the digital world.
And to be exciting, immersive and enticing it needs imagery. Photography sells you, your business and gives a small experience of what you’re about.
To get started with photography you need to select the right photos, these should be good quality, relevant and styled along your brand guidelines.
When we look for imagery we will either create a brief and take photos that we need or we’ll take a look on a few trusted stock websites. The key to using stock is to move away from cliched images of business people and look for lifestyle images that sell a story or an experience. It’s important to find a suite of images that compliment each other.
Here’s a list of some of the stock sites we use and we’d recommend them for different reasons. Remember, doing some research you can find local talented photographers and get your own photos.
Free stock sites:
This site is fantastic and caused quite a stir when it first emerged. Excellent quality photography, royalty free. Not best suited for business type settings but great quality and a nice style to most of the photos.
If you don’t have budget and need something that represents what you want to say, some free, licensed photography means you don’t have to pay and don’t have to worry about usage permissions.
Paid for sites:
Dollar Photo club is a cheap way to get access to a lot of photography. It’s based on a subscription so if you need photography over time it’s great (it’s perfect for blog posts that need images on an ongoing basis, like say, this one). You’ll often find images here that are on other stock sites at much higher prices.
This is perhaps the de facto choice. Prices are reasonable and image quality is very good, this is probably our first choice unless we need more stylised or cheaper.
Getty is the premium choice, images can go for thousands of pounds and are perfect for advertising. If you need a very particular shot, at near perfect quality and you don’t have the photographer or set up to get it the Getty is your best bet.
So in conclusion, photography is essential in web design and to go without can be a huge mistake, especially as photography is so accessible. Just be careful you can get the right shots, don’t go for fake, cheesy stock smiles and stick to a certain style that reflects your brand.