Use the right photos to boost your website image. An image is a powerful tool and a great one can really make a website. Just as an eye catching photograph in a newspaper or magazine entices you to stop and read more, professional images on your website will immediately demonstrate to your clients that you are serious about your business. Whether it’s your personal profile portrait or photos of your product range, professionally taken images will stand head and shoulders above all else.
The old adage says “a picture paints a thousand words”, so here’s a brief guide to ensure your images are saying the right thousands words about your business.
Overall profile images should be warm and engaging. Something that brings out your personality and character and reflects your brand image. Remember people buy people and if you look relaxed and approachable in your portraits people are more likely to connect with you.
The first thing people look at in a portrait is the eyes. therefore it is important that they are clear, bright and sharply in focus. You can read a lot from peoples eyes. A good portrait photographer knows this and the techniques to use so you get the right pictures for you brand image. Whether that’s confidence, trust, assurance, approachable, a good listener, professional, friendly, relaxed or a combination.
If your worried about how you may look there are hundreds of little tricks your photographer has up his sleeve which can be used. For example looking slightly up towards the camera to hide those double chins and lighting the thinner side of your face can make your face look slightly thinner.
Above all your profile photo should look like you otherwise your clients may walk right past you when you meet because they didn’t recognize you from your image.
Particular attention should be also be paid to pose, colour & style of clothing, background, composition, choice of lenses, studio v’s location shoot and lighting. Ladies should be lit with soft, even lighting that flatters the complexion. Gents can get away with something a bit more directional, even slightly moody. Careful lighting and posing can hide or disguise features that you may be uncomfortable with.
Group shots need even more thought. A line up of “suits” against a wall is hardly inspiring. Get them doing something but not too staged or posed. Again the right photographer will know how to make this look natural. If yours is a people based business think about showing your staff happy and enjoying their work. Close up shots of them laughing and enjoying what they says even more about your brand message, it says we care…..
Product or Pack shots
If you sell products then its important your images are clear and show the product at its best, particularly as people can‘t feel or handle them before buying. This is where good lighting really counts to show the texture and feel of the product. You should also include close up detailed shots of any particular area that the buyer would be interested in. Some sort of scale is also good particularly if its an unusual or unknown product.
A last note on copyright. All images are protected by copyright (i.e. ownership by the photographer/creator) just like cd recordings and television programs. Which means that you can’t just hunt around the web and find an image you like and use it on your website. This is theft and is a serious issue with hefty fines imposed. Some people opt for royalty free stock photography which is widely available on the web. The downside is that these images are overused. You’ve probably noticed the same images cropping up on different websites. In order to stand out you really need to consider commissioning your own professionally shot images. When you think of some of the additional uses for these images the cost of hiring a professional photographer is really quite good.