You may not realize it, but having high quality, professional images can make your website stand out from your competition. Websites are a visual representation of your business and your overall brand. Using low-quality images or photographs of inconsistent quality on your website make for a poor first impression to your website’s visitors. Most websites have the highest “bounce rate” on the home page. Don’t turn off your site’s visitors by using bad photography!
What’s the simplest way to avoid this? Hire a professional photographer to shoot your website content. You can also mix in licensed stock photography as needed. Never use photos you have downloaded from Google Images, as they are copyrighted! (Copyright infringement law provides a range from $200 to $150,000 for each work infringed, plus attorneys' fees and court costs.)
It’s easier to find good professional photographers today than ever before, but there is a big difference in quality depending on who you hire. Anyone can buy a professional camera these days, but the key is finding someone who knows composition and lighting, and is also creative.
When interviewing a prospective photographer, here are some things to ask:
- How many years of experience do you have as a commercial photographer? While you might find a newer photographer that has a lot of talent, it is always safer to hire a pro that has years of experience working with clients to achieve their goals.
- What are your rates? Find out if they bill by the hour or by the project. You don't want to be surprised by an invoice that is a lot higher than you expected. Get it all down in a contract or quote.
- What is your specialty? You don't want to hire a wedding photographer to shoot products, typically. Each genre has its own techniques, so finding someone with experience shooting the type of photos you need is key.
- May I see your recent work? Have the photographer show you images that are similar to what you need for your website. Do they have a website or other online portfolios? I prefer seeing the images that are published online rather than having the photographer email you samples. To me, this lends to the credibility factor.
Below are 2 examples of photography showing a girl applying makeup. Which one would you use on your website?