How To Take Great Website Photos

This article was written by Michelle Weger.

If you’re taking photos for your website, follow these tips to get the best ones possible.

You’ve found a great photographer, lined up a shoot date, and you’re ready to go. Or you’ve bought a ring light and the perfect backdrops to do it yourself.

Either way, a great photo is a great photo, period – right?

Not necessarily.

A great photo for framing in an album will not always be a great photo to use on your website. There are certain characteristics that make the best photos to use on your website.

And since photos make up such a big part of the overall design, getting great ones is critical.

General Website Photo Tips

  1. Landscape photos are the most versatile. Most of the photos you take should be in landscape orientation.
  2. Whenever possible, make sure that the most prominent pop of colour is close to your brand colours. For example, if someone is holding a mug in a candid team shot, make sure it is in your brand colours. Don’t wear a brightly coloured blazer in an off-brand colour. Make sure the dog in the foreground is wearing a collar in your brand colour.  Otherwise, those colours will stand out on the page, or potentially even clash with the rest of the design.
  3. Your images should be diverse. A variety of races, ages, body types, and genders is ideal. (In other words, make sure all your “models” aren’t the stereotypical thin, young, white woman). 
  4. If people are holding products, make sure they are yours! This might seem obvious, but don’t use a stand in or prototype of your product.
  5. Unless there is an explicit reason, people in photos should be smiling and happy.

Hero Image Photo Tips

The first image people see – the one at the very top of your website, below the menu – is called the “hero” image. That image is the most important one of all. It is what will capture – or NOT capture – your potential customer’s attention.

The best hero images are powerful, on brand, and not too busy.

Ideally, a hero image has a clear subject that takes up about 1/3 of the photo. The rest of the photo should be simple and uncluttered (blurring the background also works well!).

Why?

Because the hero also contains very important text. This text will be overlayed on the image, so a busy image detracts from the text and makes it hard to read.

Here are some great examples, both with and without people.

Product Photo Tips

The highest converting product photos are taken on a simple, white background.

Even product photos taken on backgrounds that are on-brand (such as a rustic board, or marble slab) do not do as well as a simple, white background.

If possible, take multiple photos from different angles so potential customers can get the full experience. Take close-ups of any noteworthy design details or features that might otherwise get missed.

Photos of the product in use (by happy customers!) are another great addition. These types of photos are perfect to add to the product gallery.

All product photos should be uncluttered, in focus, and consistently sized.

Great photos are a fantastic start. But you’re also going to need killer content and a strategic design. That’s where we come in. Book a call to start putting those photos to work.

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Michelle Weger - RBC Women of Influence Nominee