Going to put it out there, on more than one occasion I have been given the most dreadful images and expected to include them in a website I’ve been designing. Really, the most beautiful websites can go from fab to drab in about 0.0012 milliseconds when you insert a poorly curated image. So I cannot stress enough the importance of good imagery. Consider your images carefully. As the saying goes, a picture paints a thousand words.
There are so many different things to consider when choosing images, so hopefully this post can give you some really practical advice for choosing images.
Firstly whenever I’m thinking about the images I want for a site, I start by listing what I want to communicate with the images. For example, if you were a tattoo artist, you’d want your images to show off your work obviously but you might also want to communicate that you are creative, that you have great attention to detail, that you’re cool or alternative etc etc. Your images need to be aspirational, you might want to include images of some of your coolest clients. That’s a fairly specific example but hopefully you get where I’m coming from. Some poorly thrown together images are not going to cut it in this particular circumstance. If the images that you used were out of focus or messy, it will communicate that you’re not careful of precise. No one wants to be tattooed by someone who is sloppy and messy!
Once you’ve decided what you want to communicate, you have two options, you can take your own images and edit them yourself/ hire a professional, or you can use stock images. This really depends on if you have a product or service you need to have pictures of or perhaps you’re website is a bit more abstract and you can use less personal stock imagery. I actually think using your own images is best, as it is way more authentic and gives you much more credibility, however saying that if you can’t take good pictures or you don’t have the budget for a professional then stock imagery can be a really good route to take.
Personally my favourite stock imagery site is unsplash.com they’re really great quality, their library is fairly extensive and many featured photographers have very thematic collections, giving your website a good feeling of continuity throughout. The downside to this is that unsplash is no secret and you see the same stock images cropping up across other sites. Another great stock image site is deathtothestockphoto.com this is slightly more underground and they send images directly to your inbox. Definitely worth signing up for, if that’s the route you’re going down.
There are a few other important things you need to consider with your images.They need to be at least 1000 pixels wide but the bigger the better really. If they’re smaller than this then they’ll be too low in resolution for your site and will look low in quality. Thanks to our inbuilt image smusher Skizzar automatically compresses your image making it perfect for websites without loosing quality. Which basically just means it loads quickly! (you’re welcome)
So remember this is probably one of the most important elements of your site! Invest the effort and time to get this right and your whole site will look better. Decide what you want to communicate and take time to make sure your images do that effectively.
Don’t forget to connect with us on our social networks, and in the interest of community spirit if you’ve used a photographer for your branding and you’re particularly happy with how it all turned out then give them a shout out on our Facebook group, the chances are you could help them to pick up additional clients and well, that’s just a nice thing to do really!