March 2, 2021
March 2, 2021
Although I may not be a professional photographer, I’ve received photos for web design clients enough times to know what is the best to work with when it comes to creating a website. Quality photography is crucial for a professional, high-end site. I can only make a design look so good if the photos are bad.
So for the instances where I can’t recommend a photographer or give art direction on a shoot, here are some tips for you to ensure you have a dynamic website that attracts new clients.
This first quality is something I always look for when recommending photographers because I think some are better at capturing it than others. It’s also the hardest to explain. Through the photos I want to be able to feel the movement, breath, laugh of the subject of the photo, especially when it comes to fitness photography. At the photoshoot you’ll be continuously flowing through moves, probably repeatedly, to capture these kinds of shots. This could just be shifting your weight between your feet or maybe it’s transitioning between yoga poses. Whatever your pose, it shouldn’t be one you’re holding for five minutes.
Energy may be the thing I look for first in photographers, but variety of photos is probably the biggest factor that takes a website from a basic nice looking site to one that feels dynamic and intriguing. Variety in clothing and background makes it less obvious that all your photos were taken in one shoot, which also makes it feel more real, like someone isn’t only seeing you from one moment in time. Even more importantly, variety in the angles and cropping creates interest as you scroll through a site. As you can imagine, seeing your face, as lovely as it may be, over and over again in every photo can feel repetitive. We want full body shots as well as photos cropped in on your hands touching your toes in a stretch, your back in a pushup, or your shoes jumping off the ground (to name a few examples).
Having whitespace in photos is super helpful as a designer because it gives so much more flexibility to the website layout. A background that is either simple or out of focus allows room for text or other elements to overlap the photo. This allows for less block-like layouts and more of a flow through the site.
This may seem counterintuitive to the variety tip, but while I do believe you should have variety in your clothing and angles, your photo aesthetic should be consistent across your brand. It’s definitely possible to use photos on your website from different shoots and events, but make sure the editing is somewhat consistent across them. The primary factor you want to consider is the color. Photographers all have their own editing style, so I would just avoid combining photos that have much cooler tones with ones that are edited to be warmer.
I literally get giddy when I receive website photos that have these qualities, because I know we’ll be able to create the most gorgeous (and effective) website together. Photography is key.
And once you have the shots, pick out a website template from the site shop to bring it all together.