Why use photography on your website
If your readers are like the rest of us, their attention spans are probably pretty short. When they can tell at a glance what a page on your website is about, they can decide quickly whether or not they want to read it. A well-placed photo that illustrates what your content is about can draw them into your content and convince them to keep reading.
Another obvious benefit to using photography on your website is that it adds visual interest to the page. While there are other ways to break up long blocks of text, such as sidebars and call-outs, a photograph can give the reader’s brain a quick break from reading. A relevant image also works as a memory aid. If your readers remember your picture, they’ll also be likely to remember the content that went along with it.
What makes a good photograph
When thirteen top photographers were asked what they believe is the most important element of a good photograph, they talked about three things: emotion, storytelling, and composition.
Good photographs create emotion
A good photograph makes the viewer feel something. They might empathize with a subject in the photo, or they may feel happy, sad, or some other way about the contents of the photo. If your photograph doesn’t generate some kind of emotion for the person looking at it, it’s probably not worth adding to the page.
Good photographs tell a story
When someone looks at your photograph, they should be able to explain what it’s about in a couple of sentences. Think about what story you want to tell with your photographs when you’re taking them. That will help you capture a compelling image.
Good photographs use light and contrast
When it comes to the technical aspects of a photograph, light and contrast are two of the most important tools at your disposal. Using light and contrast effectively can be tricky to master, but you’ll rarely go wrong by using a good camera in natural light.
Tips for using photography on the web
Make it relevant
Your photograph should be related to your content. A random stock photo of people smiling is going to be less effective than a photograph of a real employee or customer. The image may be less polished, but it’s genuine. A high-quality, relevant image is also more likely to get your page shared on social media.
Make it fit
Your reader might be using a large desktop monitor, a small smartphone, or any device in between. Your image needs to be of high enough quality to look great on a big screen, and it needs to resize itself to fit a small one. If you’re not sure how to do that, call us.
Make it yours
If you are using an image that you didn’t personally take, make sure to get permission from the owner of the photo before you use it. While taking your own pictures is a great idea, you may need to use stock photos on occasion. There are lots of free stock photos available, but as with everything else, you get what you pay for. Premium images are generally of higher quality than free ones.
Need specific advice? Contact SPM Strategies.
If you’re not sure how photography fits in with your overall digital marketing strategy, contact us. We are a team of digital communications experts obsessed with social media technology, data analysis and improvement, and we’d love to help you.