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The Mistake Businesses Make with Their Website Photography

One of the things that businesses overlook when creating a website is a lack of good photography. Typically, what people do when they set up a website is they go to a stock photo website, such as istockphoto.com or sxc.hu and they grab a few images here and there that kind of generally have to do with "business". Usually, they get the smiling customer support woman wearing the headset while sitting at a computer, or they'll go for the guy in a suit walking across the street while on a cell phone.

The above stock photo is exactly what I'm talking about.

Stock photography is all fine and good in the right places, but overuse of it is a definite mistake. I've seen lots of websites that have stock photos in the homepage slideshow, in the headings of sections, or in the footer and this is just too much. This is often not the business owner's fault, but the fault of the web designer. Web designers can sometimes get kinda lazy and when the business doesn't supply good photos, the web designer often will grab whatever pictures he or she can get from the internet. Often, no one has considered hiring a photographer to take professional quality pictures as a part of the project; not to mention that the business often doesn't want to invest more money in professional photography.

The Problem?

The problem with this is that your customers are going to know when you use stock photography websites to fill out the content of your website. One thing that I was taught in graphic design school is that you should always take your own photos. Not only do you own the rights to the images that you take, but you also will take pictures of people and places that your customers will know. People like seeing people on websites, and stock photography of generic smiling people elicits the same response from your audience that no pictures would.

What Should I Do?

When you take real pictures of real people that your website visitors will know, you create credibility with them. Credibility is important on the internet. When you come to my website, I want you to know that I am a real person who lives in Fort Myers. All of the photography on my website has been either taken by myself, or photographers that I have hired.

If you decide to use stock photography, make sure to do it tastefully. You should still have pictures of yourself and your business on your website, but you can sprinkle in some stock photography here and there.

Tyler Small - Wednesday, October 09, 2013

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