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As you fly about the web in these fast-paced days, what is one way a site can immediately convey an idea?

Photography.

Yes, it is worth a thousand words. Your eyeballs understand a photo in a microsecond. As such, it is imperative to find the right photos for your website.

So, what are your choices?

Here we cover stock photos, professional photos, phone photos, and wrap up with a handful of tips and advice.

Stock Photos

There are an incredible array of stock photography image banks online. They range from free to mid to steep, but your photo is out there, waiting to be claimed. Options abound…

Free Stock

Stock for Purchase

Professional Photography

For the ultimate in customized, hire a professional photographer. Their photos make a professional impression and immediately communicate an idea. Examples in our web portfolio…

Model Calysta savoring DANCIN’s Oregon Chardonnay.

DANCIN Oregon Chardonnay

Laurie Sager’s stunning portfolio of landscape artistry. Photos by David Gibb.

Laurie Sager Landscape Architect

Artist Deb Van Poolen teaching outdoors. Photo by Debra Thornton.

Biodiversity Arts - Deb Van Poolen

Fresh beer at Common Block. Photo by George Rubaloff.

Common Block Brewing Company

Culinary delights at Rose Hill B&B. Photo by David Gibb.

Rose Hill B&B

La Clinica’s midwife cradling a newborn baby.

La Clinica

Clean mid-century-modern furniture at ARP MCM Design. Photo by David Gibb.

Arp MCM Design

The scientific minds at Vista Pathology. Photo by Jared Cruce.

Vista Pathology Lab - Photo by Jared Cruce

The fairy tale setting at Belle Fiore vineyard. Photo by Christopher Briscoe.

Belle Fiore Vineyard

Most of the photos on our Ruby Slipper website were taken by the incredibly talented Debra Thornton.

Ruby Slipper photos by Debra Thornton

Mobile Phone Photos

Built-in phone cameras have come a long way, and are definitely an option. Some people are exceptional. I bow to Maia Black, Executive Director of The Selberg Institute. Her photos of lizards, flowers, and oak tree landscapes are stunning! And all taken with her mobile phone.

Product Photography

Sometimes it’s best to get your own supplies for ongoing eCommerce product photography — you can use a high-end camera or mobile phone. Our wonderful clients Village Shoes and Essential Three Oils both take their own photos. Here’s the gist of what you need:

  • The area where you will take photos — a table or chair
  • A background — often white poster board curved so it doesn’t show a seam
  • A tripod for photo consistency
  • Natural or artificial diffused light
  • Portrait mode to emphasize the product
  • Photoshop or other image program to touch up the shot before posting

There are tons of articles on DIY product photography — here’s one we love from HubSpot.

Diversity

The United States is a beautiful blend of people of all colors. Just like we all want superheros that look like us, so do we want the photos we see in magazines and websites to reflect all of humanity. It’s more important than ever to embrace and show the variety of human beings in this country.

A Word About Staff Photos

Friends don’t let friends take staff photos. Please hire a professional. The difference is extreme. Don’t stand Johnny by the water cooler under the yellow buzzing office light and hope for the best — it will be terrible. If you must take them, go outside when the light is soft and find a lovely foliage backdrop.

A Word About Cheesy Photos

We’ve all seen it. The perfect family nestled in the grass. The over-smiling surgeon in the operating room. Just say no. You can smell the fakery and so can your visitors. It feels sleazy and dishonest. Steer clear and stay true!

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Have something to add? We would love to hear from you!