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Where to get images for your website

13th November 2015

Images are one of the most important features of any website – it’s photos of your product, team, location and offering that really sell you as an individual, business or organisation, so it’s imperative that these images are high quality and will have a positive impact on the website visitor.

­You can source images in a number of different ways, so we have provided you with a little information on how you can do it yourself.

Do it yourself

This is one of the more common methods for website owners. Almost all digital cameras of today are high enough quality for web, so as long as you’ve got a steady hand and an eye for detail, you should be able to snap some decent enough photos.

You know your business better than anyone, so it’s you who will know how you want to appear online. However, remember to take photos of what the client wants; not necessarily what you want!

If you’re going to go down the DIY route, you should consider investing in a decent camera for the company – a standard DSLR camera should do the trick. Try to avoid taking photos will mobile phone if possible – while these are of a much higher quality now, there will be a noticeable quality different between mobile phone photos and a proper camera’s photos.

Hire a professional

One of the best things you could do for your website is to hire a professional photographer to take your photos. A photographer would typically come in and take a large number of photos and provide you with a library of the best ones – these will be much higher quality and much more creative than the average person could create, and as the saying goes “you get what you pay for”.

The great thing about these photos is that they will have a great shelf life – they will likely be taken on a high end camera which means that the images will be extremely high quality which will enable you to manipulate the images in whichever ways you want, allowing you to use them on your website, social media and marketing materials.

Source them online

There are a couple of different options when sourcing images from the internet. You could use a paid, professional stock photo website like iStockPhoto, or you could source free ones from elsewhere.

There will be a noticeable difference between the two – paid images from sites like iStockPhoto will be of higher quality, but typically feature a lot of Americanised shots (i.e. extremely happy people in board rooms with bleached white teeth laughing) – you can occasionally find images to fit your business, but you have to do some digging. These images are taken by professionals so therefore have a cost associated to them, but you pay for quality. The other alternative is to use free image sites and search engines will allow for creative commons searching. Websites like Google and Flickr have options to toggling creative commons or “free to use” images, and some stock sites like Pixabay allow a mixture of professional photographers and illustrators to upload free to use images. When writing Cosmic blogs, I often use Pixabay to source the header photos as we find them to be of high quality.

How do I decide?

There are a number of factors you should be considering, and the main one is “what is your product?”

If your product is a physical product that someone will be buying or some sort of accommodation, then the stock photography route is something you should avoid at all costs and ideally go down the route of hiring a professional. If you don’t really have a product, let’s say you provide a psychotherapy service, then stock/sourced photos can work just fine. There would be lots of images you could find to fit a niche like that, so try searching the web for some related images that would match how you want to portray yourself.

If you have any questions about sourcing photographs for your website or would be interested in Cosmic helping you, please get in touch with our web team on 0845 094 6108, or send an e-mail to [email protected]