The value of photography in web design
Many designers underestimate the importance of good photography. Don't be one of them, says Kris Jeary of Squiders.
Probably the biggest issue we have in designing a website is the lack of compelling photography.
I really can't state enough just how vital a cog photography is, combined with well written copy it is the meat that goes on the bones of any site, no matter the subject (I will cover content writing in a separate post).
Let's be clear, the internet is a visual media, visitors judge with their eyes and will only digest the content if you make the whole experience a pleasurable one.
Fit for purpose
No matter the images you have in your library they will rarely be suitable for the task. Sorry, but that is most often the case. You need photography that has been taken for purpose, by a professional and with a brief from both client and designer.
Consider the responsive nature of web design, different areas of the photo will be visible depending on the device size. The exact same web page is then rendered differently on different devices but we still keep control.
Directing the shoot
The biggest benefit for me (as a designer) is the ability to direct the shoot in order to obtain images that will work seamlessly with the website, I'm not having to compromise design to fit in with pre-existing images, images that haven't been taken for purpose.
The aim of design is to direct the visitor down paths that will lead to a sale, either online (with eCommerce) or by contacting the company. Every element is important in this and photography, massively so.
People buy from people
Our previous point leads on nicely to the question of stock photography. How can you buy an image that will represent you, your products, your services? How can a visitor trust an invisible supplier?
There is a lot of research showing the psychological issue with trust when buying online, and this isn't just for eCommerce websites, if you have a website highlighting your products or services you are selling online, you want a visitor to trust your business to such an extent they will make contact with you, to potentially throw themselves at a sales pitch, they have to know you are worth it.