Photography tips for your website – how to choose and get your website images ready

March 28, 2019

I’ve put together this guide on how to get the right photos for your website – as great photos can really make a website have the ‘wow factor’. Hope you find some of the tips helpful.

If taking your own photos, use a camera rather than a cellphone
While smartphone cameras have come a long way, they are still not ideal for a website – so if you can, use a modern camera. Take the photos at the largest pixel setting the camera will go up to and in good light (the golden hours of photography is just after sunrise or before sunset). Photos taken in the middle of the day can be difficult as often the light is too intense.

Selecting photos for website banners or slideshows
To work well within the space of a wide banner or slideshow, the subjects within the photo need to be a little in the distance – as very close up photos can be difficult to use in this space. If you want to have people in your photo and use it as a banner on your site, we will need to crop the image – so make sure that there are no large differences in height (some people seated others standing).

For most banner images we resize images to 1920px wide and around 650px deep. If an image is to be used ‘full screen’ we resize it to 1920px wide and around 1080px deep. We won’t expect you to crop the images or resize them, this information is simply for a photographer so they know how to compose images for banners.

If you would like some text placed over the image, look for photos that have what is called ‘copy space’ this is a plain area of the photo that’s to the left or right of the main subject or subjects of the photo. For example, in a photo of a ‘rural scene’ cows might be to the right of the photo and grass to the left.

Choose photos that help to tell your story
You want to choose photos that are in context with what you are saying and help to build your brand and story. 

Taking photos of Small Products
If you need to take photos of products, ensure the product is on a white background. This could be as simple as setting the product on some large white butcher’s paper or a white sheet. If you want a semi-professional look without the cost, there are low-cost solutions such as light boxes you can place the product in for the photo. If you are into DIY you could also fashion your own lightbox.

Tips on taking team member photos
If you are taking your own team member photos, try to get a consistent look for everyone (heads and shoulders photos with the same amount of zoom for everyone). To achieve this, the camera and the subject must be the same distance apart for all photos with the same focal length used for every photo. 

Place a marker (like a strip of tape) on the ground that the subject can line up with and another for the photographer. Use a tripod if possible and make sure the camera uses the same focal length for all subjects (not zoomed in for some and zoomed out for others). Use the portrait mode on your camera if it has one. Try to photograph everyone at the same time of day in the same lighting conditions.

You can get quite a professional look by placing team members in the corner of two walls that have a white or grey background. Window lighting (preferably from a South facing window) can be very flattering. You can also direct a nice soft light onto the subject’s face by using anything that has a large white surface (cardboard painted white for example). 

Alternatively, hire a professional photographer – as average team photos are one of the hardest things to improve.

Acquiring New Zealand Stock Photos
There are a number of NZ stock photos sites – they are often a lot more expensive than international ones.

You might like to try:

Free Stock Photo Websites
There are a number of good websites that provide free stock photos that can be used in commercial applications. You might like to check out:

https://pixabay.com/ 
https://www.pexels.com/ 
https://unsplash.com/ https://stocksnap.io/

I hope you find some of these tips useful. If you have any questions at all about selecting your photos, please just ask.



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