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This is a headshot of Jillian McBurney.

 

This 3 part series will be focusing on the importance of having good quality images on your website.   Last month I discussed how essential it is to have clear and bright images on your site.  This post will concentrate on composition; why images should be well arranged and a few tips on how to photograph a well composed image.


Composition


As I mentioned in my last post, in an ideal web world every company’s website would contain either stock photos, images provided by a supplier or photographs taken by a professional photographer.  This isn’t always possible and most of the time, I imagine, it is because a budget hasn’t been set aside for it. 
If you must photograph your website images on your own, here are some tips on how to compose your photos more appropriately and attractively.


Create a Common Backdrop
When photographing product shots, take your photos in the exact same spot for all of your products.  Choose a space that is well lit, clutter free and has a neutral background.   These same suggestions should be applied to staff photos too.  Please look at the Bloggers photos to the right of this post.  These photos were taken in a bright room, with a neutral background and everyone was sitting in the same chair in the exact same corner of the room.  These images look unified and not one stands out more than the other.  By following these suggestions your products and staff photos will look unified, clean and (semi) professional.

 

Use a Tripod and Create a Marker


Set up a tripod and put your subjects (products/staff) in the exact same spot before you take the picture.  Using a tripod will ensure that your photos are taken from the same perspective for each photo.  If you have to photograph your products on a surface, such as a table, try using a small piece of tape as a marker so you know exactly where to place your next product when you remove the last product that you just photographed. 

 

Clean Your Products

Remove dust, smudges, fingerprints and wrinkles from your products.  If your products look dirty or used, people will not be interested.

 

Don’t Use Personal Photos


The staff images on your website should not be personal photos.  I have seen a number of websites that use casual, personal photos to populate their “Meet The Team”, “Instructors”, “Staff” and “About Us” pages.  Quite often these photos look unprofessional and sometimes even unfitting given their context. 

I sometimes say, "eeesh!" when I see some photos.... 

I’m not suggesting that corporate photos need to be boring or predictable but if you do want to make your photos a bit more interesting, try to find 1 or 2 factors that are the same in each photo. 

 

Here is an example of some unique and creative Meet The Team photos.  They are all different but yet they complement each other and work well together. http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/about/team

 

This is also a fun approach to a Meet The Team page http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-illustration-9052316-meet-the-team.php

 

SMILE!

 

Don't forget to smile for your photo! If you want to look professional and approachable you need to smile. I doubt you want your photo to look like your drivers licence or a passport photo :)

 

The images used on your website will reflect the quality, attention to detail, professionalism and service that your company provides. Website images should not be dismissed and taken lightly. If you must take your own website photos, take the time and effort to do it right.

 

...You're never fully dressed without a smile.  Who cares what they're wearing on Main Street or Saville Row.  It's what you wear from ear to ear (to ear) and not from head to toe, that ma-a-a-tters...

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