Website Redesign: Stock Imagery vs. Custom Photography

By Amanda Singleton

the3cats / Pixabay

The photographs used in a website redesign are important to the overall effectiveness and user experience of the site. Captivating visuals represent your company and better communicate your brand to the customer. Marketers know this—according to one report, 37 percent of them say visuals are the most important form of content, trailing only blogging at 38 percent. Dynamic pictures on your webpages draw visitors in. Lackluster photos, or no photos at all, may bore them enough to click away.

With this clear strategy in mind, another decision must be made: how to secure the imagery you plan to use. Many questions emerge:

  • “Where do I find a professional photographer?”
  • “How expensive will it be?”
  • “Should I download stock photos?”
  • “I just bought the latest iPhone; maybe I should shoot the pictures myself?”

Even photos that best represent your brand won’t offer an impact if they are blurry or look like pictures included in a cheap frame you buy from the store. You could hire a professional to produce these important images, or you can try it on your own. Or you could go the stock photo route. Here is a look at the advantages and disadvantages of custom photography—whether it’s professional or DIY—and stock imagery:

Professional Photography

Obviously, this is the most expensive option—and, frankly, the option for which you don’t want to go cheap, lest you get what you pay for. The benefits of a professional photographer can go a long way in terms of connecting with your audience. You want your website imagery to deliver the most positive and beneficial portrayal of your company possible; an expert can help you achieve that goal.

For starters, a professional photographer will account for lighting and composition—things your coworker with an iPhone might not consider. Professionals also can better focus on staging the subject involved so that pictures look less posed and more authentic.

A professional photographer will also take pictures of your actual business and employees—everything that makes your company unique. This might include the office environment, fellow employees, and the customers using your product. Such a personal touch builds a better relationship with future customers visiting your website.

Hiring a professional is an excellent strategy if you plan on highlighting the entire staff, say on an “About” or company page, so that photos are consistent and appealing. Moreover, if you are selling a product or a service, a professional can showcase pictures in the product or service’s most realistic form so that customers won’t be fooled. Again, authenticity is important, and the best photographers do not disappoint.

Do-It-Yourself Photography

Because of cost or other factors, you may want to give the DIY approach a whirl. You don’t always need fancy lighting or expensive camera equipment to take a great picture for your website redesign. Many high-quality smartphones and DSLR cameras are on the market that don’t require experts to use. However, you should take some precautions: