As we roll into 2021, there’s no better time to assess the photos on your website and find ways to level up for the new year. After all, your website is your primary online marketing hub where your audience can find everything they need to know about your business. It works for you 24-7 and even while you sleep. How does it get any better than that?
More than that, photos have a way of captivating your soul, when they are meaningful. We’ve all seen those websites where the images stir something deep inside you and awaken a longing for something better. They inspire you to take action and explore the possibilities.
If you’re ready to harness the power of what great website photography can do for you, stick with me. It’s easier than you think. If you’re ready to elevate your brand this year, let’s dive in.
The power of good website photography
One of my favourite activities during the design of a website is choosing the photos. The right photos can set the tone and the mood of your website and completely change your brand on so many levels.
The goal of photographs on your website is to create an experience for your audience that is focused on serving and connection over selling.
You are building something bigger than the services you sell or the promise to your clients. Your photography is one of the foundations that can amplify your brand and how you want to be perceived as a business.
Have you ever experienced that feeling when you see a photo and you can picture yourself using that product or service? When people believe that you can deliver the results you promise, they can picture themselves working with you, they get excited about working with you. They can picture the transformation after working with you. That’s the power of a picture. You can take them one step closer to working with you by showing that photo of how it would feel to be working with you.
If you’ve ever had your website updated by a designer that understands how to effectively incorporate meaningful photos, you know how much more confident you feel about sharing your website. Increased confidence translates to increased credibility which results in more clients and increased income.
Having a professional photographer take pictures for your website empowers you to define how you want to be perceived and how you want your clients to feel. You determine the vibe, the tone and the simplicity of the photos. It allows you to be authentic and no one else can replicate that (unless you have a twin)! Your photos will uniquely represent your brand and you won’t have to worry about copyright issues.
If you’re anything like me, you’re subscribed to one too many email lists and sometimes you can’t even remember who they are or why you signed up. Every email you get from them, you are using up time you don’t have perusing through these emails trying to find that nugget of value that compelled you to sign up in the first place. This is where the value of brand recognition comes in and what simpler way to convey that than a simple headshot of yourself. Your audience will remember your face and eventually, when you decide to buy, it will be like they are a dear old friend that you know, like and trust. That’s the power of brand recognition.
Stories of how website photography makes a difference
More and more of my clients are arranging to have professional photoshoots done for their websites and it certainly makes them more authentic and memorable. Every photo is intentionally selected to evoke a certain emotion or convey a certain vibe so that visitors are more engaged and more inclined to continue exploring the website.
Lisa invites visitors to get curious and explore the possibilities
Take for example, my client, Lisa J. Weiss, from I of the Storm Coaching and Consulting. She hired Nancy Bell to take her photos and they were spectacular. At first, Lisa felt uncomfortable about having photos of herself all over her website. I explained to Lisa that each photo was intentionally selected to evoke an emotion from her viewers to either entice them to explore or get a sense of what it would be like to work with Lisa. For example, on her testimonials page, we chose a photo that conveyed genuine gratitude for the feedback shared by her clients – you can see in her face that she is being sincere and this creates a feeling of trust.
Lisa’s photos, poses and backgrounds were designed to create the tone of her site which can be described as "an invitation to get curious and explore with the promise of transition and transformation . Her consult form was designed to be inviting, thoughtful and fun - once again - inviting her audience to embark on a journey and explore the possibilities.
Laura portrays a sense of energy, joy and peace
Another client, Laura Kissmann, a holistic nutritionist, chose to have a professional photoshoot with Julie Hunter. Laura chose vibrant colours to reflect the vibrancy of whole healthy foods and the vibe of energy, joy and peace. On her services page, you can see she is inviting you to work with her and you can feel her energy of calm with the vibrancy of the colourful green juice and fresh vegetables on the counter.
Great photographs show what your clients can expect
Is your mouth watering yet? I know I'm craving something sweet right now!
People see exactly what they can expect down to the way the light falls on that fresh juicy strawberry. A poorly composed photo with poor lighting and shadows can lead your audience to question the quality of the food.
This is your opportunity to attract your ideal clients. So tap into your vision and captivate your audience. Focus on what will entice your audience and you are one step closer to converting them into a buyer.
Just like food, you can attract the younger and upcoming audience you want to work with by taking photos that are casual and dynamic (rather than the traditional headshots). Get creative and explore the magic of photography.
Top 5 reasons great photography is important to your website
A good photographer helps you translate your business goals and vision into photos and graphics that amplify and elevate your brand. Understand your goals so they can enhance the features you would like your visitors to notice such as colors, or patterns or feelings.
The purpose of your photographs is draw people in and help them take the next step by simply browsing through your website.
As they browse, they get a deeper sense of who you are and what you offer. Great photography is multi-dimensional in that it can elevate your brand in many ways. I’ve listed just a few below.
Your business appears more professional
When your visitors see high resolution pristine photos on your website that create an experience, accentuate your expertise and connect with your audience, they will take you more seriously. Your investment in great website photography shows that you believe in your business and the experience you provide to your clients. Having an authentic headshot of yourself puts a face to your business and makes your website more personable – your visitors are more likely to recognize your business in the future. The bottom line is that great photographs position you as a professional so people take you and your business seriously.
You create an authentic and memorable brand
Attracting the clients that you love to work with can transform your business. They will energize and inspire you. The magic of photography is that you can use photos to emphasize your uniqueness and amplify your brand so that it is recognizable and memorable. Creating an authentic brand attracs more of those visitors that resonate with how you work and provide a win-win outcome for both of you. Your audience will recognize your brand simply by your photos before they see your name.
You are more likely to be found in a Google Search (better SEO)
According to HubSpot, statistics show that people are more likely to click on a description with a photo. This translates to more engagement and the potential for more clients. You can also leverage the power of your photo by using the alt text to include more of your keywords to increase your chance of being found.
Your visitors are more likely to convert into customers
Being intentional about your photoshoot allows you to strategically plan out each and every photo. You need to ask yourself what the goal is of the photo and plan accordingly. Is it to convey how warm and inviting you are? Is to share the results they can expect from working with you? Is it to emphasize the kind of experience they can expect?
By being purposeful about your photoshoot, you can instantly capture your visitors' attention, create empathy for their situation, and pique their curiosity.
Providing irresistible images enables you build trust and credibility that you can deliver the results they want and the vision they have, and they can imagine the possibilities - then you will have a new client to work with.
More visitors share you blog posts
We all love a great photo. Especially when it resonates with something that we are passionate about. One photo I absolutely love is the one below taken by Tamer Farouk Khalifa. This totally embodies living in the present, doesn’t it?
When you use photography that captures your audience’s attention, they are more likely to share the photo (and your article) and this is a great way to boost your social media visibility. Another advantage is that you can use your photographs across all your content marketing – there are no limitations on how often to use the photo or how many views it has – you own it so you have complete control over its use.
What to consider when selecting a photographer
You’re busy in your business doing what you do best along with taking care of running your business. You’re an expert in your field and your photos are lack-luster – but you don’t know what’s missing. Plus you don’t have the equipment, the lighting nor the skill to determine the best composition for your photos.
The beauty of hiring a photographer is that they take care of everything.
Your photographer will take care of equipment, lighting, layout, composition, your story, editing, file type, sizing, etc. You can focus on what you do best and let them take care of the details.
Not all photographers are created equal. Some are great a headshots, others at food photography and some may be exceptional at weddings. When it comes to images for your website, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when hiring a photographer.
Does the photographer’s style resonate with your vision?
Everybody has a different style that they resonate with. If your photographer only does modern edgy photos and you are more of a holistic earth loving Entrepreneur, then you may not get the results you are looking for. Taking the time to find a good fit is essential.
Is the photographer curious about your brand story?
It’s important to arrange a consult meeting with them to see if they ask questions about your business, how you want to be perceived and the story you want to tell through your photography. Are they asking for a mood board depicting settings, poses and vibe so they truly understand your style and goals.
Your photographer needs to clearly understand your brand vibe so that you create an experience that resonates with your ideal client.
Is your brand vibrant, colourful and energizing or is it warm, inspiring and inviting? Maybe it’s minimalistic, peaceful and comforting. Your photographers needs to be willing to explore your vision so you can establish an authentic and consistent brand for your website.
Does the photographer understand the requirements for a website?
Images can be used in multiple locations on a website to amplify your messaging. Many websites use panoramic photos at the top of each page. Often the images need to be extended to fit the width of the page which means the photo needs to be edited so it’s important to have space around the main focal point to extend the image.
Images need to be taken in both portrait and landscape mode to accommodate cropping and adding text. Oftentimes, panoramic images have text overlay on the right or left of the images so photos will need to have the focal point on the left or the right.
Simple is best. Having one goal and one focal point for each image will make it much easier for your web designer to strategically incorporate your photos on your website to captivate your visitors and take them on a buying journey.
Have fun with your photography
Go ahead and get out there. Hire that photographer. Dare to be you. Push those limits. Have a little fun with it.
Embrace your brand. What’s the worst that can happen?
Your brand gets recognized? You attract more clients? And not just any clients, the ones that resonate with your brand.
Great photography helps capture the essence of your business.
Effectively used, good photos can help engage your audience, inspire social sharing and ultimately help you attain more business goals such as attracting more visitors to your website.
Using a good photographer can mean more web traffic. It’s that simple. And that’s what I want for you.
That’s it for the power of website photography. I hope this leaves you inspired, encouraged, and excited to share your uniqueness with the world. If you agree, go ahead and share this post. Spread the joy of intentional photography so we can all embrace our authenticity and make this world a better place.