One of the best things you can do for your new website design is to get professional photos taken. Sure, there are plenty of stock photo options out there, and you might even have some of your own photos in a file somewhere.
Instead of the using stock photos or cell phone photos, we recommend using professional photos.
Reasons Against a Stock Approach
While stock photography has grown in quality and relevance and dropped in price, many people can recognize a stock image. That means it’s no longer personal. Taking a stock photo approach means you take the personality out of your photos. You aren’t making the same personal connection with a visitor as you would with real photos of your organization or business.
Why is that bad?
If you’re trying to showcase your space, your people, or your products, then you’re not representing any of that with a stock photo. You aren’t giving a visitor insight into who you truly are and what you truly offer.
We absolutely know people make decisions based on personal connection. So if you leave that out of your photography, you’ve missed out on one of the greatest decision making factors.
Sure, there are areas of your website where you may need to use a stock image. That’s completely understandable. We even do it. It’s quick and affordable when you need an image.
Reasons Against an Amateur Approach
Amateur photos aren’t bad. You need amateur photos for social media and for some areas of your website. It’s totally acceptable. However, you don’t want your website homepage and main pages to be amateur.
Taking the amateur route detracts from your professionalism. It tells visitors that you didn’t take much time or spend much to showcase your organization. A visitor might wonder if you take the same approach with your products and/or services.
Again, it doesn’t present your organization as best as possible. People will notice. Don’t start on the wrong foot.
A Professional Approach - Case Study of Photography
The staff at Brighton ARP church approached us to design their new website, but they also realized something else before getting started…
They only had amateur photos, which meant their website design couldn’t reach its full potential no matter how well designed. Without the right photos, it just wouldn’t convey the right image of the church.
So, our team collaborated with Brighton ARP to take photos during a Sunday service to truly capture the essence of the church and what happens on a Sunday.
Capturing the People
People matter for all organizations, but especially for a church. A church is built around the community of its members, so we needed to accurately capture and portray the people of Brighton ARP.
You’ll see this as you scroll down on the homepage of the website. You’re immediately shown the people of the church and you make an initial connection.
This is important especially for someone exploring and considering the church. If it’s a parent, they are looking for photos of other children and their involvement in the church. They want to picture their children fitting in. As you can see, children and families are portrayed, so a parent would feel more at home from just a few seconds of viewing these photos.
As you browse through the ministries of the church ,you’ll notice the subpages are titled Youth, Women, and Men. As you read these and click into the pages, you’re expecting to see some imagery of those groups.
We strategically placed images we captured of each of those groups so a visitor can immediately get a glimpse into the youth, men and women of the church.
Capturing the Culture
A visitor has many questions before they attend a church—what is the dress code? Do they use technology or not? What is the worship style like? Are there Sunday school classes?
While you can answer those questions in text, people want a glimpse into the church so they can see for themselves. Attending a new church is often intimidating for many people. To ease some of the intimidation, we made it easy for people to get the glimpse they need.
Because of these photos, you can easily gather what people wear. You can also see the church is more traditional and uses hymnals for singing, which makes some people feel more comfortable and at home. You can also see there are Sunday school classes and times for small groups to gather, so if that’s something you’re looking for, you know it is offered and what the setting is like.
Capturing the Place
A church is certainly the people, but the people also gather in a place. People like to see the place where they will be gathering and become familiar with it even before they step foot into a building.
On Brighton ARP’s website, a visitor instantly sees the sanctuary and becomes familiar with the worship space. Again, this is about making a visitor feel comfortable and at home. If a visitor sees a stock image upon loading the homepage, they won’t connect with the place and will not feel as comfortable from the beginning. This could ultimately turn someone away.
We were purposeful in getting imagery of the church building so a visitor could see himself or herself within the walls of the building.
Professional photography makes a difference. If you are considering a site redesign or wanting to give a spark to your current website, professional photos is the way to go. Are you ready to talk? Let’s hear from you!
Let's talk photos!