Even if you dress up and pick a pretty background, selfies won’t cut it for your website photos.But don’t take my word for it; here’s some legit advice from the first professional photographer I ever hired — my wedding photographer Rachel, who blew my mind with the amazing images she was able to capture.
Photos are the first thing people are going to notice when they see your site and before they even start trying to read anything they are going to make some quick judgements about you based on the visuals. It’s just how the human brain works. So having beautiful professional photography is one of the most important things you can do have a successful website.
You Need Pro Website PhotosIf you’re going to the trouble to create or update your website, you should invest in quality pictures of you. (Yes, even if you hate having your picture taken. Yes, even if you are insanely busy.) If you want to be taken seriously by prospective clients and customers, you need to take yourself seriously first, and pro websites are part of that. And as you can see from my website, I practice what I preach; I had my headshots (and family photos!) taken by the fabulous Ashley Wilbur, who suggests this:
We live in a digital world where calling a phone number is pretty much obsolete. Your website and social media profiles are the first things that a potential client looks at. Having high quality images of yourself can make that first impression a great one. It shows that you are professional, you take your career seriously and that you value quality.
- horizontal shots and vertical ones
- classic close up head shots
- images of you looking directly at the camera
- images of you at work
- wide angle shots with room for text (These are really useful for headers — especially if you’re off-center, and there’s a quieter background behind you. You’ll notice my header has a black background, which makes it super easy to add text!)
Things to Think About When Hiring a PhotographerWhat else gets in the way of booking a photographer for your website photos? What should I wear? For starters, pick something you feel comfortable in. If you don’t, it’s probably going to show in the pictures. Be on brand—that doesn’t mean you need to look like a color palette for your website, but choose things that fit your brand and won’t clash with your colors. Try to get your colors in, even if it is in an accent piece like a necklace, tie, or scarf. Where should I get my pictures taken? If you have a bright, uncluttered work space, it makes a lot of sense to get pictures there. If your office is dark and you can’t imagine clearing a space big enough for pictures, talk to your photographer about options. They may know places you wouldn’t have thought of or have a space where they can set you up. Again keep in mind your brand. Do you want an edgy feel or a homey one? Does a cafe setting work or an office or outdoors . . . ? Am I getting what I need? Check out the list of different types of shots above. You can also ask your web designer and photographer if there is anything particular they think you need. And while you’re getting photos done, think about whether you want any personal stock photography. Think:
- pictures of your workspace (wide shots and details), like your office or studio or your desk or a corner of it.
- images of your signature product, even pictures of an online product pulled up on a phone or laptop.
- the antique tea pot your serve clients tea out of
- the altar in your meditation space<
- the journal and pen you send to new clients to track their big ideas
- your dog who greets everyone who comes to the door