In the 10+ years that I’ve been on-line marketing I’ve had several photoshoots to get some lovely photoshopped pics of myself… you know the ones that make you look skinnier and eliminate ‘smile lines’… 🙂 on a serious note though, with every one of them I’ve walked away getting better at knowing what I want and need and also what works best for websites!
Having a photoshoot for your website can be expensive, but it’s totally worth it! Great images can completely change the look and feel of a website and regardless of whether we like it or not – people do judge us based on our images – you’ve got a few short seconds to make an impression!
So today I am sharing with you a fairly exhaustive list and some simple instructions to share with your photographer – as the photoshoots can be costly – you really want to get it right!
Your prep work is incredibly important as you will be guiding the photographer. Whilst great photographers aren’t hard to find, many of them don’t understand the requirements of doing a photoshoot for the purpose of web design.
You’ll want to have a map out of the pages and services that you’re going to offer as it will give you ideas for what kind of shots that you’re going to want.
As a standard rule of thumb you’re going to want to have some nice profile shots, but you’ll also need images that can be used across the top of your website – this means they need to be wider.
One image used in 3 different ways- the white background made it easy to to enable me to create a transparent background which meant I could use this picture on any background I wanted
2. Discover What You Like
Take the time to snoop around websites of people you admire or competitive business’s and see what kind of images they have. Whilst we can use stock photos on your site – your own photos will always look better; especially even more so if people buy YOU.
If you click on an image you should be able to ‘right click’ and save the photo to your computer, either create a file for your images that you can share with your photographer OR copy and paste the links to a Microsoft Word doc and then you can send that to them.
It’s actually great to put it on a word doc because then you can explain what you like about the images and how they will work for you / where you’re going to use them.
Having a white background and space around me made these images incredibly flexible and they were my most used images
3. Doing the Shoot
Firstly, consider the backgrounds and do your wardrobe selection accordingly. Plain walls are always great as you can be cut out of the background and placed on to any background you like – getting at least 5 or 6 of these kinds of photos is ESSENTIAL.
Secondly look for backgrounds or clothing that will compliment your website colours. For example – if your logo and website colours will be purple and turquoise – you in bright red may not look quite right! However a white shirt / dress on a colourful background could look stunning! Really take the time to think about this – it sucks to get the images back only to realise that the photos are just not going to work.
A mixture of studio and outdoors can always work REALLY well.
I got some different stances to use for marketing; think eBook covers, promotions etc and start to take notice of what others are doing in their ads to get ideas.
Really consider where images might go on your website – these were header images I used on my last website for a client
4. The Photos
When having your shoot let the photographer know that you want lots of background in your images and get lots of variety in your poses and backgrounds. Have some of your images with you to the left and others with you placed right and centered in the shot and also some plain backgrounds that can be made transparent down the track should the need arrive.
I loved all of these images but couldn’t use them anywhere because they had all been cropped and I didn’t have the original photos.
CAUTION THE PHOTOGRAPHER ON CROPPING – Most photographers get all artistic and go to town on the cropping to make the images look better – but it’s not practical for your website – a couple are ok and you will find a use for those – but ask them not to cut your shoulders or any part of you so that you have that option down the track.