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3 min read

Why You Should Hire a Professional Photographer for Website Graphics

When our team at StoryTeller launches a website development project, one of the first questions we ask is, "Do you have graphics?" While the answer is typically yes, when we receive them, they're often not ideal and sometimes unusable. The irony is that one of the main reasons why our clients choose to redesign their website is to improve the graphics. When we encourage our clients to hire a professional photographer, we're sometimes met with budget and time restrictions. So, where do we begin?

Enter, stock photography. While providers like Adobe Stock are offering higher quality, a broader selection, and less expensive, stock photos and graphics should be used to "fill in the blanks" next to copy that's not as specific to the organization. They're also great for social media (is anyone who knows me fooled by the cover photo?) and when a certain size or proportion is unavailable. However, with a little planning upfront, a photo shoot could include all of the concepts and sizes for many digital use cases.

Create a Checklist

Photographers are typically very creative people with an eye for capturing beautiful images. But sometimes, you simply need a picture of a piece of machinery or the front of your building. Work with your website designer to determine what images should be captured in the photos, what proportion (landscape or portrait), the largest pixel size required, and how they will be cropped. For instance, if a photo will be used in the hero of a website with a navigation overlay, there should be some space at the top before you see the main part of the image. Otherwise, heads could get cut off or it will be difficult to determine the subject.

A checklist will also help the photographer plan their shoot so that outdoor photos can be taken during ideal lighting times. Consider uses beyond the website such as social media and print which could require different proportions and resolutions. Finally, a checklist will ensure nothing gets forgotten.

Include People in Your Photos

StoryTeller specializes in providing online marketing strategies for the private club industry, crafting online assets that showcase some of the world's most beautiful golf courses.While a country club's golf course is often it's top asset, there are other factors in determining which club to choose, and for many, it's the community. And what's in a community? People. It's hard for prospects to get a vision of their life as members if you show empty pools, lonely dining rooms, and no one golfing on the course.

Images with people help communicate lifestyle which is what differentiates a golf course from a golf club. But nearby courses are not our clients' only competition. The younger generation values experiences so clubs are competing against other hobbies, cabins up north, and travel. High-end resorts do a great job of showing people experience their amenities through effective photography.

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Considerations

If you're planning to shoot in different areas around your club or organization, consider hiring a model. Hiring professional models streamlines your photoshoot, saving you valuable time (remember, a photographer's time is an investment). Their experience ensures they can deliver professional-grade shots efficiently. 

Video is becoming even more important and effective in website graphics. Consider hiring a photographer with video or even drone experience to capture even just a few quick shots that can be used in a website hero.

If your employees, clients, or members will be subjects, consider having them sign a waiver. It is a simple process and helps prevent use and licensing issues. And, if any members will be photographed in a swimsuit (particularly children), show them proofs of the photos and get their approval in advance.

One of the most common pages that users visit on a website is the About Us page. So, show your team with professional headshots! They can then use the photos for LinkedIn & on blog articles that they write. 

Maybe you have an employee or member who is a photographer on the side or could trade goods or services with you. Just remember the professional aspect of that title as they should have experience and high-quality equipment.

Plan Ahead

When you're planning the cost and timing of a website redesign, factor in a professional photographer and get that done first! When you have a beautiful new website that reflects all the benefits of doing business with you or being a member of your club, you won't regret it.

 

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