Don’t take your own website photos

By Tim Priebe on January 9, 2009

By Tim Priebe on January 9, 2009

If your business is like many other small businesses, you’re probably on a relatively tight budget, even when creating a website. You’ve signed a contract with a web design company, and they’re wanting your content for the website, including photographs. Money is tight, so you opt to take them yourself.

Big mistake.

Taking the photographs yourself will, 99% of the time, result in ruining the visual aspect of the website you’ve just paid big bucks for. It’s like paying for a commercial during the Superbowl, then trying to shoot it yourself with a $200 camcorder.

But I have a nice, expensive camera

“But Tim,” you might say, “I just paid big bucks for this fantastic camera. My photos are going to look great!”

While a fantastic camera along might work for family photos or vacation memories, it doesn’t mean your pictures are going to be good enough to pass muster for your website. After all, if better equipment was all that was needed, couldn’t anyone perform brain surgery?

Okay, okay, so that’s a pretty extreme example. Let’s look at something a little closer to home for the average small business. What about printing your own business cards with a nice new printer? After all, printers have come a long way from the old days. But let’s face facts. Business cards printed on your printer are still not going to look as good as a professional printer.

It’s the same exact thing with photography.

A picture’s just a picture

“You’re just making a mountain out of a mole hill,” you might respond. “My photos aren’t going to make that big of a difference.”

Really? Studies performed at the University of Aberdeen asked website visitors to rank the credibility of an article. The first group had a good photograph of a doctor, the second a poor photograph of a doctor, and the third had the article with no photograph at all. The highest ranked version in terms of credibility was the one with the good photograph, the second the one with no photograph, and coming in last place was the one with the poor photograph.

I’m under no illusions that this will convince all small business owners to pay a professional to take photographs for their website. But there are plenty of options better than doing it yourself. You can use stock photos, hire a student, or hire a hobbyist. There are plenty of inexpensive options available.


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