Absolutely everything you need to know about website photos – with a checklist!
Has your web designer or business coach recommended you get better photos for your website? Your website is your first impression and you want compelling photos that engage with potential clients. I’m in Pasadena, CA, and create website photos for small businesses and solopreneurs.
Table of contents
- Absolutely everything you need to know about website photos – with a checklist!
- Everything you need to know about website photos
- What do good website photos do?
- Position yourself as the best choice for clients searching the web
- Don’t just say it, show it!
- Website photos are essential for a thriving website
- Isn’t stock footage good enough?
- Choosing website photos is a valuable exercise akin to creating a business plan.
- A checklist for creating website photos
- 1. The first thing is to create a shot list
- 2. Provide examples of images you like
- 3. Decide how you’ll use your images
- 4. Landscape (horizontal) or portrait (vertical) orientation
- 5. Social media usage
- I offer a free template to help you create and schedule your social media posts.
- 6. A-roll images
- 7. B-roll images
- 8. High and low-resolution images
- 9. How images help with SEO
- 10. File format
- 11. Wardrobe
- 12. Professional hair and makeup services
- 13. Don’t forget updated headshots!
- What happens when you book a session with me to create website photos
- Which session is right for you?
- Contact me for more info
Everything you need to know about website photos
We’ll go through all the things to consider when designing and creating photos for your website.
I create website photos for Pasadena businesses, but these tips are suitable for anyone. There’s a checklist below.
What do good website photos do?
They evoke emotion, quickly impart visual information, act as signposts to reinforce your message, and add visual appeal.
Good images evoke emotion
What emotions do you want your website visitors to feel? Do you want you and your staff to look happy and like you have fun in the office, or do you want to portray quiet professionalism?
Do your website photos convey the high energy and can-do attitude of a motivational coach or the solid reliability and trustworthiness of an estate planner?
Quickly impart visual information
Is your business service-focused or product-focused?
Are you a clothing designer that focuses on women over 50?
Are you a full-service Pilates studio with a variety of machines?
Website photos move your story along and provide useful visual clues about your business and what you offer.
Even if someone skims your copy, they will take in the visual information provided by your images.
Images reinforce your message
Can you imagine shopping for clothes online if there weren’t photos? It’s not enough to read the description.
If you have website copy about how friendly your staff is, an image of your staff laughing with a customer reinforces that.
When your yoga studio has an outdoor space for classes, you want to show that.
If you are a dog groomer and you love animals, show images of you with your own pets to show that this is more than just a job to you.
Photos make your website look good
If you’re a makeup artist or floral arranger, it’s easy to have beautiful photos that appeal to your clients. But even a law office or business consultant can have images that add to the aesthetic of a website.
Images break up long blocks of text and make your website easier to read.
A cohesive color scheme and compelling images make your website look professional.
Friendly faces and well-photographed product shots welcome a visitor to your site.
Position yourself as the best choice for clients searching the web
Your website is your introduction to clients searching the web. They may not have met you, but your website can give them loads of useful information.
Think of your website as your best salesperson and one that should be working hard for you.
It shouldn’t just sit there looking pretty.
Potential clients want to know who you are and what you offer. Great website photography can create a favorable impression quickly and persuade people to contact you.
Don’t just say it, show it!
A graphic designer needs to portray a different image than a real estate agent. Good website photos can instantly convey the personality of your company.
Your ideal client will be drawn to your branding and your message.
Website photos are essential for a thriving website
Along with keyword optimization, simple informative writing, and a clear call to action, good website photos are essential.
When you look at these website photos I created for this South Pasadena business, you immediately get a feel for the business.
- You can see it’s not a stuffy corporate environment
- The office is pet-friendly
- The people that Kat, the CEO, is working with are having fun
- Kat looks friendly and like she’d be fun to work with (she was)
- There are different ages represented, so she’s not focusing on one demographic
Isn’t stock footage good enough?
No. Why use stale generic photos that could be on any competitor’s site? You need to focus on what makes your company unique and why clients would hire you over someone else.
Stock footage is not an authentic face of your business.
Ask yourself what your selling point is. Why are you better than your competition? Is it your product, your customer service, your experience, or your professionalism?
This is what you want to highlight with your images.
Custom website images are designed with your audience in mind and feature the best parts of your business.
Choosing website photos is a valuable exercise akin to creating a business plan.
When you think about what kind of website photos you need, you consider what your strengths are and what you want to say to your audience.
It forces you to slow down and clarify your focus. Creating a shot list with your photographer organizes your thoughts and benefits your business.
A checklist for creating website photos
1. The first thing is to create a shot list
These are the specific photos you want on your website. You’ll also talk with your photographer, web designer, or business coach about the mood and personality you want to portray.
An example of a shot list for a woman who owns a daycare would be as follows.
Mood: I want bright, colorful images where everyone looks happy and professional. Everything is clean and neat. I want my clients to see I have an indoor playroom, a quiet bedroom for naps, and a backyard where we have water play and active playtime. I am a warm, nurturing, experienced caregiver and I want that to be the focus of my website. People can trust me with their children.
- a traditional headshot looking professional and friendly for my home page
- a portrait of me and my own children for my about page
- headshots of each staff member to accompany their bios
- headshots for my three favorite clients to accompany their testimonials
- environmental shots of me playing in the backyard with the children
- children playing in the kiddie pool
- close-ups of crafts and paintings the children have made
- my staff laughing together
- a child sleeping in the crib looking peaceful
- me and my staff holding children who are happy and/or laughing
- me reading to the children
- the children doing crafts
- a wide shot of my playroom
- individual images of the easels, paints, toys, blocks, and books
- mealtime with the children around the table eating a nutritious lunch
2. Provide examples of images you like
You want to be on the same page as your photographer and make sure your definitions match. It’s a good idea to collect images that portray the image you want.
It’s best to either create a mood board on a site like Pinterest or print them out and have a binder so the photographer can see them beforehand and refer to them during the shoot.
3. Decide how you’ll use your images
Will these be for printed marketing materials and social media? Sometimes it’s useful to have images with a lot of negative space so you can add text later. These can easily be cropped for alternate uses.
4. Landscape (horizontal) or portrait (vertical) orientation
Your website design will determine which kind of images you need. Unless otherwise instructed, I create a variety of each so you have options.
5. Social media usage
We can easily repurpose your website photos for Instagram, LinkedIn, Google Business, and Facebook and I’ll show you how!
Even if you only post a few times a week, you know how difficult it is to come up with fresh content. You need a lot of images.
Here is a sample of the images I created for floral designer Bri Orozco of Blowouts and Blooms.
You don’t have to have a perfectly curated feed to be successful on social media. What’s important is to have images that grab your attention and copy that engages your audience.
It’s helpful to create a simple calendar to organize your social media posts so you can use your images efficiently. I can help you with that, too.
I offer a free template to help you create and schedule your social media posts.
6. A-roll images
Only a small percentage of your images will be used on your website because you’ll be choosing only the best, most engaging images. These are considered your A-roll.
7. B-roll images
These are the supplemental images that are secondary to your most important images. B-roll images are ideal for social media because you’ll have so many of them.
B-roll can include
- alternate headshots that you love, but choose not to have on your website
- environmental shots of your office or studio
- product shots
- casual photos of your team
- lifestyle images showing your interests outside of the office like yoga, running, reading, gardening
- hanging out with your pets
- interacting with clients
- portraits of your favorite vendors to accompany a short story about working with them
8. High and low-resolution images
High-resolution images are large and used for printing and some social media use. If you plan on creating flyers or other printed material, you’ll need high-resolution images.
Low-resolution images are small and used on the web. Smaller size images help your website load faster.
I usually deliver both large and small file sizes so you have options.
9. How images help with SEO
SEO is search engine optimization. The goal of SEO is to appear as one of the first results when someone searches for the service you offer.
Google loves images! Images need proper file names, alt text, and good captions. If this is confusing to you, I can walk you through it.
If you don’t have a website designer, I can show you how to easily optimize your images for the best SEO results.
10. File format
I deliver my images as jpegs. This format works best on websites and social media.
Raw images are straight-out-of-camera images with no adjustments. They are different from unretouched images. Most people don’t have the software to work with raw images.
TIFFS are very large and not appropriate for a website.
Wardrobe is important in conveying your message. It’s an expression of you and your business, so put some thought into it.
Consider your branding colors. Your clothes don’t have to match your website colors, but they should match the mood of your website. This can mean either wearing bright colors or keeping a neutral palette.
You can look at other websites to see what works for you. Don’t forget to add it to your vision board.
12. Professional hair and makeup services
To make your day as stress-free as possible, you can have stylists come to your location and get you camera-ready. It’s one less thing to worry about.
Professional stylists have many years of experience and know exactly how to create a natural, flattering look for website photos and headshots.
13. Don’t forget updated headshots!
We’ll discuss what kind of image you want to project on your website. Modern, energetic, respectable, trustworthy, etc. For example, Chris is a consultant for foundations and wanted a traditional, elegant headshot for her new website, so we created this headshot for her.
What happens when you book a session with me to create website photos
We’ll connect over phone or email and set up a time to talk in-depth.
We’ll go through the checklist above and iron out all the details.
I’ll want to know all about your business and your ideal client. What makes your business great? What do you want to focus on? What’s most appealing to your ideal client?
We’ll discuss all the images you need for your website, social media, and marketing materials. We can share a mood board so I can see what kind of images you like. If you need suggestions, I can help by showing you images that I think will work well.
Which session is right for you?
I offer Full-day and Half-day sessions and they are done on location. All other Branding sessions are done in the studio.
Need headshots for women? Click here.
My photo studio is in Pasadena and I also work on location.
Contact me for more info
Use the contact form to email me, or email me directly at Rebecca@RebeccaLittlePhotography.com
Email is preferred, but you can also call me directly at 626-676-9295
Website photos for a South Pasadena business
For the Branding Session featured above, I created website photos for KSHIFT, a South Pasadena business. This was a full-day session and she received over 400 images.