Royalty Free Images and how to use them on your website
One thing I often notice on websites is poor use of stock imagery. When designing a clients website, I can sometimes spend a lot of time searching for the “right” images, because it can really make or break your website design.
An image can speak a thousand words and images are the first thing that people will see before reading anything on your website. Images should be selected that will of course resonate with the viewer, but there are other important factors in choosing the right images, some of which you will find below.
If you are purchasing any images for your website, make sure to purchase the correct resolution. Some stock image websites will give you the option to buy a certain size, ie small, medium, large or even the original RAW file at its maximum resolution. Avoid being tempted to just go for the cheapest option, as this could result in you purchasing and downloading the file, only to find the size you want to use it at will result in it being pixelated and poor quality on your website.
Image Colour & Tone
One of the things that often gets overlooked when people choose images for their website, is the image colour and tone of an image. If you are going to use stock imagery, try not to just randomly pick images that you like – they need to work as a collective (even if they are on different pages to each other) and they also need to compliment your branding too.
Here is an example… both are “buildings” and might be chosen for use on a property or construction type website, but in this case they should NOT be used on the same website. The colours/hues of the first one are totally different to the second one. As a guide, try and source images that look like they were taken by the same photographer.
Using Your Own Images
If you wish to use your own images for your website, ideally I would advise investing some money on hiring a professional photographer. However, if you choose to take your own pictures, for best results I would strongly advise using a digital camera rather than a mobile phone. I often have clients that provide me with images that have been taken on a mobile phone, often in portrait mode as this is naturally how we take pictures on a mobile. These are not ideal if for example you wanted a full width sliding image banner, as they would need to be landscape to fit the format. Added to this, the resolution might look great on your phone, but not always when resized for your website.
Leaving it to the experts
Of course, this information is useful if you are designing your own website. But if you choose to come to Initiate Create for your website design, then we like to do the hard work for you. We prefer to source our own stock images, as we know what will work best with the overall design, but will of course run them by you first. We can also recommend suitable professional photographers to use if you don’t have anyone in mind.
I hope these tips are useful :)