It’s been a few months now since I’ve had my Canon XSi and it seems there’s so much to learn about photography that I haven’t had enough time to get out there and play with it. At the same time, this insight into photography has helped increase my awareness of photography selection when it comes to web design. For those who are not familiar with how to select the best photos for their clients the following should be able to get you started in picking photos from stock libraries such as iStock or Getty.
1. Watch the shadows
Shadows are important and generally speaking, the softer the edge a shadow has the better the image. Of course this does have it’s exceptions because of a web page’s content/context.
2. Choose an angle
Depending on the content on your page an how you want to portray information to your audience, picking a photo with the right angle to describe things is important. For example, if we wanted to make the company or client appear great or high in power we’d select images that use a low angle where the subject is above the audience. In contrast, a high angle with the subject below suggests the audience has more authority and control.
3. Check the color
Like your web designs, color is important and a color even the slightest bit darker or lighter can break the experience and interpretation of a site. After spending countless hours searching through stock photography for photos that match the look I want, it clear that there are a lot of “bad” photos out there that any amateur could have taken. How these make it into the library iStock or Getty is anyone’s guess. I did notice though that some of these “bad” photos were very old and dated (clearly taken over 5 years or so ago). Once you have chosen some photos remember to color correct them to suit the needs of the web page and company image. I could go into detail of what is needed to color correct a photo but not today, plus I think this blog here explains it well enough. A a general checkpoint, make sure the main subject(s) in the photo demonstrate the company colors. These subtle hints adds to a site’s character.
4. Don’t be cliche
When it comes to photos it becomes too easy to pick a photo of two business men or women shaking hands to demonstrate good business. This is cliche and should be avoided. You want your client to stand out from the crowds of businesses out there and its important that their photography is unique. Without going out and taking photography yourself, browse and try to find a unique connection between some creative photos and your client’s business. A great example would be Telus and their animals. No connection to phones but its memorable and business appropriate.
Although there are many things to look out for when selecting photos to complement your design know that there are lots of photograph options out there….its just a matter of finding the right ones through the thousands of photos out there. Good luck!