Good quality imagery in a website is one of the most fundamental elements behind a website being successful one and one which flops.
When we are designing a website for a new client, we are so relieved when we have something decent to work with as we can really get on and do our job, making the website look amazing and push to convert leads.
If you have your own professional images, then they always look better than stock photos. But getting professional photos taken isn’t always convenient, and in those instances photos from stock websites are just fine, don’t let waiting for a professional photo shoot hold up your website being built.
If you need to use stock imagery (we use www.shutterstock.com) there are some easy wins when looking for imagery to add to a website. These are our guidelines as to what’s needed to build a great website:
- Images of your team
- Head shots of each team member to go along with their bio
- A team photo
- Before and after images
- Make sure that these are the original images not edited or cropped, this way we can ensure we make the most of them!
- Images of your facilities (if you have one)
- Real life images of you working with your clients, even if they are just snappy ones on a phone
With those guidelines in mind, what are you looking for in a good photo?
Here are the do’s and don’ts behind picking great images – they might sound obvious, but follow these basic principles and you’ll have the perfect images for your website:
The Motion Blur Image
Fitness images tend to include movement, we’re all cool with that and get it.
However images with motion blur make your website look unprofessional and can make even the best designs look amateur – avoid at all costs, get high resolution and good quality imagery and you’ll stand out above the rest.
The Pixelated Image
We’re not in the 90’s, the web has grown up and can handle high quality images. Even mobiles can handle high resolution images (that’s our job to worry about that for you!) so make sure you have large, clear images and no pixelation evident.
This can happen especially when images have been passed around from several places or your old designer sending you their image which they’ve played around with already, rather than you downloading it direct.
The Already Edited Image
Like getting the hand-me-down images from older siblings, when we’re sent images which have been edited by a previous designer or even by yourself we will always do the best we can with it, but it’s not ideal.
We have personally designed and manipulated thousands of images now, we know what to look for when trying to get a good cut and actually a professional photographer on weekends.
Do leave the editing to the professionals and try to remember why you’re paying us to work with you!
The Badly Cropped Image
Excuse the brash example with this one, but we need to illustrate my point!
Send over the original, untouched images where you have them rather than ones cropped for your old website or even where you’ve done it yourself. You might not notice things which visitors to an outsider would, and first impressions count.
For example in the above shot you may be trying to get an abstract shot of the environment, but what people really see is…well, we’re sure you can see our point.
The Teeny Tiny Image
Make sure your image is BIG, otherwise it will be unusable.
If you’re looking for guidance, at least 1600 pixels wide is a great rule of thumb when you’re looking for an image to be used on your website. Make sure it’s big enough so we can make use of it for you.
Finally, a good image
There’s nothing crazy good or unique about this image, it’s just a good representation of your business and is unedited.
You’d be surprised what we can do with an image which hasn’t been touched, so make sure you send that and we will do our work and make you look great and professional to your clients.
Make sure your images, where you can, are in landscape. Websites are wide and a wide image is better to work with and will be more flexible.
Don’t take this post as criticism, simply friendly advice from a designer who’s build a lot of fitness websites – it’s great to be able to share what us designers look for in an image.
Have any thoughts? considerations? questions? Post below!