Great photos can make the difference between a good website and a great one. If your company’s website is just a mass of text, then claiming that “it’s a business website, and it’s all about the information” is a poor excuse for a lack of thought and investment. I’d accept that argument only if your company’s brochures or Powerpoint presentations are similarly lacking in illustrations due to some sort of “bore the customer into submission” corporate policy. But I bet they aren’t.
So where do we get great photography from? Obviously, most of the material you need for your company publications is going to have to be taken specifically, because it’s going to need to feature your products, people and places. But getting a great new set of photos isn’t that expensive in the great scheme of things. A former colleague of mine in the trade press, now an acclaimed photojournalist, regularly does industrial assignments for £500 which result in dozens of superb images for his clients.
I’ve written before about how a website needs to reinforce that your company is real, with serious people who know what they’re talking about. A well-written blog on the site is the best way to do this, but photographs of key personnel with captions indicating their expertise can also work wonders. Photobooth mugshots do not give out the right impression.
For much of the illustrative material, however, what you really need is a “background” shot, and for those, head to the stock photo libraries, where you can pick up some superbly creative images for £10 or less. The best-known is iStockPhoto, but others are available, as they say. Read this tutorial about how to find images you can use from Flickr.
Whatever else you have to sacrifice from the budget, don’t skimp on the illustrative material.