Cell phone photos may be free but they look like cell phone photos.  There is a noticeable difference between well-lit pro photos and cell phone photos.  Your business or product is too important to use amateur photos.  Any good marketing expert will tell you pro photos impress and they make a striking difference in the first impressions you have about the business or product you are considering.  Your web site is a powerful marketing tool for your business but only if it’s well designed and contains pro photos, custom and /or stock photography that look first rate.   So, going for free web site photography might save you money but will likely hurt your first-rate impression.

Hire a pro photographer to shoot custom photos of your product or services. Dynamic, pro photography is utterly essential. “A picture speaks a thousand words” is an old expression that happens to hold very true. Use a professional portrait of yourself or your staff to convey a more personal feeling of whom your prospect can look forward to dealing with. A web site without people photos can feel alienating, distant and impersonal. Clients and customers like to see you they will be doing business with.

In addition to custom photos, have your graphic designer use stock photography on your web site. There are thousands of great Royalty Free images out there for sale at a very reasonable price, as low as $9. to $29 per professional photo. These can really help convey the professional services or product you are selling and make people want to read your web site copy. What is Royalty Free Stock Photography?  This is pro photography anyone can purchase for very reasonable (discounted) prices compared to custom photography as the images may be a little older or shot specifically for stock agencies and once you pay for it you have legal permission to use it for your web site or marketing materials on an unlimited basis compared to rights managed stock photography which is a the category they give to the elite photography that is what we might call “A caliber”. These rights managed photography and is priced basis on usage and length of time the image used.  I have paid as much as $1,200. For one premium rights protected image for a fortune 500 client who wanted to use one image on the cover of a brochure that I printed about 170,000 copies of in 8 different languages.  The advantage of Rights protected image is most stock agencies will guarantee the photo will not be sold to a competitor in the same industry, where Royalty Free means it’s possible it could be sold to anyone, even a competitor in the same industry.  So, this $1,200 fee may be peanuts to a fortune 500 company but most mid and small businesses rely on Royalty Free images for the very affordable prices, as low as $ 9. per image with unlimited usage.  There are many royalty free high, quality stock source son the internet.

A web site page with no photography is not inviting, and will likely get quickly skipped over where. A web page with a powerful stock or custom photography will get your potential client’s attention and make them want to read what you have to offer. Great web site design allows you to connect with your customers without you having to be presently active. The key is to convey your message, products and services in a way that emulates an in-store experience. Usability of the web content should also be reviewed to ensure it is user friendly to all customers. Remember, your website is your online identity. Don’t lose prospective customers with complicated web sites that are absent of pro photography, hard to navigate or don’t include contact info that’s easy to find. If you keep these tips in mind you are sure to create a strong on-line presence that will increase new leads and – ultimately – more profits.

By: Ted DeCagna 9.26.2022

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