A website without imagery in today’s tech-savvy world is like the current two-party system — incomprehensible.

Building a quality website requires you to use photos strategically to help strengthen the impact of your messaging. Numerous studies have been conducted verifying the importance of pictures on potential customers. As high as three of every four visitors to a site considers imagery in their reaction. In summary, you can’t afford to lose customers because of bad photos.

Knowing you need pictures is one issue. Choosing the source of your photos is another debate altogether. You can opt for custom photos or stock images when building a site.

Here’s what you need to consider:

  1. Cost — Custom photos require covering the overhead of hiring a photographer, development, and production. Stock photos, on the other hand, come from a collection of images that are available to anyone who wants to pay the fee. Sites like Shutterstock and iStockPhoto are popular choices. Custom photos will almost always cost more. Your budget will help you decide what photos are best for you.
  2. Uniqueness — If you want pictures that have never before existed, you’ll need to go the custom route. But if the subject of your site requires more generic images to connote a feeling, stock images may be the way to go. One of the biggest risks of stock photos is that they’re available for anyone. You always run the risk of a picture on your site also appearing on another site.
  3. Perception — Custom photos enable you to provide visitors with visuals they’ve never seen before. You have the ability to create greater impact. Stock photos may seem too indistinct to customers. You don’t want visitors to get the impression your site could be about anything. Consider how potential viewers may perceive the final product and determine your comfort level.
  4. Quality — Many stock photos are highly polished, professional images that deliver a positive impression. Some can look blurry and dated. The same issues exist with custom photos. What if the photographer you hire doesn’t live up to expectations? Take time to match the overall quality of your website with the types of images you intend to use.

Does your website look dated? Are you thinking about building a new site and weighing your photographic options? Contact Hansen Multimedia today to learn more about how we can help.