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Finding photos for your website is a challenge. Starfish helps you with that. Here are a few ideas on how:
Photography in website usage trends
Graphic illustrations have had their day. Because they are everywhere – they seem inauthentic and distant. Videos are nice, but take up a lot of bandwidth and are also a bit faddish.
The new/old trend is photography.
Photos used to be a lot smaller since there was always the worry of bandwidth. This time they are bigger and better than ever, largely due to:
- Better image compression (webp)
- Faster download speeds.
- Larger screens on desktops and mobile
- Modern content management systems (WordPress)
Trends in website photos
Taking photos is easier
Good quality photos are now in the reach of everyone. It is still expensive to hire a photographer but a lot of the time, you don’t need to. The average smart phone has enough technology to bring out the photographer in you.
More stock photography
There are so many online resources for photos. With a bit of effort, you can find a photo that fits the mood and brand of your website.
No more cut outs
Cut outs are still visible and they are not bad as such – but they do look a bit dated if not used in a functional way.
Photos used to have a cut out background to save on file size. It looked okay at the time but it took a lot of effort to cut out each photo’s background and sometimes the results weren’t so nice – especially if were cutting our around hair. Now, thank goodness, we don’t need to go to all that effort.
No more fades
Fades was another Photoshop technique used to create a blank space for some text next to a picture for a banner. It’s still a useful technique but it’s not needed as much because there’s a better range of stock photography made for this purpose.
No photos, no problem
Photos used to be needed to liven up a page. Now we have larger screens and better fonts, you don’t need to put photos, especially if they don’t make sense.
Photos and graphics together
Using photos and blocks of color together can bring life and color to a website. Illustrations lack realism and photos don’t pop but when brought together, you get the best of both worlds.
How to use images on your website
Use larger images
Images take more of the screen space. Larger images look better on small screen too.
Don’t look fake
To not look fake, be selective on your use of stock photography. Don’t use gimmick photos, unless that’s your look. If photos look fake, people will not trust your website and you may lose a sale.
Be playful with stock photography
A counter point is that people don’t mind stock photos if it’s not deceiving them. A dog wearing a bowler hat is funny and playful. No one is going to mind if you took the photo or not.
Mixing real with not stock
Stock images will have a certain level of professionalism and excitement. Real photos shine a light into your business.
Make sure each photo has the same color balance and contrast. The tone of each photo should be the same to give your site a polished and branded look.
Types of images on a website
Improve your understanding of how photos can play different roles in a website.
Supporting images are images that support text. When the written content is more important than image itself and the images are used to give flavour to the content.
Photos won’t be studies in detail but will be noticed and examined to a certain extent.
When the image is what is meant to be used, seen before the text or instead of the text. These are images that give emotion, meaning and understanding to the subject at hand.
Banner images can be either supporting images to the text or the focal point. The purpose of the banner is to leave a good first impression but to not impart too much information. Sliding banners make little sense nowadays.