Choosing good images for your website
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and we could retire such a tired phrase if everyone just used better images on their websites. Imagery can really make or break a website and the brand it’s associated with. With great images, you can show what you do, without having to say it. You can express the atmosphere of your company, boost your brand and make yourself look professional. Which is what we all want, right?
The best way to ensure the images look *chef’s kiss* on your website is to hire a photographer. That way you and whoever is taking your photos can discuss in thorough details exactly what you need for your website. But we get it; this isn’t always the most viable option! That doesn’t mean you cannot a professional looking website from stock photos.
Consider what imagery will speak to this best. For instance, if your brand is bubbly and young, you will want to look for photos that reflect that feeling. Most importantly, focus on finding images that have a similar look, feel, or editing style to them. Remember to keep them consistent to ensure your site feels professional. Also, try to avoid heavily edited images or look like they’ve been through several Instagram filters (actually, avoid filters in general).
One easy way to find images that match is to have a colour theme. Try choosing all images that are warm and woody, or maybe you could go with cold and blue toned, or even bright and vibrant with lots of contrast. Whatever style you choose, just make sure they look somewhat consistent!
Top websites for free photos
Unsplash is a wonderful resource for professional looking photos that feel like they belong on Instagram. It’s awesome because photographers willingly donate their images to the site and you can make any changes you'd like to them! That means you can edit them, crop them, and use them however you like. Which is rare and really cool.
Pexels often features the same images as Unsplash, but it does have some additional ones in there too. It's great because it's also free, and you can sometimes find extra images that work well for your brand that won't be as popular or as used as the ones available on Unsplash.
Pixabay can be hit or miss. Sometimes it will have just what you're looking for - particularly if it's slightly obscure or not the usual thing people are taking photos of - and other times it will have nothing much to use.
Top websites for paid photos
This online resource store has it all - including affordable images. We've found that Creative Market tends to have realistic stock images as well as more traditional styles of stock. They're beautiful, modern, and normally about $10-15 per image. Win-win! (Check out Jacob Lund's photos!)
Stocksy has a wonderful collection of images with a range of licenses and sizes for each one. Every photographer who contributes has to be accepted to the site, so you know you're getting high-quality images from vetted professionals. Plus, they also have stock videos! Which is really great for the new video era we're in.
These guys do unique, creative imagery like no other. You do need to sign up for their membership, so take a look and decide if it's the right for you.
Once you've started researching images, make sure you save them to a specific folder! Keep all images you think might be handy or would suit your brand - you won't know what's going to work until you start putting your website together, so the more you save, the better. Happy hunting!
This post is an excerpt from “DIY Your Squarespace Website Like A Pro”, a comprehensive course that takes you from start to finish of building and designing your own Squarespace Website. It’s like having a designer over your shoulder, helping you every step of the way.