Statistics show that web content – blog posts, websites, social media profiles and accounts – with images get better reader and user response than those without. What does that mean for you, the website manager/owner, and me, your photographer? That means that we need to consider the use of photographs for your online properties. Now, as your photographer, I know what I’m doing when it comes to the technical aspects of photography for online purposes. For you, as the individual with the business online, it means that you have several things to consider before you hire me to take those photos. We’re going to look at some of those today.
Headshots for profiles
Your online profiles, be they for the “about our team” section of your website or your accounts on LinkedIn or Facebook, need to have quality, professional photography. A good headshot is still the rule of the day, but it doesn’t have to be a stuffy looking headshot anymore. You still want a good quality professional looking shot, but it can be outdoors, or in more casual clothing than suit and tie. (We’ll discuss business casual in a bit.) Many websites are choosing to go with “action” shots too, instead of posed stills. You at your desk, for example, or in an appropriate “work” setting. Your head shot is the first impression many people will get of you. You want it to be good, but not too unlike you in appearance or personality.
Photos for websites and online viewing
There are a few guidelines for photos for use on websites and other areas of online viewing. Some of them include:
• Make sure your selected photos neither clash with, no disappear into, your website’s background. That’s a reason why Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Flickr all use neutral backgrounds.
• Make sure they are large enough to be viewed properly, but not so large as to slow load time. Most bloggers prefer photos at least 600 pixels by 400 pixels for this reason.
• Ensure that your photos are appropriate to the message or content they are accompanying. When writing about your “fun” company, for example, don’t have everyone staged in their very best. Show some scenes of relaxed, casually dressed staff.
• Keep the tone professional, but not false. There’s a term “business casual” that really applies to many businesses, but they are afraid to show it online for some reason. Show your staff dressed in their casual attire. Photograph them while engaging in a coffee break, a company picnic, or a breakfast meeting – without all the stuffy suits and briefcases. But only do it if that is the true nature of your company. If yours is the type of firm that requires professional dress all day, every day, stick with it in your photos. You want your photos to be examples of the real you and your company.
Photos for social media
Social media opens up a whole new ballgame when it comes to sharing photos. You can expect to find posed shots on most companies’ social media sites. But you can also expect those candid, more casual shots, too, because of the immediate nature of many social media postings. It’s completely appropriate to take action shots of employees working, or taking a break, or attending a conference or dinner meeting.
It’s completely appropriate to show a less-serious side, as well, such as sponsoring a community event or the clowns from the IT department in their Halloween costumes. Or the sales department celebrating a big month with a little office Nerf gun cubicle wars. But only if it really happens. Social media is the kind of place to “let your hair down” and your followers expect that. Give it to them with more casual “behind the scenes” photos from your firm.
Online photography need not be a big concern, as long as you keep it high quality, appropriate to the platform and purpose, and genuine. A professional photographer can help you acquire the photography your firm needs for its online use. Like we said, we have the tech skills. We just need the willing subjects to snap photos of.