We’re currently in the process of rebranding and redesigning our website. It’s a super exciting time, and one of the most enjoyable tasks so far has been a professional photoshoot for our new website images.
Images are one of the most important aspects of your site. Even if the design, copy and user experience are perfect, if your images are poor the whole site is going to look naff. Images are the first thing your user will see when they land on your site. It’s vital you get them right!
We recommend our clients use a mix of photographs from their own collection and stock photos. Stock photos work well, but more natural images give the user an insight into you and your business, particularly with images of yourself and your team.
We hired Rustic Lovebirds, a team of two professional photographers – Matt and Sabina, to help us create brand new photographs for our new website.
We learnt a heck of a lot from the experience. So we’d like to share with you what we learned, as well as a sneaky-peek of a few photographs too!
Send Your Photographers Photos You Like
In preparation for our photoshoot, we sent Matt and Sabina some photographs we found appealing. These were surprisingly hard to find as we wanted a very informal business photoshoot, when it’s mostly serious headshot photographs out there.
I created a board on Pinterest with the kind of photographs we were looking for. It worked very well, with Matt and Sabina taking inspiration from the relaxed and natural style!
Don’t Leave It Until The Day
Preparing for website photography is hard. At first, I tried to think about the exact shots we needed, and where they would go on the site. But this quickly became a tiresome task and one that was futile. Any good web designer should be able to work photos into the design; they just might take a little editing.
But I did think about the following:
What do you want to feature in your photographs?
For example, we knew we wanted photographs of us on the phone, poring over our laptops and web schematics, presenting and showing our training sessions.
Where will these photographs take place?
We used many different locations for our photographs – Martin’s office, my office and even the beach!
What props do you need?
Props made the photographs look more natural and colourful. Even simple things like plants, a couple of coffee mugs and some glasses really brought this shoot to life! As you can see from one of the photographs from our shoot below…
Do You Feel Comfortable With Your Photographers?
Let’s face it; sometimes photography can make you feel a little awkward, so you need to find photographers that put you at ease. Matt and Sabina had previously photographed us for our wedding, so we already had a great relationship with them.
We felt completely comfortable being silly in front of Matt and Sabina and you should with your photographers too! A photoshoot can be (and certainly was for us) an enjoyable experience, but having the right photographers is key.
Make Sure You Don’t Over Organise
It was tempting to over organise during the prep stage for our photography. I tried to think about every shot and everything we needed. But some of the best photos were the ones I’d never even thought of! Ones where our photographers used their skill and imagination – because at the end of the day, they’re the experts and they certainly knew what they’re doing!
Have Several Wardrobe Changes
So, I’m giving away the secret here!
The shoot only took place over the course of an afternoon, not a few days!
So if you’re planning on photographing yourself and staff for the whole site, it’s a good idea to have wardrobe changes. This makes it look natural, as though the images give a snapshot of you during different days and times.
Don’t Underestimate the Time it Takes
I remember looking at my phone and being shocked that two hours went by. It felt like two minutes!
Don’t get me wrong, we’d gone through a lot of separate locations and types of images by that time, but with wardrobe changes on top of everything else, time flew by.
It may be tempting to save on costs and book a photographer for only one or two hours, but remember that this time will go quickly. Your photographers are there anyway, so you may as well pay that little extra for more shots.
Show Your Personality
Like I said before, it was difficult for us to find relaxed and natural business photographs. A lot were of people are suited and booted and standing straight and tall. But that’s just not us. And it’s certainly not how we work every day.
So we decided to keep our (slightly messy) offices as they were, complete with star wars toys and sweets, family photos and paperwork. It shows a little glimpse of our personality.
I’m certainly not saying you have to show people what you’re up to at home on a Saturday night. But try to show a little bit of yourself.
Don’t Forget To Check the Weather
If you’re thinking of shooting outside, don’t forget to check the weather. Sabina, one of our photographers, was kindly chatting to us the night before our shoot to arrange the best times to go to the beach. We also checked the tide times too so we had some sand!
But hey, this is the UK and we all know that weather reports are no guarantee of anything at all. So have a backup just in case it pours down with rain. If worst comes to the worst, brollies make great props!
Matt and Sabina had the great idea of photographing little details, such as our keyboard, the computer and our offices in general. These will be really handy going forward as our own version of stock photographs. A great idea!
Use More Than One Location
Having photographs taken in the same place can get a little dull.
So if you can, try to use different rooms or areas. Even if you just use different corners of the room to maximise your space.
If you can, get outside too!
Make Sure You Have Lots of Natural Light
This was a great tip from our photographers! Make sure you open all blinds and curtains and select rooms with plenty of light!
The more natural light you have, the better the photographs will be.
Is getting professional website photography worth it? Absolutely yes! We cannot wait to get our new site live with these new photographs. If this is something you’re thinking of doing, just make sure you showcase your personality, allow yourself enough time, and plan ahead with your photographers.
So what about you? Have you ever used professional business photographers before? How did you find the process?