Numerous studies have shown that we humans are highly responsive to visual stimuli. This is the reason we are attracted to beautiful and striking photos, paintings and sceneries. Consciously or unconsciously, we like to surround ourselves with photographs – on magazines, calendars, books, TV, smart phones, computers and everywhere imaginable. Place two magazines in front of a person, one filled with colorful pictures and the other with mostly text, and chances are that he or she will pick the one with the pictures. The same goes for websites.
In order to attract traffic and to keep the visitors interested, a website has to be visually stimulating. In simpler words, it should be filled with beautiful, attractive and colorful photographs. It’s not enough for the photos to have interesting subjects, such as a beautiful model displaying her assets; they should be of high quality. Because of constant exposure to pixel-rich photographs, today’s viewers are highly discerning and know a good quality picture from a mediocre one immediately. If a website has low quality or mediocre pictures, they are likely to hit the back button without thinking twice.
This holds true even if the written content is good. Let’s say that a visitor is looking for information on the top earning NBA basketball players. If the website doesn’t have high quality pictures of the players in action, the visitor will soon lose interest even if the write-up is good and start searching for another website. Today’s website visitors are so used to visual stimuli that they want visual information in every website – and they want the highest quality they can get. This is why photography is of utmost importance in web design.
It is not enough to have beautiful photographs on your website. Every picture tells a story. Put the wrong picture and it gives the wrong message to your visitors. Each photograph should tell the story that you want to tell without using lengthy paragraphs. Therefore, you should choose the photographs carefully. Well chosen photographs bring your website to life, make it look professional and help you tell the story you want to tell about your organization or products.
The arrangement or layout of the photographs is equally important. Think of your homepage as the living room of your home. This is the first page that your visitors see. When it comes to web pages, the first impression is usually the last impression; so if your homepage isn’t visually attractive, they will quickly click the back button of the browser. There are numerous ways to arrange the photos on your website; you should find out the the one that works best for your website.
There are several ways you can put photos on your website, including uploading them directly from your smart phone or digital camera. However, if you are looking to get really good quality photos for your website, you should consider micro stock photo sites like istockphoto.com. They have hundreds of high quality photos that you can choose from with prices that range from a few dollars to over a hundred dollars. But considering the cost of staging official photos and all the hassles associated with it, it is often more economical and less troublesome to buy readymade photos from such sites.