Honestly….as I speak, create and consult on web design and content building, the number one factor that nearly always puts a kink in the process is lack of photos and custom graphics. Yes, content (text and words) is king, but since a picture can tell your story much quicker in this instant gratification age of digital communication….your content MUST also include images. This is where the need for a photo library comes in.
It doesn’t matter what type of photo images you are needing…professional photos for a website layout or for a newsletter, email campaign or blog/micro-blog. You need to start planning ahead for photos before you begin the project. This planning does not include lifting (stealing) images off of the Internet, since that can lead to copyright infringement. Instead, you need to look into collecting your own photos so you are not dependent on using stock photos or scrambling at the last minute to meet a project deadline and you reach for the “nearest” image that doesn’t really fit the picture.
Stock photos are great for many projects and are definitely convenient…but sometimes you need to create your own collection of photos and that does take some time to plan out. We are so use to using our smartphones to take on the spot photos we upload instantly to Facebook or Twitter, but we forget that we can also snap photos for later use and not have to depend on paying for that next stock image.
If you are building a website, re-branding or redesigning your site…think about the story and message you want your site and brand to portray. Then hire a professional photographer to take those pictures for you so you have unique images specific to your business and industry. Then request to have additional photos taken that you can purchase in bulk to keep on file for future use or if you need to change out some graphics.
Another part of building a photo library is for those that blog. Using stock photos for blogs can work fine for certain projects, but if you have a special niche that calls for images that need a fresh perspective or even a local flair…you need to build your own photo library. It’s as easy as snapping pictures daily from your smartphone for convenience and then organizing them into folders on your computer or in the cloud for easy access.
What ever method you decide to use to snap your photos…the important factor to remember is that your content should be complemented by photos and you need to build your own photo library so you can best showcase your business with the right image. You may be surprised how quickly your next content project advances when you have pre-planned photos to pull from.
Don’t want to use your smartphone or you don’t have one? Then go out and purchase as inexpensive point and click low profile camera you can slip into your pocket or purse for easy shooting. Plan a couple of days a month to go out in your area and snap photos just for the fun of it…you may even be surprised how such activity will inspire a blog post or two!
Allographics & Design based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, specializes in web, graphic and social media design and consulting. If you would like to learn how we can strengthen your online branding and marketing or to book a workshop to better understand the major social media tools available for your business, contact us for more information.