Web Marketing: How to Create High-Impact Photos - dummies

Web Marketing: How to Create High-Impact Photos

By John Arnold, Michael Becker, Marty Dickinson, Ian Lurie, Elizabeth Marsten

To best market your products, you want your website to answer certain questions: What do people look like when they’re using your product or service? What lifestyle do they lead now that they finally took your advice? Good design means using photos well to describe more than just your company image, for example, the outcome of using your product or service. Here are some real-world examples:

  • Product shots

    • If you have a dude ranch vacation destination, show a group on horseback, all smiling because they’re having a wonderful time in the beautiful country surroundings. The purpose of the dude ranch is evident, and if you were to take a trip to the same place, that’s the look you would expect to receive.


    • If you sell jewelry, have a photo of a woman looking at her new diamond ring as her husband-to-be peers over her shoulder. Showing interaction of a buyer with a product, rather than showing just a picture of the item itself, sells the product better.

  • Concept shots

    • If you sell perfume, show a couple getting close.

    • If you’re a personal success coach, show a photo of parents spending more time with their children.

Create a vision in your mind of the positive outcome people will enjoy by using your product or service. That’s the image to create using photos throughout your website.

To get these photos, you can either create your own or purchase them:

  • Create your own photos: To create your own photos, you can hire a photographer in your area or try shooting and editing your own photos. Your best bet is to take high-resolution photos, crop and correct them if needed, and then size them for the web.

    Whether you create your own photos or buy them, use photo-editing software to make sure that they’re optimized to display quickly when someone visits your website. Images that take too long to load will cause you to lose customers.

    Adobe Photoshop Elements is a popular choice for editing photos. You might also have editing software that came with your digital camera. Gimp software is a free option that you can download from their website.

    When you get to the editing stage, you want to change the resolution setting to 72 ppi (pixels per inch) and save or export the file in .jpg format.

  • Buy photos: An alternative to hiring a photographer is to purchase photos from an online gallery or a stock photo house. iStockphoto, Bigstock, and Clipart.com are a few resources to get you started.

    Downloading photographs or images from a website to use on yours is a potential copyright infringement and can be punishable by fines. If you must use existing photos and images, use a reputable company for your purchases and keep a printed copy showing proof of purchase for every image you use from its gallery.