How to Take and Source Photos for Your Website and Social Media

A picture speaks a thousand words, and refreshing your website and social media images is an affordable way to give your online presence a quick boost. Here are some photography tips about how to take good pictures for your website or social media.

Align Your Photography With Your Brand

Thinking of rebranding? Set the tone for your new brand or refreshed look with your images. Choose a design or colour palette that reflects your industry or style. For example, a florist selling succulents may want photos to be minimalist with earthy tones to showcase the products, whereas a trendy hair salon might opt for more of a busy street-art style.

Invest in a Photo Shoot

If photography is not part of your skill set, think about investing in a professional to take some shots. If your budget is limited, visit a local college to find talented students who might want to build a portfolio, or join a community group on social media to find local photographers. Sometimes it’s worth investing in a photographer whose style you love and commissioning shots you can use for your website and social media. Make sure to negotiate the image usage rights and licensing with your photographer before your photo shoot.

Get Professional Product Photography

High-quality product photography is essential for an e-commerce site. If you’re selling products made by other companies, you should be able to source professional shots from the manufacturers – otherwise you may need to commission product shots yourself. If you choose to take your own product shots, do it with a white background and proper lighting to avoid too many shadows (although they can be removed using software such as Photoshop).

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Take Seasonal Shots

Think ahead for product shots – summer is the time to stage holiday shoots so you have images ready for media use when the season starts. Save props each year to use the following season so you’re a step ahead when it comes to website images. Seasonal images also work well for service-driven small businesses. For example, a garage owner might want to take some winter tire shots this holiday to use next season.

Crowdsource New Images

One way to refresh your images is to ask your customers to send you photos of themselves enjoying your products. Crowdsourcing images is an affordable and fun way to populate your website or social media, and it acts as social proof that people are fans of your products or service.

Use a Free Image Bank

If you don’t have the time or budget to arrange your own photography, there are free image banks such as Unsplash and Gratisography that offer royalty-free, high-quality images. You can also search Flickr for images with a Creative Commons licence that are marked as available for use (read the small print carefully, though, as some may be permitted for social media but not commercial use).