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Where Can I Get Professional Looking Images For My Website?

It does not matter how well your website is designed, it does not matter what colours you use on your website, if there are no images or graphics on your website it will look ever so slightly dull. The more you illustrate your website with images, the better it looks.

Not any old image though, A dull amateurish image will do more harm than good and make your business look unprofessional.

There are three ways in which you can enhance your website with professional looking images for your website.

1. Take the Pictures Yourself

This is the most obvious thing to do and as far as some images are concerned, it is the only choice. For example, you may want a picture of your premises or pictures of your staff.

I once met a photographer who told me that he doesn't take great photos, he takes photos and makes them great when he gets back home.

He used Adobe Photoshop to edit his images. This is expensive software which you might not be able to afford. A much cheaper alternative is Paint Shop Pro (I prefer this software anyway) or you could even go for a free software known as GIMP which is also excellent.

You can play around with different settings and effects as well as cropping the image so that it is perfectly framed.

2. Pay a Professional Photographer

This is the most expensive way to obtain images for your website but it is also potentially the best way. So if you have the budget for it and you can find a reputable professional photographer, then this could do your website the world of good.

Good photographers are experienced in knowing what makes a great photo and the quality will be immediately apparent when you view it on your website.

3. Use a Stock Image Website

This is a great compromise. You can get some excellent images made by professional photographers and pay a fraction of the price if the photos were taken exclusively for you. As images for the web do not have to be high resolution, this can be very cost-effective with photos costing as little as £1.

In the past, I have used iStock Photos for this purpose. However, I am reluctant to use them now as the are owned by Getty Images who have been using scare tactics to extract money from hapless business owners who have unlicensed images on their website added by unscrupulous web designers or worse, people who have genuinely bought the image years ago and can no longer find proof of ownership.

So the search is on for an excellent stock image provide who is not associated with Getty Images. I also use The Morgue File. An awful name for a website but it contains many thousands of free images for commercial use. Quality is variable but if you search among them, there are some real gems.

Fri 8 April 2011 15:57:43

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