Why are you using terrible photos on your website?
Are you a professional photographer? If you are, you can probably stop reading now. I mean, forge ahead if you like (I won’t complain), but no hard feelings if you say, “Yeah, duh” and move on.
So this isn’t really for the pros out there. No, I’m talking to you. Yes, you. The one with the fuzzy, overly Photoshopped images plastered on your front page. Look, I know it’s hard to think about paying for pro photography when your website isn’t making any money yet. I know, I know, you’ll purchase beautiful images once things get rolling.
Let me ask you this. How is your site going to start generating income when it looks like you gave up during the Obama administration? Because when you use crappy photos or bad imagery on your website, that’s what visitors think. That whole “can’t judge a book” thing? 100% true.
These days, with high resolution cameras built right into our phones, it’s even easier to get quality shots of our products or even ourselves. However, beyond the technology, there’s a skill to setting up a great shot. Ever seen one of those instagram food photos that makes you wanna hurl? And then you see one that looks like it was done in a studio? The difference is not in the camera, it’s in the skill of the photographer. It’s important to be honest with yourself about whether your shots look appetizing or like… Fancy Feast cat food.
Don’t let this get you down. I’m going to tell you exactly how to fix up your site with better photos. Best of all, none of my solutions will cost you a dime.
In case you didn’t know, the lingo for one of those beautiful, ginormous full width photos on a website is “hero image.” You can have one of those, too. There are a few sites to grab high-res photos that won’t cost you a thing, and they are licensed for use, so you’re not stealing (pro tip: don’t steal images).
https://unsplash.com is my favorite. Gorgeous photos, different sizes to choose from.
https://search.creativecommons.org has lots of licensing/use options, but the photos are from all over the internet, so you have to hunt for good quality.
https://www.stockfreeimages.com also has quality work.
Even easier? Try the Pexels plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-pexels-free-stock-photos. Install it and you won’t even have to leave your site to find a photo.
Pro tip: Credit the photographer on your site. You’re getting their work for free, so it’s good to promote them.
Obviously you’re not going to find high-res shots of your knitted scarf on those sites mentioned above. You’ll have to take them yourself. Again, if you’re not 100% confident you take great photos, you’ll need some help.
Do you have a friend who always posts gorgeous shots to their instagram? Ask them to give you tips, or if possible, get them to help you stage your products. If they’re a pro photographer and you’re broke, offer one or some of your products in exchange for a shoot. Make sure the offer is comparable. You don’t want to insult your friend by asking for their time and skill if you sell those little plastic USB-powered personal fans for $2.99. Maybe there’s something you do to make it worth their while – besides the nebulous and doubtful “promotion.” They have to eat, too. Just ask.
Using a consistent design of illustrated icons can really dress up a site. A great place to get them is https://www.flaticon.com. Thousands of icons await you, for free.