Much of what you learn as a web designer is self-taught. You do your best to keep up with the latest trends in your profession, and you are always on the lookout for articles of interest and reliable resources for products or services you can use in your work.
Since much of your work focuses on beautiful website imagery, along with an ongoing need for photos or graphics that conceptually relate to a website’s theme or its text, you have a vested interest in finding resources that feature a large, and hopefully somewhat unique, selection.
Unless you happen to be a professional photographer, you travel a lot, and your web design activities are focused mainly on travel sites, finding quality photographs to use in your work can be a challenge. A quality stock photo resource can be a great solution, provided the images are of high quality, and there is good selection to choose from; so let’s pursue that further.
An example of how choosing the right photo can create a friendly and relaxing atmosphere that has a certain warmth.
Photos are important because they are capable of communicating a great deal of information. The quality of photos that you use in your websites is also important, in that a home page photo can make or break a website, as can mediocre photos on landing pages. People scan websites, so the more useful or interesting information or messaging you can convey in a photo, the better.
Assume you have but a split-second to tell someone what your product or service is all about. That amounts to speaking or reading a couple of words at most. Yet, in about 0.2 seconds, a visitor to your website can become actively engaged given just the right use of photography or imagery.
To better understand what good images can add to a website’s user experience, take a close look at this Be Painter pre-built website.
Good stock images can be expensive, and inexpensive stock images are often unsuitable for website or marketing use. Fortunately, there are exceptions, and more off them that you might think. The key to transmitting the information needed in a fraction of a second is by means of a great image, and searching for that key just got easier.
To help you in your quest for brilliant stock photos, we’ve assembled a list of quality stock photo resources; one or more of which should solve any problems you may encounter in finding the right images to convey you message.
Gratisography is a free stock resource featuring a somewhat specialized inventory – photographic humor. Whenever you are working on a project that can benefit from a touch of humor, light-heartedness, or surrealism to highlight your brand, this is a good place to look.
Splitshire is another free resource. All the photos you have access to have been created by a single designer. They work best in projects where you need to convey warmth or spontaneity, or websites that need a personal or creative touch.
Be Extreme provides another example of the way images can be used to create a certain level of energy on a website – the header image is so powerful that the user instantly understands that the story this adventure website is conveying is about courage, risk-taking, and a healthy flow of adrenaline.
LifeofPix is a creative agency that specializes in images for conceptual websites whose images speak of beauty of form, simplicity, and emotions. Here, you’ll find images that emphasize symmetry, minimalism, and “the moment”. New photos are added weekly.
New Old Stock is a great place to shop if you’re in the market for vintage images free of copyright restrictions. You’ll find plenty of truly unique images here.
Getrefe features images with a twist. All of them have been made using a smartphone. Made with a creative, playful eye, they are brilliantly warm and authentic, and they are free.
A pre-build website destined for use by a flower shop. The message this excellent image presents is instantly clear to the user – this website is all about delicate flower arrangements.
For a given theme, some tips may be more relevant than others. What is a constant however, is the need to select images that perfectly match your website’s content and theme.
An example of how a small amount of animation will make the image, and the emotion it conveys, stand out.