The 5 Minute Guide to Better Website Photos

Better Web Photography

First impressions count — especially on the web. And when a visitor comes to your website, a photograph is usually the first thing they see.

If the photo is lousy, it may also be the last thing they see!

Photography can make or break a website. For local businesses in the competitive industries (real estate, construction, automotive), compelling photos can attract a visitor’s attention and maintain interest. If you’re selling homes, cars or a meal at a local restaurant, visually striking photos may be the very thing that drive a visitor to take action.

Nothing compares to hiring a professional photographer for the most important images on your website. But there are times when it’s just you and your iPhone. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to set your photos apart from the competition:

Keep it Simple.

Make sure the subject of your photo is the real focus of attention. Cut the clutter! Ruthlessly eliminate any distracting elements. Look for simple, clean backgrounds.

If you’re photographing a home interior, make sure everything is neat, clean and tidy. No dishes in the sink. No clutter in the closet.  (For more information, check out this guide to better real estate photos.) If you’re photographing a vehicle, start with a clean car (!) and simple lighting (such as overcast or shade) as well as a simple background. (Here’s more info on making great car photos.)

Beautiful home! Notice anything missing from the counter tops? Sinks? That’s right, no clutter!

Put Your Subject in the Best Light

The only thing a camera sees is light, and not all light makes a great photograph. Bright mid-day sun can create harsh, unattractive shadows. Professional photographers usually aim for the ‘golden hour’ right before or after sunset when the light is soft and warm. Whether it’s a mobile home, a horse or a house, golden hour lighting can be a photographer’s best friend. And while a bright blue sky on a sunny day may be ideal for a house with minimal landscaping, the soft lighting of an overcast day is often ideal for vehicles or homes among trees, where the clouds eliminate ugly shadows.

real estate photography
This attractive home is made 100% more interesting because of the lighting. The evening light softens the shadows, creates a dramatic sky, and allows the interior lights to create a sense of drama.

Frame Your Photo in Thirds.

When you compose your photo, divide the space into thirds. Typically the best images are composed using the “rule of thirds,” where the main subject is located not in dead center, but in one of the corners where the “thirds” intersect. Here’s an example:

Horse Farm Photo
Notice how the composition of this photo is divided into thirds (horizontally and vertically). The focal point, the horses, are located at the intersection of the thirds.

Edit Every Photo You Post.

No photo is complete and ready to publish without editing! Your iPhone or Android phone has a variety of apps to choose from to make the most of your photos. Forget about fancy filters and borders, and instead use some of the basic tools to be sure your photo pops! If the shadows are too dark (and trust me, they usually they are), most apps give you the option of improving the picture by lightening them. Next, add a bit of color vibrancy, but not so much that your image looks unnatural. And finally, crop the photo to eliminate any distractions.

Photo Editing

Learn From Photos You Love.

Finally, pay attention to photography. Compare the photos you take with the best photos you can find. What’s the difference between the last home you photographed, and one that looks absolutely stunning? Was it the time of day? Was it the composition? Was it the color? If you’re making photos for a real estate or automotive website, browse stock photo sites such as iStock or Shutterstock and bookmark the images you like. Next time you’re out, aim to incorporate something you noticed.


Need help with web photography? At Brick City, we provide full service digital marketing including professional photo & video services.
Call us at (352) 351-1131 or e-mail us using the form below: