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The Importance of Good Photography in Web Design

Web design and photography are strongly related. Their interaction is the basis of visual communication.

By Nick BrownPublished 3 years ago 5 min read

A high-quality relevant photo can transform the site, make it more effective and understandable. However, poor quality and inappropriate can produce the opposite effect. Without photos, sites look boring and not interesting. No matter how interesting the text is, a beautiful picture will enhance its perception a hundredfold. Advertising photography on the Internet (and not only) is a powerful marketing tool with an incredible power of persuasion and influence on the audience.

A Photo On A Website

The power of impact on a person of a beautiful-looking thing is not just a scientifically proven fact, it is the reason why the entire design industry exists. Moreover, our existence as a species is strongly conditioned by our ability to see and notice things. How we understand what we see is the main clue in unravelling the nature of our actions and ourselves.

You can hear, read, think about something, about anything - a concept, an object, a person, but you still don't have a complete picture of it until you see it.

Photos and videos allow us to get closer to the reality that exists elsewhere, without having to go there ourselves. A photo on a website isn't just a pretty pile of pixels, it's a small experience of interacting with what the website is selling or representing. It is very important to select the materials so that the visitor has a positive experience.

What Are The Photos On The Site Used For?

Photos (pictures, illustrations, icons) carry many functions on the site. They serve as both decoration and information load for the user.

Photo As A Part Of The Design

If I need a picture to create a website, you can always choose a photo, instead of an illustration. If you are not able to draw anything more complicated than a square or a circle in a graphics editor, you don't really have to choose.

The right photo can make a good design look great. A well-chosen photo can be a solution if it seems that something is missing. However, this should be exactly the right photo.


Make sure the photo you want to use in your design has the right contrast to the text. The ability to readily perceive the content of a website should not be sacrificed for a beautiful appearance. For example, thin white fonts on a light background are hellish horror.

Finding the right contrast is obviously simple: if the photo is light, use a dark text colour and vice versa. If you need to use light text on a light background, use a dark background under the text. You can use the shadow cast by the text.


Let's say you're designing a website for a small Melbourn restaurant. What kind of photos will you use? The ones who made someone hurrying across a street full of passers-by, blurring footage from the shaking while walking?

If your client doesn't have quality photos of their business or products taken by a professional, try asking them to do so. Otherwise, you will have to convince them of how cool the minimalistic design is. Lack of a photo is also a design option, and it is much better than trying to work with low-quality images.

To The Point

Sometimes a picture can be more eloquent than a thousand words, but all these words should be in the subject. Photos should reflect a real business or a real product. Stock photos, for all their easy accessibility, will not bring you happiness.

If you need to display something intangible, for example, insurance, you can use photographs that can prompt the idea of ​​such a service or symbolically denote it. However, make sure the semantic connection is strong and easy to grasp for future website visitors. Perceptions vary across countries and cultures.

Attract Attention

A bright picture can become the face of an article, or even an entire page, and show what will be discussed below. If, while reading, a person encounters a wall of monotonous text, especially on the Internet, he begins to read in chunks in order to quickly overcome a boring place, but often misses important details. Photos can dilute this boredom and help visitors remember what the article looked like, under which picture there was an important link or part of the text. Images make people pay attention to.


The visual series can provide the site visitor with context - a portrait of the author of the article, photographs of the place mentioned in the text, and so on. Be careful when choosing images to convey context, as this will affect the perception of the article by the reader, and we need to adjust it to match the content.

Rights To Use Images

If the photo is not yours and does not belong to your client, make sure you have the right to use it in your work. It is better to get permission in writing if possible, and always, always, thank the author and leave a link to him if he does not mind.

While it's not that hard to pick all the photos and ask permission to use them beforehand, there are ways to avoid this if you're in a hurry. Stock photo banks will gladly come to your aid here.

Stock Photos: To Pay Or Not To Pay?

The big advantage of stock photos is that they don't care about the legality of their use. Photobanks will do everything for you, and some even for free. However, you should try to pay for images, especially if you choose them for basic design elements.

Photos Of People

We should also mention the photos of people. Never use stock photos of people in your projects (or at least only those that look like stock)! These smiling mannequins will ruin the experience of visitors and undermine the credibility of the site.

Use photos of real people behind the product or service. It is preferable if you show them at work. You can easily get great corporate headshots in Melbourne.

If we are talking about clothes or accessories, images of models demonstrating these products on themselves are quite acceptable.


Choose your photos responsibly for your website. Make sure you have enough time to find the right materials and get permission to use them, this process can take much longer than you might think at first. However, never settle for something that falls short of the definition of "this is a really cool photo."


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