How to Get the Most Out of Your Professional Photo Shoot for Your Website

Photograph of 35mm camera on piano keys

Great photography can take an okay website to completely stunning, so if you have the time, inclination, and budget, you should definitely consider scheduling a professional photo shoot as part of your web design plan. Since most photographers don’t shoot exclusively for websites, though, you’ll want to have some clear instructions for him or her so that you get the most out of the process!

Here are my favorite tips to share with your photographer (preferably before the day of the shoot):

  1. Ask for a “Lifestyle shoot” to get a variety of angles and compositions.
    Your photographer should know you’re not just looking for “headshots” or you might end up with 40 photos of you smiling right at the camera. On your site, you’ll be able to use one or two of those, but anymore will be redundant. So tell your photographer you’re looking for a lot of variety. In addition to pictures of your face, consider shots of your hands holding something, you in profile looking at something, your feet running to something, an object sitting on a table. You’ll end up with a shoot where you can use way more photos, fill out your website with beautiful photography, and get more for your money.
  2. Ask for at least some wide-angle shots.
    If you look at what’s hot in web design right now, you can’t miss the big splashy images that take up all or most of the screen. Sometimes they have text or a form over them, but they all have one thing in common: they’re wide but not tall. Just think about the aspect ratio of your screen. So if this is a look you are interested in, ask for a few shots (or many) that are really zoomed out. Bonus points if you put yourself off to one side or the other – that leaves room for some text or an opt-in to one side!
  3. Consider your environment.
    A studio shoot with a solid background can leave a lot of versatility, but these photos are almost never as striking as environmental shots. But what environment? First you’ll want to try to find somewhere with natural light: a bright kitchen, by the window at a coffee shop, out in nature… there are a ton of options. If you do go for a nature shoot, consider your color scheme (or what you think you want to be your color scheme). People tend to think that verdant green (grass, trees) is neutral but green is a very strong color, one that most people don’t choose for their site designs. Consider instead a more neutral setting like a lake or a field with open sky behind. Industrial settings can be great too: a local wall mural, a rustic barn, or even a plain brick wall.
  4. Dress to your color scheme or neutrally.
    This one’s easy! If you want to have a soothing websites in greens and blues, leave your bright red dress at home. Neutral colors like creams and grays will go with pretty much anything though, so if you’re not sure what scheme you might end up with, stick with softer colors.

I hope these tips help you have a great shooting experience with your photographer, and walk away with gorgeous shots you’ll love on your website!

PRO TIP: Having the photos going into the web design process, I find, makes for a more cohesive, unique website since I can structure the site with the photos instead of popping them in later. So, whenever possible, try to schedule your shoot as early in the process as possible!

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