Photography can make or break a website. Think of the Apple website. Those perfect, shiny, inspiring photos of their products feel high-tech and expensive. You feel like you’re part of something just being on their site. But if you swapped them out with the photos that look like they came from my 2002 Nokia? You’d cringe.
Apply product photos are gorgeous to elicit a feeling in you. Your nonprofit organization is the same way. One heartfelt, emotional, high-quality photo can speak volumes without actually saying a word.
If your goal is to to get good photos for your nonprofit website, you are in the right place. We compiled a few quick tips on how to get the most out of your photos, whether you have access to a photographer or not.
Choose Focused Images
A photo that has a neutral “everything” focus lacks that professional feel photos have the power to convey. By using photos that have some things in focus, and other things out of focus, can quite literally change the entire dynamic of the photo.
Check out these images.
As you can see, the general event shot looks a little blank. However, the focused event shot with the girl as the subject looks—ahh— exciting! This is because the subject is in focus and rest of the image is not.
This seems obvious but it’s often overlooked. You want high-quality, high-resolution photos for your website. This is not to be confused with actually uploading the high-resolution version to your website— you want the original, raw photo to be super high resolution so it can be compressed before uploaded for maximum speed.
Faces have a way of communicating without saying a word, whether they are smiling, serious, or any other feeling. Decide on the emotion you’d like your users to feel and try to capture that in a photo.
Stay on Brand
Look for opportunities to capture photos that include colors that resonate with your brand style guidelines. Try to avoid harsh contrasting colors. If your primary color is green, try to use a different photo than a subject in all red— unless you’re going for a Christmas feel.
Keep it Relevant
What is the goal of each page? What is the ideal outcome that can occur from a visitor visiting your page? How will that user feel and what will their reality be when the complete the intended action?
Showcase this in a photo. Showcase the user in ‘triumph’ mode, ‘winning’ at the game of life as they browse your website.
Ok, so what the h*** do we mean?
Create a list (AKA: shots list, asset sheet) of all the photos you’d like created.
If it’s the donation page, capture a photo of the impact the donation has. What does their contribution do on the other side? Try to convey that in a photo to make sure the person giving feels good.
Better yet, how can you showcase a photo of feeling good from donating, while also showing how good the person on the other end will feel when receiving the donation?
If it’s for an event page— capture a photo of people having the time of their life at an event. If it’s the get involved page, capture people getting involved with your organization. Positive emotions are contagious, and if your photos can express positive emotion through the objectives of the site— you’ll engage more people with your brand.
Look for Volunteer Photographers
Yes, they do exist. If you can get a high-end photographer to shoot photos for your organization for free, take advantage – and thank them profusely. But understand a few key things before you jump in.
Be Clear About Expectations
What is it that you actually need? You have your shots list finalized, you know which pages need photos captured and you have the photographer all lined up. You need to be crystal clear on your expectations for the final deliverables. This means the actual ‘stuff’ the person taking photos will give you. Additionally, feel free to check out some nonprofit website resources to help you organize, prepare and coordinate your next website, photography or marketing initiative.
Photos are a critical aspect of your website. It’s important to understand the role they play in your website’s look and feel and to make photography a priority.
For the TL;DR crowd, here’s the quick and dirty of how to level up your website with photography:
- Choose focused images
- Prioritize quality
- Capture emotion
- Stay on brand
- Keep it relevant
- Look for volunteer photographers
- Be clear about expectations
How is your website design representing your nonprofit?
Contact Mittun for a free assessment today.