I want big and beautiful website photos! Of course you do, who doesn’t? Almost every good-looking website design includes a large image slider on the homepage. I’m sure you’re wandering where those big and beautiful photos come from, right? This week I conducted a Website Creation Workshop for the Small Business Owner in Washington, DC, where I talked about 4 ways to get the best website photos. A couple of these options may be more obvious than others, but sometimes the answer we’re looking for is right under our nose.

Take Your Own Photos. Excluding the need of semi-professional photos of you for your bio page, this is the easiest and most affordable way to get great website photos. There are countless YouTube videos and step-by-step tips on how to choose the best time to take photos outside and when to use a flash or not, inside. One of my favorite cooks Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) is also a great photographer. Her Basic Photoshop tips and Ten Things I’ve Learned About Food Photography saved me on several occasion when I needed to post new photos on my under-utilized Good Food Blog (story for another day …).  

Hire a Photographer. This tip is primarily for those who need headshots for their bio page on their website. I wouldn’t ask anyone to hire a landscape or product studio photographer. If you can, great. But that’s certainly not a requirement. There are some great photographers out there that don’t cost thousands of dollars. My go-to photographer is Crystale Spearman of Eye-Imagery photography. Crystale’s “WOW” factor is with her great “eye” and Photoshop skills.  

Free Website Images. They can be hard to find, but yes, there are websites out there with free images that you can download and use on your website. Do they have the best quality and wide selection of a royalty-free service like Shutterstock and iStock? It depends on what you’re looking for, but there are great options for when your budget is zero to very low. Check out Pixabay.com, FreeImages.com, UnrestrictedStock.com.   [dropcap]4.[/dropcap] One-time Fee for Royalty-Free Images. You might have heard this term before – Royalty-free. Image providers like Shutterstock and iStock provide high-quality, professional photographs for a one-time fee. Prices do vary, but once you’ve purchased a photo you can use it as many times and in as many places as you want. In contrast to this is Rights-Managed, which come with a higher price tag and have several restrictions including where the image can be used, how long and at what size (maximum width and height). Rights Managed photos are also licensed for a limited time.  

Where have you downloaded free or purchased photos to use on your website? Share website photo tips in the comments below.