Stock photos are a good option to inexpensively create a look for your branding, and there are many different companies to choose from. However, lately more and more of our clients are opting to have professional photos taken and to put their own face front and center on their website. Yes, hiring a photographer is a bit more of an expense, but having a good set of branded photos of yourself is useful for many different purposes. First of all, there’s nothing like a completely personalized image with yourself in it, as well as the location and overall style. We are happy to help you with advice and even some remote art direction as you’re gathering the details of the photographer to hire, the concept to go with, and if you’d like, even the outfit you choose. To get more mileage out of your photos, try not to go with the trendy outfit of the season that might look great today, but possibly look dated in 2 years time. Occasionally, cell phone photos can be used also, but not selfies, and the lighting has to be right as well as the quality.
When shooting an image for the home page, we’ll definitely have more design options if the photo is in landscape orientation. Leaving some background around the subject gives us more room to play with as far as fitting text on the screen and having a full screen image. Your photographer will probably be familiar with this already, and the size is usually a 16:9 aspect ratio, which fits most wide screen monitors. We crop the photos on our end to fit nicely on various device sizes, and we generally recommend portrait oriented photos for your bio or about section. Your photographer will usually give you retouched or edited photos and in a large size and high resolution that can be used for print or for web. It’s always good to get a whole series, with a variety of clothing and settings, and also while you’re there, get some headshots. Between the website, social media and perhaps even printed materials, those photos will go a long way.