Look, we small businesses are on a budget. It would be great if we could hire a professional photographer at $300 an hour to snap amazing photos of our business. Nothing beats live images of you doing what you do. Photos, like the ones on this small business website, really tell the best story about what you do and why your customer should go with you.
But you simply aren't made of money, and you need images on your site. So how do you put the right kinds of images on your website without making them look like you just dumped Pixabay into your pages? Here are five tips for making your stock photos so appealing that your visitors won't even care they are stock photos.
Tip 1: Add Text To the Image...even if it's a caption.
We have all heard the expression "a picture is worth a thousand words". However, a thousand pictures are NOT worth a million words. After a while, these pictures become a bit stale. One way to liven up a photo is to put memorable text as a caption or right on the photo. Take a look at the little guy above. It's a nice photo of a cute cat. But now with some words, he comes alive. He (I am just assuming it's a 'he') has personality. This is something that people will remember and share.
With Wix, you can easily add text to a photo. Add the photo first, then add text and just lay it right on top of the photo, then save it. You're done!
If a photo is too high contrast or there isn't a simple, elegant way to add words right on the picture, a caption will do nicely. Take the picture to the right. It is very busy and words will simply get in the way. This is a good time to use a caption that will make the image stand out.
Tip 2: Use The Design Tools! They Rock!
Wix design tools allow you to change the shape, color, size, hue and border of a picture. They are a terrific resource if you are trying to make a picture stand out or make the picture fit in with colors that are around the photo. Here is an example of a photo from the old Chrysalis Feeding website:
Above is a simple collage of stock photos in a Wix media gallery. They are flat photos that sort of belong together, but not really remarkable. Now here is the new Chrysalis Orofacial home page:
Now this is a memorable image! First, it's simple and stands alone. The photo has been cropped in a nice oval shape with a border. There is also just a touch of shading that makes the photo almost three dimensional coming right out of the page. It is a vibrant, high definition beauty of a photograph that people will remember! All of the effects for this were done by simply adding the image to Wix and double clicking the image and selecting "Customize". From there, we added the cropping, border, and shading.
Tip 3: Change Opacity and Coloring of the Background
I recently had a client that needed to redo her website. She really had her heart set on a header banner that was a lavender color that just didn't seem to fit quite right with any pictures we added. So what's the rule with colors that are tough to match?? You got it...white goes with everything. So we were good to go using white text. But she had a really terrific photo of her performing her work on a patient....and most of the background was ALSO white. What did this mean? Well, our white text wasn't going to show up on the white background. So how did we get it all to work?
By changing the opacity of the image on top of a dark background. If your image is the background of a strip or page, you can double click the image and get the little gear icon. Once you get this icon, you will be asked about a background color (we chose black) and the opacity of the image. By default, the image is 100% opaque (meaning you cannot see through it at all). By simply adding a dark background and making the top image a little more see through, we were able to darken the main photo and make the white text stand out. It created a nice effect that allowed us to make all of the colors work and still preserve a nice looking image.
Tip 4: Combine Images.
A little imagination goes a long way. Sometimes you cannot tell the story you want to tell with one image here and another image there. However, if you combine images you can get a really engaging effect that your website visitors won't forget. We were working on another project for some medical professionals. We had to talk about how medical professionals needed to take back their website. We really could not find any good images of female medical professionals "taking" anything anywhere....much less a website. However, there were plenty of images of a female medical professional. And there were several nice stock photos of websites. Here is what we came up with using a few photos and some well positioned text....all created in PowerPoint (then doing a 'select all' and save picture as):
This turned out fairly well as a banner for a twitter account. You can use PowerPoint if you are doing this on the cheap, or you can use Canva, but you will have to pay once the free subscription is up.
Tip 5: Use A Hover Box For Interaction
A great way to get the 'oohs and ahhs' from a stock photo is interaction from the user. Take a look at this simple photo of a truck that we used on a real estate agent website
Looks like a rather mundane white truck on a white background, right? Now take a look at what happens when you hover over the image:
The text on top of the truck changes, but you can also add links to get your users to DO something. Hover boxes in Wix are incredibly powerful and will turn your mundane stock photos into something that users will not only remember, but can also lead to important conversions. The hover boxes are located where the other boxes are in Wix (click the + sign on the right like you would add anything, then select Box). You need to scroll down to get to the hover boxes. You will be asked to actually configure a "Regular" setting (the first image in our case) and a "Hover" setting (the second image with the text and links). Once you set it up, your image will change on a mouse over. It looks really cool and works great with text, links, and even some shapes.
Thanks for stopping by. If you want to learn more about how you can make terrific websites, you can contact us here. We also put a lot of good information out on twitter, facebook and LinkedIn, so stop in there to get some good information when you get the time. Have a great day and happy developing!