Web Design Florida: Stock Photos vs. Authentic Images

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Have you ever gone to a website and seen a photo and thought, “Hey, I’ve seen that before!” If so, it was probably an image that the web page creator copied from a stock photo service.


Stock photo services can be either paid or free. Free services include Wikimedia Commons and Flickr. You may need to attribute the author of the photo but you can usually use their images without having to pay a royalty.


Paid stock photo sites include Getty Images, Shutterstock, and many others. When you use photos from these sites, you typically need to pay for them. How much depends on the photo.



  Benefits of Stock Photos


But both paid and free stock photo sites types include hundreds, if not thousands, of images that can serve to illustrate practically any type of web page content.


Writing a blog about tree houses? You can grab a stock photo of a tree house to include with it. Creating a web page about pet adoptions? There are stock images of sad-looking puppies or kittens that will perfectly illustrate the point you are trying to make.


Stock photo sights are simple to use. You just use the search function with the keywords that describe the photo you want and you instantly can be connected with dozens of appropriate images.


Stock Photos vs. Authentic Images –  Authentic Images


Authentic images are those you take yourself using the camera on your smartphone, professional photographic equipment, or other photo-taking gear.


There are two big benefits to using your own photos on your web pages: 1.) You don’t have to pay anybody a royalty (or worry about being sued for copyright infringement), and 2.) They give pages viewers a more personal insight into you and your content.


 Most web designers will agree that including images on your pages is critical to connecting with visitors, whether you use stock photos or your own authentic pictures.


Photos Add the Personal Touch to Your Website

Photos Add the Personal Touch to Your Website

Generally speaking, anything you publish on your website, blog, or elsewhere online should include at least one photo or image.


Photos not only give visitors a visual cue tied to your content, but they also can help improve your page rankings. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing! and others assign more value to pages that have good, high-quality photos or images that are related to the page’s content.


What Type of Photos to Include


The best photos are ones that add to the story you are trying to tell with your content. If you are posting on your business website, these could include images of your business, your employees, your products.


If you are posting a blog, the photo probably should be related to what you are writing about. For example, if you are writing about how much you love your family dog, including a personal photo of you with your dog is not only heart-warming, but adds more value to your blog’s content.


Photos Add the Personal Touch to Your Website, Where to Find Photos


The more personal the photo, but more impact it tends to have. Whenever possible, include photos or images you take yourself. Not only do they connect better with your intended audience, but you also own the rights to publish them.


Posting photos that somebody else took without asking permission is not legal. If the author of the photo finds 0ut about it, you could face some problems.


Photos Add the Personal Touch to Your Website, Paying for Photos


There are many websites that sell stock photos you can use for a fee — usually either a monthly subscription of a per-photo charge. If you publish a lot of content, this can be a good option if you don’t want to spend a lot of time taking your own photos.


A picture says a thousand words. Including photos with your web postings can improve their value to your readers.

‘Do I Need to Learn Photoshop to Master Web Design?’

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Photoshop is one of the tools that everybody says you need to learn in order to master web design. But is it really necessary given the advanced software and other tools available today?

The short answer is: Yes and No.

Benefits of Photoshop

The best thing about Photoshop is that once you master it, you can do pretty much anything with any image. You can crop, create and add filters, cut and paste elements into and out of images, and many other options.

When you are skilled at Photoshop, you can absolutely use these talents to improve the quality of the images on your pages as well as the overall look of your website.

Drawbacks of Photoshop

There are two major downsides to Photoshop: It’s cost and how complicated it is.

Photoshop isn’t cheap. If you are just starting out in web design and don’t have a big budget, there are other things that probably are going to be more important that you will need first.

Plus, it’s complicated to use. So learning Photoshop to the point where you are proficient with it can take a long time. If you have the time to devote to learning it, the long-term value is immense. But if you already are scrambling to handle all the other demands of your online business, having to learn Photoshop may be one of your lowest priorities.

Alternatives to Photographic Image

Photographic image has been around for a long time. But today there are many other tools that perform many of the same functions automatically.

For example, most newer model smartphones include cameras that have software you can use to add filters, crop photos, even manipulate the image all right from your phone.,

Another alternative is buying your images from a stock photo company or hiring a freelancer to develop better photos and other images for your website on a per job basis.

Choosing the Perfect Pictures

Choosing the Perfect Pictures

Despite all the technological developments in smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, when it comes to getting attention for your website a great picture truly is worth a thousand words.

Image really is everything. So having great-looking pictures on your web pages will make your business the ones people are more likely to choose. Visitors will see your site as being more approachable, friendly and interactive if they like the pictures you choose.

Choosing the Perfect Pictures – Look Sharp

When uploading images onto your web pages, clarity and sharpness is critical. This is especially true now that most newer mobile devices have retina displays that can show images even sharper than the human eye can process them.

Consider your website’s images to be just as important as its textual content … or even more important! You wouldn’t publish anything on your pages without running SpellCheck or a grammar program, would you? So why would you post pictures that are washed out, gray or grainy?

Choosing the Perfect Pictures – The Perfect Picture

If  you are using photos you shot yourself, make sure they have at least been put through the Auto Correct function of your photo editing program. If possible, use an expert who can improve the look of your photos through cropping, color balancing, and other tools before posting them.

Another option is to use photos that already have been expertly prepared for display on web pages. There are many websites where you can find high-quality stock images you can use on your web pages for a small fee.

If you’re on a budget, consider using royalty-free images that can be found on such places as Wikimedia Commons. In these type of open source websites, you are generally free to use the photos as you want as long as you follow rules regarding attribution and other factors.

Once you include the right photo on your web pages, you will see the result in the number of visitors your page receives, how much longer they spend there, and how likely they are to convert to your call to action.

Using a Photo Editor Program To Make Your Images Better


Pictures really do say a thousand words. So including the right images on your web pages can make all the difference between capturing your page visitor’s attention and having them click off to another site.


The photos you use need to get the message you are trying to express across to the viewer as quickly and effectively as possible. So you shouldn’t just copy and paste a photo onto your web page and hope for the best.


Top photography Editor Programs 


Instead, use a photo editor program such as Microsoft Office, Windows Photo Viewer, Paint, or Photoshop to make your pictures look stunning. Many of these programs come free when you buy bundled software packages, such as Microsoft Office Suite. Others you may have to buy independently.


Most of the photo editor tools are extremely simple to use and don’t require a lot of training or expertise. In fact, most people can figure out how to master them on their own in just a few minutes.


Crop Your photography


The first photo editor tool you should use to improve a photo is the “Crop” function. This allows you to move the frame of the photo wherever you want it to be so that you can remove any boring open spaces and concentrate the eye of the viewer only on what you want them to see.


Some photo editor programs come with an “Auto Correct” button. This lets you automatically improve the colors, balance the blacks and whites, and otherwise improve the way your picture looks instantly.


No More Red Eyes


Red eye removal is another easy to use function included with most photo editor programs. It enables you to salvage photos that otherwise might be ruined by the red eye effect caused by some flash cameras.


With the free or affordable tools available to the beginner or novice web design enthusiast today, it’s easy to make your web pages look great and capture the imagination of your page visitors.