When is it a good idea to use images of your branch?
If someone is considering visiting your branch, they will often visit your website to get a feel for the place before they set foot in the door. So it’s a good idea to have a few attractive images of your branch on your website, especially on any pages where you are describing your location, Reading Room, Sunday School, or services.
Consider the first impression these images might give if used on your Homepage. See the Introduction to choosing images tutorial for more information.
Leave a favourable impression
Think about the qualities you want your photos to express – lightness, brightness, welcoming, friendly, etc. You want to project a favourable impression. Therefore it is a good idea to hire a professional photographer to take a few good images of your branch building and Reading Room.
Photos with people can work well if they help to express the qualities mentioned above. However if the people in the photo are a distraction to the purpose of the photograph, it is best to leave these images out. Photos of the backs of people’s heads without a focal point fall into this category.
Also read the tutorial avoiding litigation when using images in relation to images with people.
Images of your branch
The following is a guideline on the types of photos you may wish to include for your website when engaging a photographer.
External photos are best taken at dusk with the lights on inside, and the door open. Warm and welcoming is key. The main objective here is to help people find you, and decide whether they want to come in or not. As a guide aim to have:
- one of the exterior of your branch
- one of the exterior of your Reading Room showing the window display.
Internal photos should appear bright and interesting, inviting and friendly. If possible include the following:
- one image preferably showing shelves well-stocked with new products, and a comfortable seating area. Your Reading Room needs to look “alive” – up-to-date, bright and welcoming.
- one image that is welcoming and bright. These images are best taken by a professional photographer as the wrong angle can look too austere, unless the room is brimming with people. Try to have an interesting visual element as your focal point, such as a book open, a row of people singing, fresh flowers, light streaming in through a window, etc.
- preferably one with children and a teacher engaged in a class (you must get written permission from parents to use photos of children – there is a link to a sample form on the avoiding litigation when using images tutorial)
- if it is not possible to have children in the Sunday School photo, then a good photo of colourful books, children’s tables and chairs, iPad or laptop with TeenConnect displayed, or any other attractive, colourful elements can work well.
Images of your community
If you are hiring a photographer, it is also a good idea to get them to take a few images of your community – the beach, mountains, a sunset, or anything that is unique about your community or surrounding district. These can be used for promotional materials as well as on your website.
Not sure if a photograph is suitable?
As a general rule of thumb, if you have any doubts about a photograph and its suitability, “when in doubt leave it out”.