How Important is Photography in Web-design?

[FONT=“Georgia”]A friend asked me that question a week ago.

For me, it’s incredibly important, and goes hand in hand with my jobs. I begin my web-design jobs by taking photos (as needed) of my clients’ products, premises, or portraits of my clients themselves. These photos then become the main basis of my designs.

What about you?

How does your workflow go?

How important are photos for the way you work?


It has some importance to the way I work though nothing near the levels of yours Shaun. Obviously you quite enjoy photography anyway and tie that in with your work. Myself I don’t usually need to get past seeing source code.

I’ve seen some designs that integrated photos quite well into a design. Others, not so much.

I typically don’t rely on photos as part of a design. But, I suppose it’s a style thing.

My experience until now is limited to product pictures (and I didn’t make them ;)) for webshops.
But I guess that also depends on the type and subject of the site.

I think that good photography is really important. It can set the mood of the design and bring it to live. The design is more pleasant to the eye, and it is easier to send a message to the user.

On the opposite hand, a bad chosen photo can mess the whole thing.

Having said that, I wouldn’t see it is essential. We’ve all know quite a few pages that are very successful and have no photos (or at least don’t rely on them). Of course, one of them is the omnipresent Craiglist. I say omnipresent because whenever you need an example of a simple, ugly yet functional and successful design is mentioned.

And, to be honest, many sites that don’t use photos are ugly. It doesn’t need to be that way but it is. I don’t know if it is because the designer or coder didn’t care, or if it is because they didn’t know better or a mix of both.

[FONT=“Georgia”]Yeah, that’s the way I see it too.

Similarly, I’m sure for some other designers, illustrations are the most important. Or vector effects.

I love how you can tell a Miss Lee site from its cartooney look, for example.

Then there are persons who like muted colours and textures, those that like bright colours with lines, all sorts of stuff out there.


Great pictures/ images give life to a website. People are attracted to pictures first before the website’s content imho.

Good photos are eye-catching and provoke people to explore the web site further.

I don’t use photography as a design.
I sometimes use photos to mashup in photoshop to a creation which can be integrated in a design, but it’s not really photography, it’s postprocessing and rather illustrating.

As I have a website about photography, in my case photography is a part of it. :slight_smile:

I agree that Photography is extremely important too and I love taking photos at any given opportunity! The only issue for me, that it’s always a nightmare when I have a client or I’m doing a job for someone, and they want to use their own photographs! Eek!:shifty: Most times the photos are OK (only just) , but other times they are so sub-standard really you simply can’t use them i.e. out of focus or just plain crazy shots that don’t do anything to promote the subject. I always tend to find it a bit awkward to approach things like that but for the sake of the end product looking professional and the best it can be, you just have to do that. Obviously with a bit of tact, not just blurt out something rude - clients have feelings too…apparently :smiley:

If you’re not into Photography I think it can be extremely limiting in Web Design. I know you can buy photographs online for whatever content you require but when it comes to something more personal or as Shaun said, photographs of a premises or event, you can be pretty powerless.

Photography is irrelevant to me in webdesign, a lot of the sites I build don’t even have any photos on them.

For me the design is driven by the job the client wants their site to do and their branding requirements. The template is constructed more with psychology and Usability in mind than photos which may or may not be part of the content but are very unlikely to influence the design. I’m actually struggling to even imagine photography/photos being a factor in the design process it’s such an alien concept to me.

In fact, if photos aren’t part of a photo gallery they’re more often than not a pain in the bum to even integrate into the design.

Photography is important. I think like that , when people visit your website. The first look of them is photo.

I think photography is very impt, but for me that means taking time to carefully source great imagery from stock sites. Actually taking pictures has nothing to do with it for me.

What type of sites do you build? Any chance we can view your portfolio?

Actually I can think of one time my design was influenced by a photo on this site - because the colour palette came from the dress the girl is wearing, but that’s definitely an exception to the rule for me.

Visually stunning pictures can make all the difference in the world for the look & feel of a website. Here is what I have experienced:

  • A mediocre website design with fantastic pictures will look better than it is
  • A graphically stunning website with mediocre / low quality pictures can bring the entire look & feel down
  • A marriage between a graphically stunning design & outstanding pictures can mean a real winner of a website!