Last month, I wrote a website for Oyova Software, and I did the graphics, too. Writing websites is my regular job, but I don’t usually do the visual parts. I put images into blog posts, certainly; I got an A in Photoshop and I can stick pictures into boxes as well as the next person. I’m not a graphic artist, though.
In this case, I was successful with doing all the graphics because the site owner is a pool service in Florida. It simply doesn’t take all that much artistic talent to make a few dozen photos of high-end Florida swimming pools look good.
Right now, I’m working on a site for an alternative energy company. Solar panels and batteries aren’t that photogenic. You can certainly enjoy the scenic panorama with solar panels in the foreground, but after you’ve done that, much of the rest is a specialized taste.
We have designer Tom Hapgood on the job. He’s good with that sort of thing, and bringing in an artist is the best solution. But what if you need frequent images for your blog posts and your subject isn’t one of the photogenic ones? What if you sell batteries? You may not want to hire an artist every time you need an image.
- Take your object somewhere nice. I’m not kidding about the solar panels looking good in front of scenery. Your object might look good in a well-staged photo, too. Shots of your batteries in gorgeous settings could become a fun gimmick for you, in fact.
- Get in close. Move right in and get a confusingly close-up view of that battery. Take it from a number of angles, or just crop a section of it from a larger photo.
- Add people. Yes, a picture of a cute child holding your batteries will look cheesy, but human beings are hard wired to like looking at faces. Get some faces in there.
- Visit Deviant Art. I said getting an artist is the best plan, but if you don’t have one on hand, you can use images artists have shared online. Check out Creative Commons, too. Make sure that the image you choose is intended for sharing, and ask permission if you’re not sure. Then give proper attribution, and you’ve got some art. Chances are you won’t find images of batteries, but you can find images of strength and then point out how strong your batteries are.
The key to success here, I think, is in being honest with yourself about your website’s assets. A highly photogenic subject is an asset, for sure. If that’s not one of your advantages, you can work around it.