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Using people in pictures: yea or nay?

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Choosing images for your website can be a fun, yet daunting, task. You need to decide how you want to present your brand to potential customers. You can choose to keep your website imagery focused solely on your actual product, or open it up to some more varied imagery. 

Showing people and faces in your images can be a powerful tool. They can serve as visual cues so that your visitors will ‘look where they look’, guiding visitors through your website’s information. This kind of image can provide context for your products, or even lend more authenticity to your About or Testimonial pages. Others can find the inclusion of people and faces distracting, particularly if the images are very obviously staged stock photos. 

Where do you land on using people in pictures? Have you noticed their impact or lack thereof? Share your learnings in the comments below!


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I find that a lot of sites seem to use what appear to me to be stock images of people that are supposedly enthralled with the product or service. It just comes off as cheap, insincere, and is a turn off for me. 

Getting quality and genuine images is an art and takes a good photographer to capture the essence.

I suggest staying away from people images unless they are high quality and custom.

Edited by creedon

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Having a human element in branded photography adds warmth and can set the tone. However, they must be of high-quality and be directly connected to the content. In other words, having a photo needs to add value and communicate a strong message rather than be an arbitrary element. Sometimes you really need a photo to break up the space on a web page, but make sure it says what you want it to.

Monique Johnson


Beautiful Branding for Small Businesses

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99 percent of imges on my site are my own. I do use a few stock/google images as a visual lead in to a blog post. That is very rare however. Some photos I use are old historical images or pictures of family provided to me by a relative. An image provides a visual  invitiation to read my story. 

my random views

Edited by derricksrandomviews
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I think images with people can work really well but it is extremely hard to get good ones unles you hire a photographer.

I find it particularly challenging in New Zealand as most stock images are American and you easily tell, we just don't look like that here. I often find Unsplash has a wider international range of photos photos that often feel less stock, the downside is I often see an image and recognise it from Unsplash.


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