Photos can make your website or blog stand out. You may wish to display photos of the attorneys in your firm, photos to simplify legal concepts, or photos to highlight certain points. However, you should be mindful of legal, aesthetic and technical issues before spicing up your website or blog.
Legal. While Google Images is a great tool to see what images other people have used to illustrate certain concepts, you cannot reuse those images on your website or blog. In all likelihood, someone, such as the photographer, holds the copyright to that image. For low cost stock photos, you may consider using iStockphoto, which only costs $1 for a web-ready image.
Aesthetic. Digital cameras have vastly simplified the task of taking photos and placing them online. But, there’s no guarantee that those photos will be any good. So, if you’re thinking of taking snapshots around the office instead of hiring a professional photographer to take portraits of all the attorneys, keep the following in mind:
- Focus. Make sure that the attorney is in focus. For whatever reason, sometimes a camera will lock in on the wrong object and take an off-focus image. Sure, programs such as Photoshop can sharpen an image, but if the focus is too off, nothing can save it.
- Lighting. Professional photographers have all sorts of lights to illuminate the foreground and background of a scene. They also have ways to direct or soften the light so that there’s no red eye or hot spot. Make sure you have sufficient lighting, so that your photos are not underdeveloped. Also, be conscious if your camera’s built-in flash bounces off someone’s face, glasses, or a window, and leaves a white spot.
- Background. When you visit a professional photographer, you usually can pick from a selection of backgrounds for your photo. If you’re going to take the photo yourself in your office, be conscious of what is displayed in the background. Especially within an office environment, you might find a stack of case files or other books on a desk or credenza. Other times, a bookshelf or other object in the background might create distracting background lines, such as when a vertical line rises out of someone’s head.
Technical. While a photo may enhance a web site or blog, too many photos can distract the viewer or lengthen web page loading times. When possible, resize and crop your photos to tighten the shot and reduce file sizes.