Images - General
Images help to leven a website. They convey information of themselves, and they break up the text. So it's good to make good use of them. But first you have to get the right source material...
Sources of still images
Photos are the most promising source of still images for a church website. A good digital camera helps, but it's possible to take perfectly usable photos with a decent smartphone. Of course, some people are better at taking good photos than others. If you don't have the services of a professional photographer or a similarly skilled amateur, don't worry. As long as your photographer is basically competent, you'll probably manage. Here are a few tips...
- Think about what images you would like to have, and plan to obtain them.
- Take loads and loads of pictures, especially when photographing people. With a digital camera, there are no film or developing costs of course, and if you take enough, some of them probably will be good enough.
- Try to avoid using the camera's built-in flash - or bright sunlight - when taking photos of people, as they tend to produce harsh, flat images.
- Use your imagination - experiment with different camera angles when photographing buildings... but photograph people's faces at their own height.
- Photos of people engaged in different church activities - or just chatting to each other - can work well, as long as they are standing reasonably close together. Photos of people engaged in praise and worship often fail to capture what's going on, and even when they do, the results may not be website material.
Other sources of still images include clip art and stock photographs.
- Exercise great care if using clip art - in unskilled hands it's a quick route to making your site look cheap and tacky.
- As for stock photos...
- There are plenty of wonderful photos available at quite low cost - a few pounds, typically. (There are also some excellent images in the public domain / available at no cost.) You may be able to use a few to good decorative effect.
- Stock photos featuring models should be avoided. Perhaps you think your own congregation isn't sufficiently beautiful? Photograph them anyway - it's your church website, so put pictures of your own church people on it.
- On the other hand, if your church building suffers from bad architecture or an unphotogenic location, why not use a picture of a better looking church instead of yours. No? Quite right. Be real. Be honest.
Shooting video footage that is good enough for a website is harder than taking still images and making sound recordings. If you can get professional help. fine. If not, consider using a mix of audio recording and still images.
Last updated: October 2019