It is absolutely true that great photography really enriches a website, advertisement, etc. There are many topics that we reiterate with every single client when working on projects. For example, continuity is important throughout all marketing materials to establish brands. Another one of those main topics that always comes up is photography. Photography can make or break a website or an ad easily. If the photo is amateurish, it makes the site or ad feel amateurish as well. And vice-versa. If the photo is beautiful, it makes the site or ad beautiful. To accomplish the outcome of a great website or ad the complete package is needed, which includes the perfect photos.
Above we have a simple Volkswagen Jetta ad we quickly threw together to use as an example. The basic layout is the same for both ads with the only difference being the photography. Just as a quick disclaimer before the next couple paragraphs, we didn’t make any adjustments to the photos and they are exactly as we found them.
The photo in the ad on the left looks like it came from a standard pocket digital camera. The photo lacks nice mid-tones and there is too much distraction in the background, just to name a couple items that strike us that this may not be the right photo to use. The angle of the car itself isn’t bad, but the photo just doesn’t feel right. There are some things that we could adjust in Photoshop and Lightroom, but as a designer, I’d rather have something more polished right from the start.
The photo in the ad on the right has those mid-tones we’re looking for. The photo has definitely been touched up. It has a little bit of the heightened HDR look to it and is taking advantage of the light and dark areas without losing everything in between. The angle of the car is cleaner, the front wheels are angled which gives a nice sporty look, and there is nothing in the background to distract from the main selling point of this ad, which is the car.
Not every ad or site calls for pristine, tidy photos. Sometimes an ad or site needs trashy, cluttered photos because of a specific focus. So ‘great’ doesn’t necessarily mean one style, it just means that the photography is a perfect fit for it’s subject matter.