Images are a powerful way to convey emotion and bring attention to a particular call-to-action on a website.

Finding the right picture can sometimes be a painstaking process. We hear a lot from clients that they’re tired of corporate “stock photos” yet they will also be the one that doesn’t have images of their own products and services.

Sometimes, the answer to this conundrum easy. Elevated Websites will work with a photographer and build a plan to take some great, current photos and video of the client’s office, surroundings, products or maybe even some past happy clients.

Other times, it can be a bit more challenging if the client doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar style business, a budget or they are a small team just getting started.

As the old adage: when all else fails, use great photos of Chicago!

When building websites for a business located in and around Chicago, we love to highlight the important aspects about their business but when we can, we also like to use engaging photos of our great city to help make the right feel for a particular website.  We also happen to have one of the most magnificent skylines in the world!

Here’s an example of how a great Chicago photo can draw a point.  On frontandsocial.com, we used video footage of the Kennedy Expressway to create a really cool animated effect on the website’s homepage.

Don’t have a dossier of Chicago photos on hand? Don’t fret.

As citizen photographers, you can save a ton of time and money by snapping photos probably using devices you already have.

As you go about the town and do your business, think about opportunities to snap some pics with your smartphone.  Most newer model phones come equipped with a pretty decent camera and take photos in a solid resolution good enough for web format.   It’s ok if the photos are not exactly perfect. Nothing a little photoshop can’t fix up but just try to avoid really blurry and obviously obtrusive objects such as light poles and trash cans. (Unless that’s what you’re going for.)

Tip: Try to take photos with your camera facing horizontally.  Most websites are rectangular so the images will fit better this way.  Trust me.

By taking photos with your smartphone, you can build a nice repository of your own Chicago photos, which you also happen to likely own the rights to. (Depending on what or who are in the photo.)

Even if the pictures are not exactly website homepage perfect, the shots can give you an idea of what you’re looking for in a photo so we can either find a similar photo or retake it with our professional eye. ;)  Practice makes perfect!

You can also use your “file photos” to accompany appropriate blog posts and for your social media strategy.  Win-Win I say!

Here are some photos we’ve taken with our smartphones.