How to Gather High Quality Images for Your New Website

GovOffice Design Series, Part 1

In a recent GovOffice eNews article, we touched on the importance of incorporating high quality images into your local government website design. However, according to our lead designer, acquiring such images is a common challenge for clients. They take on the task entirely themselves and sometimes resort to generic photographs gleaned from the Internet, old snapshots from the area, or even clip art.

Our designs offer many distinctive ways to showcase your community’s brand, so populating these spaces with exceptional photos is crucial to ensure your new design really shines. This article provides a few ideas on how you can gather high quality images for your new website. Your collection of stunning images is closer than you think!

Choosing the right subject
Choosing the right subjects for your images is a critical first step before you start the gathering. Your photos should be community focused and promote your local quality of life. Think about what makes your city unique: historical landmarks, distinctive landscapes, a bustling main street, an elegant capitol building, cozy neighborhoods, community events, local businesses, etc. What is your city’s slogan? Perhaps a theme or feel can be built around that. The answers are usually right in front
of you.

Prosser, WA highlighted their annual balloon regatta.

Tips for the Do-It-Yourselfer
If you choose to go it alone and take your own photos, or have your in-house staff take care of this task, here are a couple nuts-n-bolts articles on how to compose and take effective photos. The articles are succinct yet thorough.

8 tips for taking great photos

Ten Tips for Making Interesting Images

Hire a professional
Many of our clients have had great success hiring a professional photographer to get the job done. Even the smallest communities find exceptional local pros that are eager to do the work. And based on our anecdotal evidence, they always deliver!

Canyon Lake California Website
Canyon Lake, CA hired local pros to capture the essence of their city.

Conduct a community photo contest
If you don’t have or want to spend the money hiring a pro, asking community members to submit images is a great and fun way to gather images for your new website design. You’d be surprised how many budding photographers live in your area. They are usually very eager to show off their work and like the pros, the results are often quite stunning. The bonus here is community members may find that little extra inspiration as they really know the area and know what is important to your city’s identity. Make a city-wide announcement on our website, they will respond!

Community members contributed gorgeous photos for the new
Ashland County, WI website.

Use stock images that fit your community brand
There are many online catalogs of diverse stock images waiting for you. The photos included in these collections hit all of the marks described above. You could a gather many to shape your entire design or perhaps just a few to supplement what you already have. The key is finding the right images that fit your community brand. The other advantage here is the potential time savings. Look through the selections, make your choices, and they are design-ready. Contact us today to learn more about our stock image packages.

As you can see, finding and gathering high quality images for your local government website design is not too hard. It just takes a little planning and using the right resource. Before you know it, your new design is on its way!