Brutus and woman with signs

Cost of Photography for a Website.

Imagery is a large part of selling a product for a business. If web sites only consisted of text then it would be very boring. We are 90% visual creatures so there is only so much you can do with fonts to stimulate that part of the mind. That is where photography comes in. Nowadays, photography has become much more accessible to all of us with the advent of smart phones and competitive pricing on quality camera equipment.

This is not to say anyone can take a photo. This is not the case because there has always been skill and talent involved in creating engaging meaningful photographs. Having your business look its best is important and photographs are the prime example of how most businesses do so. Whether it be signs, website or advertisement, imagery set the scene and the mood.

There are two options, getting a skilled photographer or using stock images;


Camera Equipment

Getting a good photographer to photo your business is the best way of showing a business of at its best. Why?

1. Exclusive
The images taken are of you and your business. Nobody else has a photo like this. Stock photos are very predictable and easy to identify. This sends the right message to the customer and you have the license to use the images forever.

2. Design
The images can take part in the overall design of the site. This is a real plus for designers because photography can really make a site stand out if all is taken into consideration from the outset.

3. Feel
The images on a website set the tone and if it is personable then there is a sense of trust that goes along with it. Trust in your business means that people are more likely to comfortable in doing business with you.

Why not?
1. Expense
How much does a photographer cost? Have you ever gotten married? Ok, that is at the extreme end of the scale. Images cost between €50 and €200 each depending whether you are hiring a Semi-Pro or a top professional.

2. Hissy fits
We know photographers have a hard time trying to verbally open peoples eyes. It’s a tough life. Some are of a higher being than us mortals. Joking aside, a good skilled photographer that communicates well, is worth it.

3. Time
It may take time to get the shots edited or even a photo shoot to be organised. Stock photos, pay and download and upload. Easy.



Stock images are quick and easy, the look great but you still know, you still know. A bit like template design you know because there is just that industrial conveyor belt feeling that you have seen it all before. That is what stock images do, they are generic. They still look good but it just feels like the effort has not been put in. There are many advantages to them and if chosen wisely they can do as good a job as a hired photographer would do. Why?, because they OBVIOUSLY were taken with a camera too.

Example, say a business in the west of Ireland were selling a product, would you have spanish looking people in the sun on a beach smiling unwittingly into the camera? Maybe, but it just looks weird. They should be in overalls with umbrellas with it bucketing down. Ireland certainly would be a great place for an umbrella manufacturer to pitch tent that is for sure.

The arguments for stock photography are;
1. Cheap
Shutter stock is full of great images, graphics, video, music etc. All at a price. It is cheap though compared to hiring a photographer.
Examples of stock sites are; – 5 images – €39, 25 images – €179 – 1 image – €24, 10 images – €35 per month

2. Fast
Within minutes you could have your images ready to download and put up on your website, no messing around.

3. Design
May hinder the design of a site with the images you get. WELL DON’T GET THEM.

4. Used

Like templates for a site, they have been used before. Just be careful a competitor has not used the same one or there could be war.

5. Licenses
Many people just download images off the net thinking that they can use them wherever. The internet is NOT ONE GIANT TORRENT. Like the poor musician, you can not just go and download their music and listen to it without knowing you are stealing. Just because it is invisible to the eye (CD), and is in digital format that came from the great supplier of free stuff(internet) does not make it free.(INTERESTING FACT: Musicians in cuba get paid more than doctors).

Anyhow, just read the fine print and see if you are good to go with it and that you are okay to use it for your site.

Free Images


There are plenty of good images that can be downloaded for free too. Just look for public domain images or even CC (Creative Commons) imagery. You might need to attribute it but just read the damn license agreement. Obviously there is nowhere near the level of imagery or quality available and it might take time even to find a single image that suits.

That is the low down on images, so now you know that within a site that contains tens or even hundreds of images, some poor schmuck had to go and take the shot too. If you add this to a website and have say 10 images within the site, which is quite low it would equate to

Stock – €35 – €78
Photographer €500 – €2,000
Free – Free but how much do you charge per hour looking for images that will work, be properly licensed and attributed for when all the checks are done.

So there you are, “a picture paints 1000 words”.

The next weeks section, we will discuss what costs, in particular, Logo and Graphics.

How much does a website cost? Logo and Graphics