Branding is about imagery, and the job of the best websites is to deliver that imagery to the consumer in the most user-friendly and smooth manner that they can. It’s very rare that someone talks about their favorite restaurant and says “I just love how the flash buttons on the home page load.” What sticks in the customer’s mind are the gorgeous images of the food, the vistas, the emotions – the product.
Now that’s not in any way an effort to belittle the amount of work that a web designer like myself does. Sometimes we spend hours just trying to get a swap image effect to work seamlessly, or make the menu bar flow intuitively, but most of the time the real star of your website is going to be your photographs.
One recent example of this was my website for The View Crest Lodge in Trinidad. They had a website, but it had no photographs over 150 pixels wide. Who stays at a hotel that boasts “View” in the name but that doesn’t have any photos of their gorgeous private cabins.
After meeting with the client, the first step was to set up a photo shoot. I had them contact Andrew Sible Photography and set a shoot for the end of the month. In the meantime, I crafted their layout with placeholder images so that the process would be quick once the real photos arrived.
I wasn’t disappointed. Andrew took some fantastic photos and I’ve gotten three job inquiries out of the site already. I put fifty hours into building the stage, but in the end it’s the imagery that is the star of the show. Just the way it should be 🙂