Website Design for Small Business Galway Ireland

Where to get the best images for your website

Where to get the best images for your website

Images can significantly enhance the appeal of a website creating an engaging and immersive user experience. However, finding the perfect visuals for your site isn't always straightforward. With numerous options available - from hiring a professional photographer, taking your own photographs, using stock images, or even utilizing AI-generated visuals - it can be challenging to identify the right source for your specific needs.

That's where this comprehensive guide comes into play. This post will demystify the process of obtaining high-quality images for your website, discussing the pros and cons of each method. Whether you're a seasoned web designer or just dipping your toes in the world of web imagery, this guide aims to provide actionable insights to aid in your image selection journey.

So, let's dive in and uncover the best sources for your website imagery, ensuring your site not only looks great but truly resonates with your audience.

Hiring a professional photographer

In my decade-long experience of working with clients on website design, I've seen firsthand the powerful impact of professional photography. I consistently advise clients to invest in this aspect if their budget allows. The reason is simple: professional photographs have a unique ability to elevate a brand, engage visitors, and create an unforgettable online presence.

By investing in professional photography, you don't just acquire high-quality images, you also gain a competitive edge. This is crucial in today's crowded digital landscape where standing out and making a lasting impression on your target audience can make all the difference.

While the process of working with a professional photographer involves an investment of time and cost, the extensive benefits and positive influence they bring to your website's performance are beyond question. Through meticulous planning, coordination, and final editing, each image is crafted to align perfectly with your brand's vision and message, making the entire process a worthy investment.

When to Invest in Professional Photography:

Tips on How to Find and Work with Photographers:

  1. Portfolio Review: Before hiring a photographer, look at their portfolio to ensure their style matches your brand.
  2. Clear Brief: Provide a clear brief about what you need, including the style, mood, subjects, and any specific shots you want.
  3. Budget and Deliverables: Discuss the budget and what it includes, like the number of edited images and usage rights.

Remember, professional photography is an investment. The right images can enhance your brand image and engage your audience more effectively. In the next section, we'll look at a more accessible way to source images - using stock photographs.

Taking photographs with a smartphone or camera

In the realm of website design, while professional photography plays a crucial role in enhancing brand image, there are instances where taking your own photographs can offer unique benefits. With the remarkable advances in smartphone camera technology, you now have the power to capture high-quality images that add a personal touch and authenticity to your website.

Capturing your own images allows you to infuse a sense of genuineness and relatability into your website. These images can narrate your brand's story, reveal its personality, and build a stronger connection with your audience.

When personal photos make a difference:

While taking your own photographs requires time and a certain level of skill, it's an opportunity to tell your brand's story in the most authentic way. Good photography isn't just about pointing and shooting; it involves understanding composition, lighting, and editing. Therefore, I encourage practicing and experimenting to improve your skills over time.

Tips for Taking Good Photos with a Smartphone:

Remember, practice makes perfect. The more photos you take, the better you'll get. Your unique photos can make your website stand out and resonate more with your audience.

In the next section, we'll explore another way to source high-quality images - hiring a professional photographer.

Using Stock Photographs

Stock photographs are a popular choice for many websites. They are ready-made photos that you can browse, buy, and use instantly. From scenic landscapes to office scenarios, there's a stock photo for nearly every subject you can imagine.

Easy & Quick: With stock photos, you don't have to worry about planning a photoshoot or waiting for the perfect weather. You can search, purchase, and use the photo immediately.

Variety: Stock photo websites offer a vast array of images covering a wide range of subjects, styles, and themes. Whatever you need, there's likely a stock photo for it.

Quality: Most stock photos are professionally taken, so the quality is usually high.

Times when stock photography comes in handy:

Tips for Using Stock Photos:

Intro to stock images licences:

List of site where to get stock photographs:

  1. Shutterstock (
  2. Getty Images (
  3. Adobe Stock (
  4. iStock (
  5. Depositphotos (
  6. Dreamstime (
  7. Alamy (
  8. Pond5 (
  9. Stocksy United (
  10. Westend61 (
  11. Image Source (
  12. Unsplash (
  13. Pixabay (
  14. Pexels (
  15. Freepik (
  16. Gratisography (
  17. Reshot (
  18. StockSnap (
  19. Foodiesfeed (
  20. Rawpixel (
  21. Kaboompics (
  22. ISO Republic (
  23. SplitShire (
  24. Picography (
  25. Magdeleine (
  26. Public Domain Archive (
  27. Jay Mantri (

Remember, while stock photos may lack the unique touch of personal or professional photos, they can still be a valuable resource when used strategically. In the next section, we'll discuss a modern approach to sourcing images - using AI to generate them.

(Bonus) AI Generated Images

Technology never ceases to amaze. With the advent of AI, we now have the ability to generate images. This burgeoning field is producing some incredible tools like Midjourney, which allows for the creation of unique, AI-generated images. It might not suit every scenario yet, but for some, it could offer an exciting, innovative way to fill their visual content needs.

Unique Content: Since AI creates these images, each one is unique. You won't have to worry about seeing the same image on another website.

Customization: Some AI tools let you guide the creation process, meaning you can get an image that fits your needs more closely.

Ideal Situations for Using AI-Generated Images:

Potential Downsides:

Tips for Using AI-Generated Images:

  1. Test Different Tools: There are many AI image-generating tools out there, like Runway ML and Daz 3D. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, so test a few to see which one fits your needs best.
  2. Check the License: Ensure you understand the licensing agreement of the AI tool and that it gives you the rights to use the images as you wish.

AI-generated images are an exciting development in the digital world, and while they may not replace traditional images just yet, they can certainly supplement your image sourcing strategy. Now that we've discussed where to source your images, let's move on to how to choose the right image for your website.

No-No's of Sourcing Images

While we've discussed various avenues to source images for your website, it's equally important to highlight the practices you should avoid. Misusing images can not only tarnish your brand's reputation but also lead to legal issues. So, here are a few no-no's when getting images for your website:

Stealing Images from Other Websites:

Never take images directly from other websites without explicit permission. This is considered copyright infringement and is illegal. Each image is someone's intellectual property, and using it without their consent is not only unethical but can also lead to legal consequences. And this is not cool, really. You are better than this.

Using Images from Stock Websites with Watermarks:

Using stock images that are watermarked indicates that the image is copyrighted and requires payment for its use. Using these images without purchasing a license is also a form of copyright infringement. If a stock photo fits your needs, it's worth investing in a license to use it legally and professionally.

Misusing Creative Commons Images:

Creative Commons images are often free to use, but they come with certain conditions. Some require attribution to the original creator, while others may restrict commercial use. Always check the specific Creative Commons license attached to an image and ensure you adhere to its terms.

Ignoring Image Licenses:

Whether you're using stock images, free images, or images from social media platforms, always check the license associated with the image. The license will tell you how you can use the image and whether there are any restrictions or requirements, such as attribution or non-commercial use only.

Using Irrelevant Images:

Even if an image is beautiful or eye-catching, if it doesn't align with your brand, message, or content, it can confuse your audience and detract from your message. Always choose images that are relevant and enhance your content.

Remember, the way you source your images reflects on your brand. Using images responsibly and ethically is crucial to maintaining your brand's integrity and building trust with your audience.


In the end, sourcing images for your website is about more than just finding attractive pictures. It's about choosing images that best reflect your brand, engage your audience, and enhance your website's overall effectiveness. From capturing your own photographs to hiring a professional or exploring stock images and AI-generated visuals, each approach offers unique benefits and opportunities.

Personal photographs can give your website authenticity and relatability, allowing you to showcase the human side of your brand. Professional photos, on the other hand, add a level of polish and quality that can elevate your brand image and make a strong impression on your visitors. Stock photos provide a quick and convenient solution, while AI-generated images open up new possibilities for unique and customizable visuals.

Every source has its own place and purpose. Understanding these can help you make informed decisions about what will work best for your specific needs. The key is to strike a balance that aligns with your brand identity, resonates with your audience, and fits within your budget and resources.

So, get out there, start exploring, and see the difference the right images can make to your website's appeal and performance. Remember, the power of images in web design is undeniable - they can truly transform your website from good to unforgettable. Enjoy the journey and make the most of it!

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