Whenever I see a website that really stands out, I have to take a minute to figure out what makes it so impressive. Invariably, it is the use of graphics. Either photographs or well made images.
My question then is two part: Where do you get your graphics and do you have any tips on producing better photographs?
I do a pretty fair job with photoshop but skill and time both limit what I can do. There are "free" sites but searching takes forever and there are credit link requirements and I wouldn’t want to stick links like that on a client’s site. Custom work can be expensive though! That’s fine for an important graphic but it’s hard to bite the bullet for a minor graphic that is mostly just used to break up a wall of text.
Photographs, on the other hand, are just beyond me. I’m never happy with what I end up with. On ecommerce sites, the thumbnails need to be small (say 100×80) and still be spectacular. Some people have the knack… I don’t.
I read a thread once that talked about ultra bright white paper as a backdrop, setting up lighting and then adjusting something on your camera to tell it that the "white" in the background should be "pure" white and to adjust everything to that. I didn’t quite follw and unfortunately didn’t save the link :(
A lot of people put the onus on the client to supply the graphics but if you are trying to sell an ecommerce site to someone who doesn’t have any graphics, you either need to say goodbye to the client, take the pics yourself or hire a professional. At 100+ products that could be very very expensive.