What Images to Put on Your Website & How to Get Them
You know the saying: an image is worth a thousand words. Now that you’ve got a website by following our advice in Tourism Marketing #2: Build a Simple Website, fill it with stunning imagery. You do not need to write a whole paragraph on how stunning the landscapes that your tour visits are if you have a couple of jaw-dropping pictures on your homepage. Travelling is all about emotion and experiences. You have the power to already create those just by picking the right images. That’s what we’ll cover in this marketing guide for tourism businesses in New Zealand, as we go over how to get striking imagery for your website and what to look for in a photographer.
A Note About This Tourism Marketing Guide
If you are just stumbling upon this page randomly or through a search engine, lucky you. But before you keep going, you should definitely read the introductory article to this New Zealand tourism marketing series so you get a bit of context about the tone and the content within it.
This article follows directly from Tourism Marketing #2: Build a Simple Website.
What Images Do You Need for Your Website?
Make a list of the images you need for your website, i.e. panoramas for the homepage, landscape pictures for the product pages, etc, plus the images you’d like to have on hand. Let’s go over some examples of the types of images to get for your website:
- Close-ups for the smaller images (a quarter of a page), for instance. Close-ups are easier to decipher for readers that will browse your site on mobile phones and see a tiny version of that image
- Crone- or wide-angle shots for larger images. These types of shots show the full experience and that can be used on the homepage at almost full size
- Take also a minute to think about the different pages that you will have on your website and the information that you will cover. It may be worth it to have an illustration for all, for example, kids pricing (photo of kids on the tour), 24/7 reception (photo of your accommodation at night), etc.
Get those shots done all in one session. In short, making a thorough list of all the images you need to promote your tourism business before doing a photoshoot will save you time and money, so it is worth doing seriously.
Tips for Hiring a Photographer
Perhaps you may not be the best photographer yourself but many people are incredibly talented. There is a reason why Waitomo and Hobbiton are always at the forefront of the New Zealand travel media: they get the best photographers to shoot their tours. The results and imagery are so striking that the world wants to use them when talking about New Zealand.
There are, however, a few things to keep in mind when hiring a photographer. We’ve done it and here is what we’ve learned…
Ask for a Daily Rate
Typically, you only need to hire a photographer for a couple of days – one for the shoot and one for editing. Many photographers will try to get you into a “price per photo” or another kind of photo-number package. What we’ve seen happen in this instance is that the photographer sends you the agreed 30 shots which are good enough, but then they will have a series of 10 extra shots that they will call “premiums” to get you to pay more afterwards. And yes, these “premiums” are often some of the best photos. Discuss the rate of your photographer beforehand so you can avoid the “price per photo” scam.
Give a LOT of Information to Your Photographer
We like to have about half the shots we pay for already in mind. To communicate this to the photographer, we print out similar shots that we like from different sources and send them to the photographer ahead of time saying: “We would like these 20 shots but with our van or branding there,” for example. This ensures that you and the photographer are on the same page. Be open to suggestions, however, as a good photographer knows what looks good and will often have some of their own great ideas.
Ask for the Full Unedited Shoot
Agree with the photographer to get a copy of the SD card at the end of the shoot. You will need to be prepared with a computer and a USB card reader, for instance. We like to do this before the photos are being touched up. This will allow your photoshoot to be “future-proof” meaning that if you need different sizes, crops, colour changes or something else, you can still get somebody to work on those pictures for you a couple of years down the line. This will also make sure that you have a wide range of shots rather than just the small selection of shots that the photographer will choose.
Get Full Rights of the Shots
Many photographers nowadays have lost touch with the fact that they are working for clients and almost act like you are working for them. If you are hiring them for a shoot, get them to give you the full rights of the images in perpetuity – none of that “license expiry” nonsense. You need to be able to use the images for life, distribute them for life, use them in any form and media. You may need to credit the photographer where reasonable, which is all good, but other tight conditions are a no-go.
No Watermarks on the Pictures
This is less and less of an issue nowadays but we have had photographers insisting on having their watermark on all shots used. This, quite frankly, looks ugly and is not Ok!
Do Not Pay Thousands for Instagram-Popular Photographers
While a great place to start when looking for a photographer is Instagram, it is easy to go down the rabbit hole of getting “the most popular” one. As a rule of thumb (and from experience), the most popular ones are fantastic but expensive. On the other hand, the not-so-popular photographers are a treat to work with at a more reasonable price. After trying a bit of all, we like to browse Instagram accounts under 10,000 followers. These photographers are usually much cheaper, will offer more photos, and all in all, give you more bang for your buck. Plus, they will be so grateful to have been found that they will be a joy to work with. If you have the budget, the New Zealand Instagram stars are obviously a great way to go, but it would pay off to look at separating the costs of the shoot and the cost of the social media shares.
Once you get your shots, you can finally show off your tour or accommodation to the world! Start by replacing the placeholders on your website with the great new shots and go claim your listing on the Tourism New Zealand’s website, which coincidentally is the next article in the series…
Do You Want to be Featured on NZ Pocket Guide?
Once you’ve got stunning images to showcase your offering, if you want your business to be featured on New Zealand’s largest and most popular travel guide, we’re just a quick email away. Just head to our contact page. Plus, if you mention this article series, we’ll shout you 20% OFF your first year ad campaign – just like that!
Continue Reading the Tourism Marketing Guides…
To keep going with this article series, check out Tourism Marketing #4: List Your Product on NewZealand.com and more… Or go back and start afresh with the 10 Tips to Promote Your New Zealand Travel Business.