The photography on your website...
It's one of the most important components of your site because it has the power to make you seem credible or fly-by-night. And Squarespace—as you may have discovered—really highlights photography. The templates are designed with sumptuous photography in mind; and optimized for fast upload, no matter the number of images on a page.
And yet it's one of those things most of us tend to back-burner because it's confusing to know what type of photography to use on your site AND MORE TO THE POINT it feels really super vulnerable to pose for photos, let alone decide upon clothing, a hairstyle (that's not some version of your daily messy bun), and interesting settings (especially when you work from your kitchen table and not a sparkling white office with gold foiled tchotchkes).
I have clients who enter into projects with a bio photo and that's IT; and I source fill-in images here and here. So even if you decide NOT to hire a professional photographer, you can still pull off a great-looking site. (Here's another photography resource list for you).
However, I strongly suggest that you invest in a photo shoot for your new website because the role of photography is very important.
You see, you want your website to be as concise as possible because here's the truth: people aren't going to read most of your words. They're just not. We've heat-mapped and tracked stats in Google Analytics and have concluded you're wasting your breath by typing out every last detail of your work onto your website because people no longer have the time or desire to read tons of words—especially when they're in the early stages of getting to know you. Your blog? Write useful, key-word-lovely content and go for length. But the rest of your site? As Alexandra Franzen puts it, "Brevity is sexy." (Not to mention, just plain smart, because it's less for people to dig through to find what they want.)
My advice when it comes to using photography on your website?
Get to the point with your copy and use awesome photography (marked with alt-text) to take the burden off your website's words when it comes to conveying your value and overarching brand story.
Think of the photos on your site like mirrors. You want your dream clients to look into these mirrors and see themselves.
Your website photography can gorgeously reflect back to clients:
+ the dream of who they can be
+ their values so they instantly know they're in the right place
+ a visual sample of what it feels like to purchase from you or work with you.
Before we part ways today I have a little gift for you: a website photo shoot mini-guide to help you prepare for and communicate with your photographer regarding details such as: settings, lighting, photo orientation, and more!
This is the info sheet I give to our clients when they say, "I booked my photographer, but I'm so nervous! I don't know what to wear, or how to do my makeup, or what settings to shoot in...aaaghh!"