Most churches would love to get photos of their own church in action to put on their website. They just don’t know where to start. Updating your church’s website with real images of real people can have a great impact on your website, branding, and online presence overall. Using customized images allows your church to have a more authentic appearance when guests come to your website or other online outlets. The good news is that it’s much easier to do than you think.
Here are 6 tips to help you get better images for your website.
1) You don’t need fancy equipment or professional photographers.
While a professional photographer can definitely get you some great shots, you would be surprised at the quality of photos your own members can capture with their personal DSLR camera or smart phones. In fact, the majority of my church’s website photos were taken by a high school student. Find someone in your church that likes photography and enlist your congregation in sharing candid shots they take during your events.
2) Take photos of your worship team during practice.
Close up shots of people engaged in worship are great church website photos. However, they are hard to take during the service without being disruptive. The best way to catch these moments is to have someone come during your worship team’s normal practice time. It’s important that the photos reflect an authentic worship time at yourchurch, so ask the team to wear what they would normally wear on Sunday, use your typical lighting, and have your presentation software showing in the background.
3) Get photos of your pastor preaching before or after worship.
A photo of your pastor preaching communicates a lot about the atmosphere of your church. But having a photographer on stage trying to get the right photo can be distracting. Ask your pastor to come to church a few minutes early or stick around 30 minutes afterwards. Have them preach through their sermon as long as the photographer needs to get their photos.
4) Posing for photos.
Live shots of groups are hard to get. You can often end up catching people in awkward positions or with less than flattering facial expressions. Don’t be afraid to ask your event crews, worship team, pastors, or Sunday School teachers to pose for a picture. While you wouldn’t want all the photos on your website to be posed, there are definitely times when it make sense.
5) Take lots of pictures
When building and updating your website, your web team will need a variety of photos to choose from. It is important to takes lots of pictures. Make sure you take them from different areas of the room to get different angles. Take portrait and landscape photos. Close up shots are important, but so are shots from further away with more of a background.
6) Get written permission from people before you post their photo on your website
Most people are happy to have you use their pictures to promote your church. However, some people value their privacy. It is always best to get written permission before you place anyone’s photo on your website.
In addition to these tips, we have created this checklist to help you keep track of the different kinds of photos you will need for your website.