Choosing photos for your private practice website can be a difficult, and for many, a stressful (and confusing) task. We get questions all the time about photos — What kind of photos should I use on my website? Where do I buy photos for my website? Do I need a photo on each specialty page? Should I put photos on my blog posts? Where do I put photos?
Today, we are going to cover everything you need to know about photos for your therapy website — the best types of photos to use, where to buy them, what you should AVOID and more.
3 Types of Photos For Your Therapy Website
There are three different types of counseling photos we recommend using on your private practice website. When choosing which type you want to use, the KEY is to stay consistent throughout your entire website. Below are the three most common types of photos for your therapy website.
- People in a state of pain / Mirroring how they feel: Photos mirroring one’s current state of emotions or communicating a state of pain allows one to relate directly to the images. Research has shown that some people want to see their own states of mind mirrored back at them.
- People in a post-therapy state (happy): Another option is photos of people in their post-therapy, or satisfied, emotional state. For those who don’t feel comfortable having photos of unhappy people on their website, this theme is great.
- Nature / Abstract: Photos of nature or abstract art are also an option. This type is great for those who would prefer to stay away from images of people on their site.
Each of the above photo themes will be effective on your private practice website. Choose the type of photo that you feel represents you and communicates who you are and what your practice is all about.
Our advice when choosing photos: Think subtle, sophisticated and authentic. Also, if you decide to go with black and white images, make sure to stick with black and white images throughout your entire site. Consistency is key.
What to AVOID When Choosing Photos
Choosing the wrong type of photos for your website can turn off potential clients. Learning the types of photos to avoid can help in finding those that will attract clients, rather than turn them away. We put together a list of things to avoid when going through the photo selection process:
- Avoid overly-staged photos.One of the biggest things you want to avoid is the use of overly-staged counseling images. Overly-staged photos are those that are phony, obviously not real or inauthentic.
- Avoid exaggerated and goofy photos. Avoid exaggerated and goofy photos at all costs, as these types tend to almost make fun of a person’s state of mind. In no way do you want to give a client a sense that you are making fun of his or her emotions. The client needs to see your empathy from a professional standpoint. Also, humor isn’t something you want to aim for. You want the photos to exude a sense of sophistication and illustrate your ability to truly understand your clients’ feelings.
- Avoid showing props. 9 times out of 10, props in counseling pictures communicate inauthenticity. We recommend avoiding photos with props — for example, a person sitting stressed behind a computer or a person behind the wheel of a car. Also avoid images that have things like check boxes, pencils or pads of paper.
- Avoid frightening counseling pictures. Lastly, avoid photos that illustrate fear. Watch the video below to see a great example of a frightening photo not to use.
- Avoid these other content mistakes..
Where to Buy Photos
There are several places to purchase royalty-free images online. Some of our favorites include:
- iStock Photo: iStock is our go-to image site. They have a great selection of counseling pictures — many of which work well with the types of images we recommend. You can purchase using credits or regular payment.
- Dreamstime: Dreamstime is another great resource for photos. These images do tend to be a little pricier than iStock, so be sure to check iStock to see if they have a similar, if not the same, image.
- Photodune: Photodune is a photo website we recently discovered. Their images are quite a bit cheaper than iStock or Dreamstime, however they seem to have a smaller selection to choose from.
- 123RF: This is another site we were recently introduced to. Similar to Photodune, their images are quite a bit cheaper, but with a smaller selection than iStock or Dreamstime.
Where to Put Photos
Now that you know what types of counseling images to buy, what pictures of therapy to avoid and where to buy them, where do you put them? For specialty pages, the most common positioning is at the top of the page, aligned either right or left.
Another option for specialty pages is to insert a large image that fills the entire page width. If you do this, we recommend that your text still appears “above the fold” (immediately visible on the screen, before scrolling).
Images on your homepage depend entirely on the WordPress Theme (what we call “template”) you have. Some have sliders (with images that automatically or manually change every few seconds), a static banner image, or another image placing on the homepage. Remember to stay consistent with homepage images, as well as specialty page images.
Photos on Blog Posts
In addition to including images throughout your specialty pages, adding an image to your blog posts has many added benefits. By doing so, you can begin to achieve an emotional connection with your reader. And, pictures help to support your blog topic and make it much easier to share on social media. While adding photos to your blog posts isn’t required, it can increase site engagement (AND it has been shown to greatly increase readership!).
Photos for Your “About Me” Page
The photo you select for your “About Me” page is an important part of your website. Through the content and your photo, your “About Me” page communicates who you are to your potential clients. When choosing photos for your about page, we highly recommend adding at least one professional, high quality photo of yourself. We also like to encourage you to add a more casual photo, in addition to your professional photo, further down the page. Adding a more casual photo of yourself allows people to see your human side and possibly relate to you more. You can use a photo of your hobby — for example, if you like hiking, add a photo of you hiking. Or, add a photo of you and your pet. These types of photos are engaging and allow you to present yourself in a way that people can relate to.
We also recommend adding a photo of yourself on your contact page. This allows someone to see your face when taking the next step towards contacting you.
Video on Photo Selection
The video below is a short walkthrough of everything we talked about in today’s post. If you want to see more examples of what photos to use, and those NOT to use, we recommend you check it out.
What other questions do you have about photos on your therapy website?
By: Becky DeGrossa