A picture is worth a thousand words.
And it still is today. With the media changing everyday photography has changed along with it and as a result is still a valuable resource for web business.
1. Photos enhance the look of a website.
2. Communicate so much more than words, they communicate emotions.
3. Photos can be customized for borders and backgrounds.
4. Photos have more impact than clip art. (They tend to give a more professional look.)
5. Stock photography is a big business and affordable stock is out there.
As a web business you're most likely a small business and have a limited budget and that's where stock photography can be great resource for you. You can spend as little as $10.00 or as much as $200.00 plus on one image. (Consider that if you hired a professional commercial photographer to shoot a few rolls of film to your specifications it would cost you thousands and thousands of dollars.)
Things to remember when shopping for stock photography:
1. Know what you want, start with a generic idea and get specific as you shop (Remember you probably will not find the exact image that you have in your head, be open to good photos that you find along the way.)
2. Shop around, try the larger agencies try the independents too. (Larger agencies offer more to chose from independent photographers offer more personalized service.)
3. Know what you're going to use it for, stock photography belongs to the photographer who created it, or the agency, so know what you need it for there can and will be limitations of use.
4. Know what format you need, you only need 72 dpi for the web, be careful that you don't pay for a higher quality when you don't need it. (300 dpi for printing purposes)
5. Know your terms for the industry, Make sure that you know what the difference is between royalty free and rights managed, and any other terms the business may use. If something is not clear on their site contact them and ask for clarification.
So remember you can add a little more impact and emotion to your site by making use of the stock photography out there today.