Tag Archives: Web Design

Custom Photography vs. Stock Photography

When it comes to your new website or marketing materials, choosing the right images to visually entice your potential clients can be a little difficult. Do you use stock photography? Do you have a professional photographer shoot photos for you? What if you don’t have the money to splurge on a professional photoshoot? These are just a few of the questions that can run through a clients mind when choosing the imagery that best represents your company and the services and products you offer.

Custom photography is usually the way to go and is worth it in the long run.

Custom Photography

Custom Team Photo vs. Stock Team Photo

Custom photos positively impact websites because it shows you’ve taken the time to provide a vision of what your company has to offer in comparison to your competitors who are using common stock photos shared with so many others on the internet. Stock photos were shot with another person’s vision in mind, which means you’re now attempting to fit someone else’s vision into your puzzle. With custom photography, you’re in control of the vision and what your company’s message is trying to convey. It also allows you to use your photos whenever and wherever you like. When it comes to photos of your employees, custom wins all the way. Potential clients are able to put legitimate faces to the company instead of bland stock photos of strangers who you would never meet in your dealings with a company. It’ll always make a client feel at ease if they feel like they know you better.

Stock Photography

Stock photos options can be great! Stick to high-quality stock images

That being said, stock photos aren’t entirely bad if used correctly. There are always pros and cons. While it can be the cheaper option in a short-term situation, you can run into some issues. Depending on what your company does, your competition could easily be checking out similar stock photos or in some cases, the same exact photo as as you. That quickly brings you into the situation of your website or materials going from completely original to ordinary and template looking. This destroys your ability to separate yourself from the crowd. There is clearly a difference between using beautiful shots of a city location and using the same familiar, generic stock personality that everyone else uses. If anything, stick to high quality stock images. Places like istockphoto, dollarphotoclub, and Getty Images (although Getty can get costly itself) can provide very nice photos that can easily be the missing piece to enhancing your site or advertisement.

Final word: You can use both when it comes to your marketing materials and needs, but it ultimately comes down to how you use them. You just need to find the right fit and balance to keep your brand unique to you.

Behind the Scenes: KWCP Red Day Video Shoot


We recently teamed up with Keller Williams Capital Properties (KWCP) for a video shoot in honor of their RED Day event. RED Day, which stands for Renew, Energize, and Donate, is an annual event where the KWCP associates take a break from the office and serve worthy organizations and causes in their community.

We visited two locations for our shoot: Woodbridge, VA and Anacostia in South East Washington, DC. Our shoot consisted of interviews with four members of the KWCP team, going in depth about the importance of RED Day and what it means to the company and the communities that surround them. Along with the interviews, we shot the KWCP members at task with assigned service duties at each location. It’s always a great experience to see worthy communities being helped and RED Day was a great example of that.

Check out some photos from our video shoot below.

Building a Community: Takoma Park

We recently launched the Old Takoma Business Association new community website. They were looking to upgrade the site for the city of Takoma Park (Maryland, Washington DC). From upcoming events, to a list of local businesses and available resources, the website is a central hub for all and any needed information pertaining to the community of Takoma Park. We implemented a custom, easy-to-use calendar that allows site users the convenience of submitting upcoming and recurring events, helping to keep the site fresh and up-to-date with content and happenings. In addition, we created an easy navigation for the site, dividing it into five main areas: Explore, Events, Business, and Live, accompanied by tertiary menus under each to add the ease of finding what areas apply to each site visitor.

For community websites, it’s sole purpose is to relay necessary information whether it’s needed or wanted. Now Takoma Park does just that with a clean and easy-to-use web presence that’s easily accessible on any device (desktop, tablet, and mobile).


Site Features

+ Responsive Web Design
+ Custom Event Calendar
+ Custom Event Submissions for Users
+ Custom Featured Event Page
+ Tertiary Dropdown Menus
+ News/Blog Feed


Marveling Redesign with Superpowered E-Commerce


Calling back to our Third Eye Comics Photo Shoot last June, we worked with local comic store, Third Eye Comics on a revamp of their website. The two main focuses were to implement both an easy-to-use online store as well as an active news feed that displays their latest highlights on a weekly basis. With that in mind, we designed and developed a simple and clean site that allows new customers and the Third Eye Faithful to stay up-to-date with all their recent comic releases.

From comics, to toys, to games, and everything in between the new Third Eye Comics makes shopping for comic-lovers and staying in the loop easy for anyone with any device.


Features

  • Responsive Design: Desktop, Tablet, Mobile ready
  • Shopping Cart
  • PayPal and Credit Card ready
  • US, Canada, and Mexico automated pricing and shipping options
  • Ability to create coupons and sale items
  • Blog/News feed


New Site:

Shop

News Feed

Looking to upgrade your website or start your own online store? Contact us today to get the conversation started.

Easy-Commerce: Taking Your Storefront Online

With e-commerce accounting for 1.2 trillion dollars in the last year and 40% (forty percent) of online product purchases, there’s no reason that an online store solution couldn’t be beneficial to your business. And it’s only growing.

E-commerce can be of benefit in a number of ways as it can be one of the cheaper means of running a store, reducing the cost of having to hire employees for store hour-type scenarios. There is no time restraint in having an online store either. You’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, allowing shoppers to do their shopping at any hour of the day, from any device of their choosing (mobile, tablet, personal computer). So if you’re still on the fence about adding e-commerce to your business, this post will help you make the next move.

Adding Products

From t-shirts and toys to file downloads and subscriptions, you can add or edit just about any type of product in your online store. With an already easy to manage content management system (CMS) in WordPress, adding different variants like sizes, colors, or amount is just as simple as posting a blog. You can add or edit specific images per product so shoppers can choose whichever variant they deem best for their needs.

Taxes

In terms of taxing your sales, configuring local tax rates and classes is a breeze, allowing you to control precise rates per product, state, and country if needed.

Shipping

Whether it be free, flat rate, international shipping, or even local delivery or pick-up, your online store is customizable for any type of shipping needed for your business.

Payments

Besides credit cards, your online store can extend into multiple payment gateways including the popular PayPal, or even accommodating for mailed payments and checks.

A good, clean website is a great start to giving  past and future clients access to your company’s offerings. Adding an easy-to-use online store makes those offerings even more accessible to your clients. Start your online store today. 

Behind the Scenes: Boundary Stone Photo Shoot

A few weeks ago we took a lunch break to head over to Bloomingdale, in Washington, DC to visit our clients at Boundary Stone. During our visit we conducted a photo shoot while enjoying a wonderful lunch provided by them. We are currently redoing their marketing materials, as well as their website and needed new photography for both of these projects. From food to signature drinks, we took photos capturing the feel and atmosphere that has crowned Boundary Stone as one of “DC’s Best.”

Take a look at some of the photos from the shoot below.