There are a lot of aspects to a website; the style, layout, colors, fonts, navigation. But there's one big aspect to websites that make them come alive: pictures. Pictures draw viewers in and make your website more engaging. Pictures are what people use to connect with what your website says. That's why most websites feature a pretty large image on the home page. Staff pages almost always include photos of staff members. Entire pages are often dedicated to photo galleries giving viewers a chance to see what your business is about.
Now, we've determined that pictures are very important to a site and the way in which people connect to your site, but we haven't mentioned what type of pictures are needed. Not only does your website need to include pictures, but they also need to be good pictures. We're talking high quality photos. The best (and easiest) way to achieve high quality photos is to hire a professional photographer.
The flip side of this is having non-professional photography on your site, which could hurt the overall look of the website. Quality and content is everything when it comes to pictures. The content of the photo needs to align with what you are trying to highlight on the website. The quality needs to be high to accent the quality of the website design.
Non-professional photography can be less than pleasing for a website, but old, outdated non-professional photography is the worst. Websites are created to look streamlined, new and fresh. When you add an old, outdated photo that is aliased and has a yellow hue due to the fluorescent lighting of the room it was taken in, it can really bring a website down. It's like getting a brand new car and covering it in bumper stickers from your 20 year old van. It just doesn't make sense.
If pictures are the life of the website, having bad pictures could really make your new website look amateur. But professional photography can make a new site look even better, fresher and can even add to the value of the website itself.