Photography is a key component of every website we do. Over the years, we’ve combed through thousands — probably tens of thousands — of photos for church websites.

In this post, we share some things we’ve learned along the way. These 20 photo ideas are divided into three categories:

  1. People
  2. Close Ups
  3. Abstract Imagery

People

A church is not a building. Rather, it is a group of people “called out” and “set apart” by God for his purposes.

By using photos of real people on your church website, you communicate sound theology, make an emotional connection with website visitors,  and dispel superficial understandings of what the church is.

Here are 10 different kinds of “people photos” you could consider using on your church website:

  1. Members of congregation singing
  2. Worship leaders singing
  3. People singing with hymnals
  4. People talking and smiling before or after the worship service
  5. The pastor
  6. Church officers: elders and deacons
  7. Sunday School or Christian Education class
  8. People helping out with building maintenance at the church building or in the community
  9. People at special events such as Vacation Bible Schools, Missions Conferences, etc.
  10. People on mission trips

Close Ups

Each church meeting place has its own unique character. Close ups of distinctive elements of the church building and the surrounding community help prospective visitors feel more comfortable with what they can expect when they visit your church for the first time.

Here are some ideas for photographic close ups:

  1. Pews
  2. Bibles and hymnals
  3. Communion elements
  4. Details of interior architecture (pews, windows, chandeliers, etc.)
  5. Details of exterior architecture (steeple, steps, etc.)
  6. Text of a key verse in an open Bible
  7. Familiar outdoor landmark near church meeting place

Abstract Imagery

Sometimes creating non-photographic images is the best way to get your point across. Here are some quick and simple ways to create distinctive graphics to announce sermon series, new classes, or an upcoming special event.

  1. Use Pixlr Express to add abstract special effects and textures to a photo
  2. Use part of a Gustave Dore Bible illustration
  3. Create a Wordle from a key Scripture passage

Conclusion

Finally, use common sense by remembering that photographers and the people they photograph have rights protected by law:

  1. Respect people’s rights to privacy by getting their permission before using their photos on your website.
  2. Respect photographer’s rights by getting their permission to use photos on your website.

Disclaimer: We’re web developers and digital media experts — not lawyers — and we are not giving professional legal advice here. Please consult with a lawyer if you have more detailed questions about laws as they apply to photography on websites.

Photo by Talitha Belokonny. Used by permission.