If you want to make a great first impression for your church website, you need great, quality photos. You can always find great stock photos on websites like Unsplash. To add a personal dimension to your church website, however, you should seriously consider displaying high-quality photos of your congregation in action. This helps to develop a sense of community on your website, which can often feel generic and impersonal. The problem is that  if these photos aren’t high-quality, they’ll probably do more harm for your church website than good. That’s why it is a good idea to organize a “photoshoot” to take all the photos you anticipate needing for your website. It takes a great deal of foresight to organize a photoshoot day for your church. Here are some tips on how to organize a photoshoot for church website photo needs.

Plan It Out in Advance

A dedicated photoshoot isn’t something you can put together on the fly. You’ll need to know what kind of photos you want to gather. You can start by checking out this list of photo ideas. You’ll also need to coordinate when you want to take the photos. Keep in mind that most photo types (like photos of your congregation worshipping) will have to wait until Sunday morning. You’ll need to make sure that your photographer can be ready on that day and that you have a backup plan in case something comes up. Best case scenario, it would be realistic to schedule a photoshoot two weeks out. Keep this in mind when you’re planning out your website photo content. If you need your photos up on your website by the end of the month, for example, you should be planning your photoshoot by the beginning of the month. This will give time for editing and uploading the images after the photoshoot.

Gather the Who and the What

You’ll need a photographer. You’ll need subjects, a place to shoot, and possibly objects like a Bible or hymnal for closeups. Gathering these things will require some planning ahead. Coordinate with people ahead of time so that expectations are clear. The congregation would no doubt appreciate a heads-up to properly prepare for a photoshoot.

Coordinating this will require attention to detail and a strong administrative ability. If there is someone in your church who is especially gifted in this manner, approach them about organizing the details. 

Be Considerate 

It’s important to be considerate with people’s privacy preferences and ask them to sign a permission slip. That’s a polite way to clarify permission to use the photos on the website. You’ll also want to remain considerate of your photographer. Ask if they require credit for their photos on your website. Getting permission to use photos from both the photographer and the people in the photos is very important. When in doubt, consult with a legal advisor to discuss your specific situation.

It’s Worth It

Organizing a successful photo day for your church takes a lot of time and planning ahead. It will require some careful administration and might even cost some money. But in the end, it’s a worthwhile investment. Having high-quality photos of your congregation on your church website will engage web visitors in a way that simple stock photos can’t. Personal photos reveal intentionality and a strong sense of community. Despite the details, organizing a photoshoot for your church website is worth it!