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The hardest part about building a website and how to make it easy (part 4)

Written by Mark Steinbrueck

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The last 3 weeks, we have been discussing the challenge of creating content for a new website.

If you missed either of these articles, I have included links below:

As promised last week, this week I will share a secret to getting great quality images of your church and church members (not stock images) without breaking the bank.

Last week, my daughter graduated high school.  As our gift to her, my wife and I hosted a graduation party for her.   We invited around 100 people.

We knew that there would be lots of people we would want to visit with and still wanted to capture the event “on film”.

However, I didn’t want the responsibility of taking photos myself, while I was trying to talk with guests, making sure we weren’t running low on food, and addressing any other “issues” that may arise.

I also didn’t want to spend $400 – $500 to hire a photographer who takes pictures for a living.  I know they would do a great job but it was more money then I wanted to spend.

Instead, I asked my daughter what high school or college-aged friends she knew that were into photography.  I also wanted to make sure that she had seen their work before and was happy with the quality of work they had done.

We discussed a few people she knew and she showed me some of the work they had done.  We decided to ask someone from our church, Joey Platania, and I contacted him.

I asked him what his rate was and it was very reasonable, while still being a great wage for someone who was still in high school.

He came out to the party for a couple of hours.  He took candid/action photos as well as posed photos.  Before leaving, he asked if there were any other photos we wanted and suggested a few family and extended family shots.

Within a few days, he edited the images and shared them with me via Dropbox.

The results were wonderful.  My daughter, wife, and I were all very pleased with the photos.

If you want to view the photos in his portfolio, you can check out his work on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joeyplatania/

You can probably see where I am going with this…

It doesn’t need to be an expensive or time consuming process to get good photos for a church website.

It is likely that within most churches, there is a student or young adult that loves photography.

And if your church doesn’t have someone like that, you could call another larger church that is close by, speak with their high school youth pastor, and ask for a few names of students he knows that do photography.

Once you have decided on someone to take the photos for the website, make sure the photographer knows the dimensions of the images you will need, so they can take photos in landscape or portrait modes for those images.  Also let them know that you would like to have many images to choose from, so take 50-100 photos.

Ask them to come out on a Sunday morning for a couple of hours to take photos as people arrive, during service, and as they socialize.  Ask them to edit and share them within a week and you will be all set.

Note:  Since you will be using these on the church website, you should have a sign at the church entrance letting people know that photos will be taken and used on the website.  By entering the church on that day, they are giving their consent to use their image on the church website.

“The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.”  — Elliott Erwitt

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What are your thoughts on asking a student to take photos for the church website?  Please post your comments and questions below.

Next week, we will discuss the controversial topic of whether or not to use stock images on your website.

If you would like to talk about what OurChurch.Com can do for your church or ministry’s website, please fill out a free consultation request form here!

Continue reading Part 5 >>

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About the author

Mark Steinbrueck

Mark Steinbrueck is President and Co-founder of OurChurch.Com. He is a member of Generations Christian Church, a husband and father of 3. He is a huge Cardinals baseball fan and bleeds Garnet and Gold. Find on Google+.

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