If you are a web designer, you can save a lot of money by learning to take photos yourself. Hiring a photographer involves a lot of work: finding a good, reliable photographer, explaining them the kind of photos you want and waiting for them to take and edit the photos. Photographers are also very expensive. Learning photography is not hard, and most people do not need professional quality photos on their websites anyway.
Phone or Camera?
The first choice is between taking photos with a phone or with a camera. Most relatively new phones nowadays have excellent cameras and, most importantly, good editing possibilities. Perhaps the biggest lesson for a budding photographer is that the difference between a bad and a beautiful photo is often simply the lack of editing of the “bad” photo, not how the photo was taken. Editing is easy to learn by trial and error. Readymade filters can do the trick, but if one wants full control over the editing process, it is worth exploring how drastically one can change the looks by modifying exposure, clarity, and colour.
Different styles of photography
The first step is to think carefully of the kind of photography you need for your design projects, and then learn the skills needed for that. For example, food photography requires an eye for beautiful compositions, a meticulous framing of the image, and good lighting. A good way to learn the first two is simply by looking at great food photos online or on Instagram, and trying to recreate similar ones.
Lighting may require the purchasing of studio lights, but there are cheap ones out there too. People who live in sunny climates will be fine with just daylight, especially if shooting outside. For learning any style of photography, the best way to get started is by looking and analysing the pictures you like, and then emulating them in one’s own efforts.