Are you on the search for music for your photography website? If you are, then read this article first as you may be shooting yourself in the foot. As you are probably aware, many photography website templates, especially the flash ones, will let you upload music files that will play automatically when a visitor opens the page. While this may seem like a good idea to you, it is best to consider the effect that this may have as it is probably not what you intended.
Granted you probably will upload your favorite tunes that coincide with the type of photography that you produce. Your hope is that it will set the mood for the viewing pleasure of the audience and help them feel more connected to you.
In actuality, photography website music will probably just annoy, irritate and frustrate your visitors more than anything. Do not believe me? Here is why …
Differing Musical Tastes
Music taste is as varied as snowflakes. So what may seem wonderful to you may seem awful to your visitor. (Do you like what your kids listen to?) Consider all the different types of music out there from Rock and Roll, Pop, Jazz, Hip Hop, to Country. Which of these genres is your favorite? Now what are the opportunities that your visitors will like the same music? Well the chances are pretty low. Do not turn them off to your photography just because of differenting musical tastes.
Silence is Bliss
Right now if you are reading this article you are on the internet. Now what else are you doing together reading this article? Perhaps you are in an office with other co-workers? Perhaps you are on your couch with your spouse watching TV? Perhaps you have the radio on or you are listening to your favorite CD. Chances are that there is something going on that would be interrupted or disturbed by a sudden and unwelcome intrusion of music. What if a song started playing right now? What would your initial reaction be? If you are like most people, you would immediately reach for the mute button on your speakers or computer. You might even leave this page to quell the nose. This is a natural reflex. Do not make your website visitors do the same thing!
Play It and Pay
Another item to consider is the legality of placing music on your website. If you bought your favorite song from Itunes and are posting it on your site, then you are breaking the law. That is because you bought the right to use the music for your own use, but not to share it with other people. You would need a special license with the right to share with the general public. The way to get around this is to purchase royalty free music that does not have the same limitations. You can find this type of music online by doing a Google search, but you will not find your latest top 40 songs.
The Upside of Music to Sell Your Photography
So is it all bad? Well to be honest, it is mostly bad. But, if your visitor does like your music and does not have anything else going on, then they may enjoy listening while they browse your picture gallery. Will this make it more likely that they will book a session? I have no proof of that, but it is possible. Additionally, you may find it useful to play soothing music during a proofing session in your studio. This is a much more controlled environment and you know that you have your clients full attention.
The Bottom Line
Well in conclusion you can see that my recommendation is to not put music on your photography business website. I believe that the cons outweigh any possible upside. If you must put music on, then do not make it play automatically. Let them choose to turn it on if they want to. There is just too much of a downside in lost or annoyed visitors to justify the few positive reactions that you may receive.