Creating a new church website or updating your old one? We have created a list of photos that we think are great to include on your site and some tips on how you can get all of these shots.

Photo Checklist:

  •  Head shots of every staff member to include on bio pages
  •  Worship
    •  Pastor preaching (we suggest you take a few posed close-up shots of them speaking)
    •  Worship band/musician playing (we suggest you take them during practice so they can pose)
    •  Congregation members engaged in worship (singing, praying, etc)
    •  Congregation members in community events (examples include service projects, a potluck, etc)
  •  Photos that help first-time guests know what they can expect when they visit your church
    •  Nursery/child-care facilities (parents like to know where their kids will be before they come)
    •  Coffee or welcome area
    •  Sanctuary features
    •  Worship elements (communion, prayer, singing, etc)
    •  Gifts for first-time guests
  •  Action and close-up shots of people for every ministry you include on your website & every life stage
    •  Infants
    •  Toddlers
    •  Elementary kids
    •  Junior high/middle school
    •  High school
    •  College
    •  Single adults
    •  Young couples
    •  Families
    •  Empty nesters
    •  Retirees
  •  Church building
    •  Main entrance  (visual reminder for first-time visitors)
    •  View from road (visual reminder for first-time visitors)
    •  Any interesting aspects of your building
  • Interesting landmarks or scenes from your city or geographic area (these make great background images for your site)

How do I get all these photos?

Professional photographer: Hire a professional to come take photos during a worship service or church night. Give them a list of all the photos you need.  You would be surprised how many photos they can get if you plan it right.  It might be money well spent.

Volunteer photographer: Every church has one or two people who love to take photos and have a good eye too.  Give them the list of photos you need and let them use these gifts to serve your church!

Ask the congregation for their personal photos: Create a bulletin announcement or a Facebook post asking the congregation to submit their best photos.  If you really want to have fun, make it a contest and give a prize to the winner.

Other Photo Tips:

Take shots before and during a worship service:  I know that everyone likes to get great live worship shots.  Sometimes this can be obtrusive to a worship service.  Why not have the photographer come and take photos while the worship team is practicing before a service?  Have the pastor show up a few minutes early and do a 5-minute rendition of their sermon beforehand too.  This gives the photographer full access and allows them to get the close-up shots your website needs.  Doing this also gives the photos a live feel.  The photographer can stick around and take live shots of the service too.  Doing this gives you more options to choose from.

Don’t forget the photo release forms:  I know that it is a lot of work to get the photo release forms, but it is important to get them.

Other helpful photo resources:

ChurchWP Church Website Audit Guide

How to find great church website photos

Sample church photo release form