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3 reasons why photography matters

This simple explainer will let you know why grassroots organisations need to think about the photography they use, and why it is so important.

Reading Level: Medium
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Your website is often the first way people will find you online as a grassroots organisation. Your website lets them know who you are and what you do, so articulating that clearly is really important.

It is also important to remember that having a modern, up-to-date website is really important for your users to trust your online presence. Disabled People’s User-Led Organisations (DPULOs) are crucial in sharing information, especially if you work in the physical activity space.

If people search for you, you need to make a good first impression. You want them to find out what you do, where you are, and what impact you’re making. Your website is often your first opportunity to create a good impression. With people spending more time online and so much competing for their attention, your website needs to be clear and easy to navigate.

For many Disabled people, DPULOs can be important sources of support and information, but if your website is hard to navigate, is outdated, or looks unprofessional, they may find it hard to trust you or may not even know that you can work with them.

Why photography matters

You may think that the images you use on your website aren’t important or that you can just use pictures you’ve found on Google. But this isn’t true. The images you use on your site are really important.


Almost all of us will have heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Online this rings true. With ever-growing amounts of digital content for people to consume, images can help illustrate your point in seconds. This is growing more and more essential in this increasingly content-soaked age. Often your choice of image will have a better chance of catching attention than any text will. People will create an impression of your vision and professionalism by the first photos they see on your website.

More visitors and a more useful website

Having good images does more than catch the eye. It actually gets people clicking and will lead to having more website visitors.

The more clean and professional the photography, the more appealing and welcoming to visitors your site is. However, do remember to ensure that your website remains accessible, with each image having alt text. You can learn more about this on the Scope Big Hack website.

Search Engine Optimisation (the study of how effective a website is) experts have found that if visitors are given photos to look at, they will remain on a website for longer. Adding good quality photos improves your users’ experience and ranking (how high you appear on the search list on Google etc) by decreasing the number of times they will leave after just viewing one page.

Breaking boundaries

We know that the barriers that prevent participation don’t come out of nowhere. The visual media and the images we see of ourselves and others make a big difference in how we feel about them. They instil an often unconscious opinion of what it means to be Disabled.

Suppose you take control of the images you put on your website. In that case, you can displace photos of Disabled people that often rely on negative stereotypes.

If you can’t picture Disabled people correctly, how would this instil confidence that you are offering the right services?

Picture Yourself Active

To this end, we started the Picture Yourself Active campaign. Together with the Centre for Ageing Better, we have taken big steps to provide more accurate resources for everyone. We published over 300 photos of older Disabled people getting active.

In making them free and publicly available, we hope everyone takes the time to pause and reflect on their choice of images depicting older Disabled people.

You can learn more about Picture Yourself Active on our projects page.

Next Steps

We want to work with you!

We want to help organisations reduce the negative impacts of Covid-19 and address any widening inequalities in participation rates in sport and physical activity.

Learn more in our Together Fund hub

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