This is a part of the design effort, but I set it aside here as a separate topic because it is such an important part of the design effort. There is where your branding takes place, whether it is a logo or a picture that is quickly identified with your organization.
I ask my clients to supply me with images that are as large as they can be. Contrary to what you see on television, an image can easily be reduced, but it cannot be enlarged. Allow me to be the one who cuts down the image, crops it to fit in a specific location, etc. Yes, I can come to your location and take pictures, but this adds to the expense of a website, and in this day and age everyone wants to keep costs down. Rest assured, if I do a photo shoot, it is included in the price quoted so long as I know in advance to include it in my quote.
If a government office wants a website, I will take the photos of administrators. Why? Because they need to be consistent in size and ratio. One of the first signs of an amatuer site (you know, done by your nephew Bob), are inconsistencies in type, images, logos, colors. This is where your branding is highlighted. So, let's make the most of it.
If it is an ecommerce site, perhaps your manufacturers can supply you with an CD of catalog images. Yes, you could copy them off the internet and do a right mouse click to download it to your computer, but most images are created using a "lossy" process which means every time an image is downloaded, the further down in the chain you get, the less clarity the image retains. And you want the best image you can use on the web. After all, the adage "a picture is worth a thousand words" is not lost.
If I am designing a site for a community, it is imperative to use photos taken with a high quality camera. What has worked in the past is for me to visit that community, and have someone who knows their area to take me around to take photos. Who best knows their community than someone who lives there! There are certain places common to each commuity, but all communities are unique. Let's discover what those differences are and highlight them on your new website!