There are no two-ways around it… photography is absolutely integral to the success of your website.
If your budget is tied up right now in getting your business online then there are some rather amazing alternatives to hiring a photographer.
I love the ethics around the open source community, trade in like-for-like, donations and sharing skills. You can find something to suit your needs, you just need to know where to look! It is just one of the incredible things about the internet and where it is taking us. Here are a couple of my favourite resources:
But if you can, do support your local photographers. There are some very talented and experienced people in your neighbourhood. The investment is definitely worth making.