A PICTURE PAINTS A THOUSAND WORDS:
Images are an important part of your website. They need to look good to represent your brand well, and make your products look appealing to the purchaser. While using a professional photographer is ideal, it is not always practical or budget friendly.
We've put together some tips on how to produce high quality photos for your small business website.
WHAT DEVICE SHOULD I USE?
It’s important to use a camera that can produce good quality images. What is a good camera differs on price point. If you can’t afford to go big. Don’t. Read reviews about camerasyou are interested in, and talk to the experts.
DSLR’s are nice if you can afford it, but there are cheaper options out there.
Smartphones are fast becoming hybrid cameras/phones. Because of this, the quality of the camera is quickly improving to rival cameras themselves.
With their large touchscreens and focusing tools you can see exactly what you are doing. The iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy are able to produce professional images.
WHAT LIGHTING IS BEST?
Natural lighting should be used whenever possible. It is best to take images on a sunny day or a bright cloudy day, near a window. It is best to avoid taking photos in directs unlight.
It is important to reduce the amount of shadows cast on or by your product.
The more diffused the light is, the larger the spread of light on your image. This means minimising shadows.
- An easy DIY hack is putting a white plastic bag around the flash of your camera.
When photographing shiny objects, you may get reflected spots of light. These spots need to be shaded. Pros use white umbrela’s which diffuse the spots of light.
- If you don’t have a white umbrella, use a sheet of white paper or card positined behind the camera.
BEFORE YOU START
A good set up area should be out of the way so the same area can be used again and again. This helps with the continuity of all product images.
Using a white back drop ensures the focus will be on the product itself.
- The ‘inifity curve’ reveals no horizon in the back. All you need is white paper or fabric bent in a curve. Simply ensure there is enough to fill the whole space, and get rid of any bumps or wrinkles. Have half the card/ fabric on the ground, and half curved upwards.
Before you start. Give your products a good clean, getting rid of any smudges or marks.
Consider placing the star product next to an item that will show it’s scale. Or place the product near other products that show the context in which it is to be used.
If you are propping up your product, choose a mannequin or stand that is simple.
- A small piece of discreetly positioned Blu-tack is great for holding up smaller products, or keeping them in place.
- Digital zoom allows you to get closer to the object without losing image quality.
- Keep the amount of white space consistent around the edge of your products.
- Get up close and focus on details with macro zoom (also called flower setting)
- Use a tripod for consistancy and play around with different angles to show off products.
EDITING AMD QUALITY
Photos for the web need to be 72 dpi, whereas photos for print need to be 300 dpi.
Maximum file size should not exceed 2 megabytes as files over this size tend to be difficult to email and upload to the website.
Before you transfer the image to your website, it needs to be adjusted. This can mean cropping, resizing, or enhancing the colour and contrast.
It is very unlikely that images taken direct from the camera will be suitable for display on your website straight away.
From your homepage to your about us page, your photos on your website are going to reflect your brand. They give the overall impression of your business, and can ultimately persuade your website visitor to do business with you.