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Five steps to better website photos

Business owners often ask us for help with the photos for their websites. They aren’t sure what kind of photos to use, if they should take them on their own or try to find someone to hire to do it for them. Although cell phones and cameras have come a long way in the past 5 years, the photos that you might take with your cell phone or point and shoot camera will not give you the quality you want. While being perfectly adequate for your blog, Facebook or other social media accounts, the resolution will not be high enough to show well on your website. Here are some good rules of thumb for images for your site:

  1. Make sure that the images that you take are high resolution- 4mb images will provide you with sharp, high quality pictures that display beautifully on your website.
  2. Lighting: Pay attention to the lighting in which you take your photos. While a professional photographer will be able to light your products quickly and effectively, unless you are trained, lighting will be more of a challenge for you. Take several photos in a few different lighting setups and look at the images on your computer. Make sure that you are not creating shadows where you don’t want them or that you aren’t blowing out the image with too much light.
  3. Angle and Placement: If you want your images to look more like they were taken by a professional, don’t center every photo and don’t always shoot from straight on. Photographers have trained eyes that allow them to know that sometimes the most interesting shot of a living room should be taken from low to the ground, or that putting the main subject or object of an image off to the left of the screen will make it more visually appealing. Play with the angle and placement of your photos and see what appeals to you.
  4. Uniformity: For your website, it is highly likely that we would want to use images that are the same size, whether that be square or rectangle. If images aren’t cropped correctly, it slows down your site build and creates a disorganized feeling on your site.
  5. Staging: We cannot stress this enough. Staging your photographs is imperative. If you are shooting a picture of a kitchen, it HAS to be staged in an appealing way. This may mean removing half of what’s on the counter tops and on the floor, but it is so important to the finished product. Think of how a realtor stages a home to sell. This is what you want to do with every image you take. Take a quick snapshot and then look at the image on your computer. Look at the area(s) surrounding the main object of your photo. Are they neat and organized? You want your photo to represent your company well, not leave potential customers feeling unorganized or chaotic. Remove unnecessary items and clutter that end up in the background of the pictures you take and you’ll enjoy your photos more.

If you would like assistance with your photos, Starfire offers photo editing services, as well as digital photography for an additional fee. We’re happy to shoot professional staff photos, or product photos so that your website can shine. Ask us for more details.

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