Good Photos Help Bring Readers to Your Website
If you have a website or a blog (and if you have a website, promise me that you have a blog) then someone has to run it and that someone needs to add pictures.
If a picture is worth a 1.000 words then make sure yours speak clearly and deliver the desired message.
Photography is important because
- It adds interest
- Helps keep users on your site
- Clarifies your message
For a website,you should use professional photography. You need the highest quality work possible to feature your company and your product.
A blog is a different animal. Blogs are created and grow at a rapid pace and you need to be able to add some quality, relevant “down and dirty” photos in an instant.
I work with an assortment of clients, keep my own blog and need good pictures too. There was a point where the photos I was getting were just not doing the job.
Frustrated with the quality of pictures I was getting, I took my point and shoot camera, and marched myself into the professional studios of Cooke Photographics. I then threw myself on their mercy and begged for a micro-lesson on how to get decent photos onto my blog.
I came away from the photography studio with a few points that have helped me get infinitely better pictures. Now I want to pass them on to you and your web endeavors.
1. If possible, start with an object that doesn’t move. Living creatures, especially children and animals, can be very difficult to photograph.
2. Lighting – Good lighting is crucial to making your photos come to life. Use natural light whenever possible. The pictures of the tomatoes in this post were taken on my kitchen counter, right by the coffee pot and in the late afternoon with the sunlight streaming through.
3. Take a picture of something that has meaning and is what you want your audience to see.
4. Crop in – then crop again and maybe again. Get as close as possible to your subject and focus on the item. No one wants or needs to see the open cabinet in the background or the hole-filled sock on the ground you you forgot to move.
5. Set your camera on macro and get as close to your subject as possible. Macro lets you focus on an object a few inches away and “blows out” the background. Focus on the subject and make that shot beautiful.
6. Take as many shots as you need. Professional photographers shoot 100s of photos and use one.
7. When you are ready to load the photos onto your site, save them in a web-friendly format to bring the size down. I try to keep all photos under 50kb. Photos that are too big, slow your site down.
Follow these guidelines and work with a subject that you care about and the authenticity of your work will come through and improve your blog.