In this blog post, I will share some simple tips on how to take professional looking photos for your website.
If you want to drive and maintain traffic on your website, it is important to pay attention to the quality of photos you use on your site. It doesn’t matter whether you sell products or offer services, pictorial depiction of your offerings is very critical to the aesthetic feel of your website. It is a known fact that online visitors have a wide variety of options. If your website is not delivering the quality they are looking for, they can easily find another better platform. This means you have to do all it takes to attract and retain users to your site.
Using high quality and creative photos is definitely one of the ways to achieve this objective. The good news is that you don’t need to become a professional photographer or hire one; neither do you need expensive camera or other equipment to take high quality and professional photos. You can take great looking images with your Smartphone’s camera with just some basic tricks.
1. Don't underestimate the power of natural light
What’s that most can’t-do-without feature of your Smartphone’s camera? Yes, you guess right – the flash! Well, sorry, you don’t need the flash to take professional looking photos. As a matter of fact, camera’s flash does more damage to your photos than good. Are you surprised? Well, don’t be. The truth is that the flash on your phone’s camera is an LED light that usually produces weird color on your pictures. This is why you take some photos and wonder where all the funny-looking hues are coming from. Well, they’re the product of the LED light. So, instead of using the flash, try to get natural sources of light.
Whether indoor or outdoor, you can still use natural light when taking your pictures. For indoor photo shoots, look for a bright spot around the window. A note of caution though - watch out for the shadows. Make sure you have the source of light in front of you and not behind, to prevent shadow cast getting across your photos. For outdoor pictures, watch out for the time of the day. Mid-morning and late afternoon are perfect for getting the best light sources for your photo shoots.
2. You need some basic equipment - its an investment
If you want to drive traffic to your website and retain them, you are definitely not attracting them for the fun of it. You are offering specific product(s) or service(s). These people are visiting your website to do business with you. In simpler words, they are going to be paying you, directly or indirectly. Therefore, it makes sense to invest reasonably into the whole layout and the look and feel of your website to enjoy significant return on investment.
Professional-looking photos will definitely attract your target audience and taking them (high quality photos) requires some basic equipment. Without a doubt, a number of basic equipment (like a tripod) can make significant difference in your photos. With a tripod, you can have your Smartphone or actual camera permanently and absolutely still throughout the course of the shots. Interestingly, a tripod is not expensive. With a small amount, you can get one online.
I have the phone you see in the picture and you can purchase it through Amazon from here.
3. Learn to Edit Photos
When you see a professional-looking photo, understand that a lot has gone into the process of making it what it is than just taking the picture. You will be shocked to realize the depth of work that goes into the editing of photos that make them professional-looking. The great thing is that you can learn how to do the same and dazzle your online visitors with high quality photos. There are a lot of tricks that you can employ to manipulate photos to bring them to life.
A very good way to start is to get some editing software like Adobe RAW/Photoshop, Apple Software, or Lightroom. You might need to learn how to work round these software options but you can master them within a short period of time. There are also some free editors online that will make the job easier for you. Ashampoo might be one to consider. When you think of how to take professional looking photos for your website, understand that editing is an integral part of the process.
Focus on a few key essentials
- 1Learn to adjust sharpness, brightness and white balance
- 2Learn to properly crop photos
- 3Learn to eliminate distracting components
With these skills, your photos will look significantly better.
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4. Always use the appropriate resolution
You need to consistently use high resolution when taking pictures. It should be high enough to look perfect on small or large screen. As a rule of the thumb, 72dpi is the standard. However, if you have a higher resolution, then it’s better. It’s important to mention that if you are using your Smartphone to take the photos, you shouldn’t resize it or significantly crop the original photo. However, if you’re using a professional camera, there may be a need to resize the photo.
If you’re like me, you are probably doing everything on your own; including taking pictures, designing website, and uploading all images. For this group of people, work round the resizing to see what works for your website, that is, if you’re using a professional digital camera. If it’s a Smartphone, you won’t have any serious need to crop or resize much. However, if you have a web designer working for you, you may not need to worry about the resizing part because your web designer will normally do this if the size is larger than they require.
5. Always focus on the subject
This tip is very critical. Whether you’re taking a photo of a product or a person, you have to keep the subject in focus. Make sure that you can see the details of the subject without necessarily being too close. Being too close may make it impossible for you to crop the photos if you need to. If you are using a Smartphone or digital camera, check the viewfinder screen to utilize the focus box.
Thanks to the technology, everyone can take professional-looking photos. Follow the tips highlighted above and you will discover how to take professional looking photos for your website and that it is not difficult at all.
Now you know how to take professional looking photos for your website now its time to optimize them. This is an essential step to take before you upload your images to your website. You can read my full blog post on why and how to do this here.
Sometimes, however, we need to outsource our photography. If that is the case for you then I would advice checking out a friend of mine, Ciara O'Donnell. You can find her website here.
Please let me know how you get on taking your own photos, I'd love to see the results! Good luck all you budding photographers!