We’ve all heard the phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.
This couldn’t be more true online. Users move quickly through social media feeds or on websites absorbing information along the way. It’s super important that your imagery instils the right message for your brand. Having a ‘good enough’ image is no longer acceptable when publishing content online.
This video will give you a couple of options to consider:
Do it yourself
Camera technology is so good these days, a do it yourself photo can definitely be sufficient. The price of good quality digital SLR or mirrorless cameras is so accessible now that almost anyone can take good quality, high resolution photo (about $500).
Truthfully though most smart phone cameras are of a comparable quality. The trick is to understand the basics of photography in order to frame your shots better than the average joe. If you go down this route, consider a short course or watch some tutorials on Youtube. Some important concepts are the ‘rule of thirds’ and making the most of natural light.
Maybe you are not creative enough to get behind the camera. Stock photography is where you purchase or sometimes download for free, images from an online library. The benefit here is the photos are mostly of a high standard, and you get access to them quickly and easily.
Just about anything you can think of is available in these libraries. Even the strangest things. Some of the best quality paid options for stock photography are:
With these options you will either sign up for a membership plan or pre-purchase a block of credits. Expect to spend between $20 to as much as $200 per image in some cases.
Then there are the free options. Free stock photography shot to fame with the website Unsplash that offered very artistic, extremely high quality images for absolutely nothing. Since then the library has grown to become absolutely enormous and there are a lot of useful images, not just the artistic ones. Unsplash is generally my go to first option as the standard is so high for free. If I can’t find the image I am after there, I can then consider if what I need needs to be high standard (then i’m looking at the paid sites), or the standard doesn’t matter that much, in which case I would consider one of the following:
The downside to stock photography is that other people could be using the same images. Also, most of the photographers are not in Australia, and you can kind of tell. The buildings, clothing and locations sometimes are obviously overseas.
This can hurt the overall impression of your business. Are you Australian? Do you have a location here? Can you not afford a camera? It depends on where you are using your images of course what the expectation will be. On a blog post it might not matter so much, but let’s consider the first image a user might see on your website’s home page. Wouldn’t it better if this was a real, believable photo of your or your business?
Nothing beats acquiring a library of your own images from a professional photographer. The impact this investment will make compared to all others costs in your marketing is phenomenally stacked.
Users are far more savvy these days when it comes to sniffing out legitimate businesses. Having a real life look into your business with powerful, professional images sends a massive trust signal that you are not some backyard operation.
Not just for your website, these professional images can then be used across your social media, paid advertising, printed advertising and even professional documents like proposals or quotes. It’s honestly the most adaptable type of content you will create for your business.
Image optimisation for websites
When you are adding images to your website it’s very important that they are optimised for speed. Website visitors will not sit around and wait to download your 40 megapixel image from your magnificent new Canon DSLR. There are two elements to consider for image optimisation, resolution and file size.
You want your images to look clear on most screens, but the higher the resolution, the higher the file size. As a general rule of thumb the majority of screens sit at a 1920 x 1080 pixels or less (yes the fancy Apple Imac’s are higher but we’re trying to strike a balance). It’s not a bad idea to resize your images to be this size if your images will appear full screen, or even smaller if you are only placing a small image in your page’s content.
To resize your images you could use a program such as Adobe Photoshop, however this has a fairly hefty price tag. Most operating systems come with some kind of image preview program that will allow you to downsize your image files.
Now that you have the right resolution, it’s time to crunch the file size down even more. You see most of these programs add unnecessary junk into your files that website browsers do not care about. You can strip all of this out by running your images through a website called Tinypng. This will make your files are small as possible and the difference is sometimes drastic.
Small image sizes, means faster load times. Faster loads times equals happier users, and happier Google, which means better search rankings, which means even more happy users. It’s very much worst investing a little time in getting the right imagery for your business, and then optimising these images for maximum impact.
Links for your reference:
iPhone photos training –https://smartphonephotographytraining…
Paid stock images sites:
Free stock images:
Unsplash – https://unsplash.com/
Pixabay – https://pixabay.com/
Visual Hunt – https://visualhunt.com/
Free photos cc. – https://freephotos.cc/
Re-size pictures: Tiny png – https://tinypng.com/