Photography has become amazingly popular the last few years.
Everyone with a smart phone is a potential photographer.
Surrounded by images from the moment we get up to the moment we close our eyes from social media to online purchase decisions everything is driven by visuals.
Photography for the web: evaluating which photos to use on the web
Generally speaking personal images are good for personal social media accounts, for family and friends. They will like our images because they know and like us.
With a website it can be a bit trickier. The goals and the reach of a website are more specific and wider. In order to establish credibility and professionalism, to sell products and services or to tell a story online images need to be more professional, have a specific purpose and be targeted to a specific audience.
Buying a sophisticated camera will probably not be enough to achieve these goals.
3 steps to taking better photos
- First: learn how to use your camera.
- Second: learn about light, composition and photo techniques.
- And finally practice, practice, practice.
Posting photos on social media i.e. Instagram, Pinterest, 500px, Snapchat and Facebook yields feedback, analyzing the feedback can provide valuable insights.
Feedback can be abundant, scarce, positive, bad or none at all.
While you are posting, looking at other photos, comparing and analyzing you will learn to see and understand more about photography.
A closer look at online purchases
When researching a product online I compare retailers and service providers. Images are important to me, I would not buy a product online that has no image, an image that is not detailed enough, too small or too dark. On the internet I am not taking just anyone’s word, the image plays a big part. It has to make me forget that I cannot touch and inspect the product up close before proceeding to checkout.
It’s about trust and credibility
Photos that do not make a product look good and desirable don’t sell and reflect badly on the store that offers it.
A good image on the other hand can potentially even sell a bad product.
While candid shots are perfect for social media (at least minimal) staging and post-processing are a must if you are looking for professional results.
With time and effort nearly anything is possible in photography. Looking at images on comparable websites or stock photography sites will help evaluate where your own images fit in and how much additional time and effort you need to invest before your images will have a positive effect on your website.
Hardly any photo in print or on the web is displayed as shot, right off the memory card. Most have been post-processed and retouched. Even on mobile there are lots of apps to apply final touches, cropping, re-sizing, sharpening and saturation.
The tools are out there for those who want to learn. YouTube has hundreds of free photography tutorials on “how to achieve” any technique or effect.
Be creative and have fun!