Photos and videos are a must on any website. It’s beneficial to helping your customers understand your business or make a product purchase. Capturing your own visual website content is a great way to save you money when you are on a budget. You do not need a fancy camera to capture professional looking photographs and videos that portray your business. Your smartphone can do just the trick!
Here are 7 tips for capturing your own professional-looking photos and videos for your website:
1. Use Natural (and Bright) Light
Whenever you use your cell phone to take photos and videos, it is best to shoot in natural lighting. This is because a phone camera lens is much smaller than a professional grade camera. Ultimately, cell phone photos turn out much better when the subject is shot in natural light. We recommend using outdoor, indirect sunlight to photograph your subject because they can make your pictures sharper and clearer.
2. Keep your Photos Simple
What we mean by this is to focus on making the subject stand out! without too much clutter or extra subjects can make your photos look more professional. It is important to keep your photography scene clean and aesthetically pleasing so the main subject of the photograph pops. Take photos in front of white walls or straighten up your area
3. Stand Further Away from your Subject than You Normally Would
When you stand further away from your subject and have more of the scene included in your photograph, it is easier to make edits to the picture and, ultimately, use on your website. The reason for this is because when editing a picture with more space around the subject, you have more opportunities to use the image than if the picture was centered too closely around the subject.
4. Shoot in Landscape
This tip is in line with tip #3, take pictures in landscape (horizontally) to ensure they will work in more spaces across your website. When you take a photograph horizontally rather than vertically, by nature you will have more of the scene in the photograph resulting in having more photo to use on your website.
5. Ensure You Have the Proper Resolution
Images should be saved at a minimum of 600 x 600 pixels and under 500kb (Kilobyte is the size of a digital file). Saving images this way will ensure the resolution is high enough to look good on the website regardless of the size of the device it is being viewed. Such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops.
6. Send your Web Designer the Full Image Files, Unedited
If tip #5 above is out of your wheelhouse, this is crucial to helping your website design team to make your website look its best. The reason you should keep the unedited full image file is because it gives the web designer more room to make edits and adjust the picture properly to wherever it is going to be used on the site. Leading us into tip #7…
7. Consider Where this Photo or Video Will Be Used
Depending on where the photo or video will be used on the website determines how you should set up the subject of your picture or video. Keeping the use of the photo in mind will help you in the shooting and editing process and make your content more versatile on your website. An example of this would be if you want a full width image on your homepage slider. The photos need to be shot in landscape (horizontally) to ensure it will work in the space on the website. Bonus: You could also then take that same wide photo and turn it into a header for an email!
8. Invest in a Light Box for Product Photography
At Running Robots, we feel that the light box linked is a valuable and cost effective product to purchase if you are marketing products on your website. A light box is useful because it can greatly increase the views and sales of your product if they are professional looking pictures. A light box package has different color backdrops, LED lighting, and a mini tripod for your smart phone so your product looks its absolute best. It can diffuse light coming from multiple angles to keep your product from looking washed out or unprofessional. If you are on a budget, this is an easy and fairly priced way to capture professional looking product photos.