Following on from my The Power of Professional Photography blog post, it’s important to know the types of photos that you will be needing for your website. You’ll need to pass these requirements onto your professional photographer, so that you’re both on the same page.
A photography shoot will provide you with the backbone of all future marketing materials, not just for your website. Good quality photos can be the main component of your flyers and brochures, as well as being incorporated into your social media platforms of choice. There are endless possibilities for the use of your photos, so you’ll want them to be flexible enough for all of your creative purposes.
Let’s stick with your requirements for your website and we’ll explore banner images, feature images and product images.
Banner images are a great way to convey all that you do through a large photo that fills the width of the screen. They are captivating and engaging. They are rectangular in size, with the width being a lot bigger than the height, which can be achieved by cropping an image accordingly.
Because the image usually fills the screen width of your computer, there needs to be a lot of space around the subject, whether the subject be an object or a person. The space doesn’t need to be blank; rather the space is filled with your location backdrop.
Take this yoga photo as an example. The subject of the photo is a seated woman. The space (or backdrop) is the beach. There is plenty of space around the woman so that we can crop the image at a later stage for a website banner, as shown below.
An example of an image that isn’t the best for a banner image is one that is portrait in orientation (see below), with the image height being larger than its width). You could always crop the image to grab a section of the subject but it would be difficult to include all of the subject in the banner.
The best banner images are ones where your backdrop is large and the photographer is quite a distance away from the subject. Landscape orientation (width being larger than the height) is best also.
Apart from banner images, there are many other opportunities to add photos to your website. These photos are less restrictive and can really be any type of photo. They can be close-up photos of the subject; they can be portrait or landscape. It’s really up to you.
These feature images will be smaller on your website when compared with your banner image. They can also be a cropped area of a larger image.
If you are selling a product, either a physical product or a downloadable product, it’s good to have a product image to go with it. If you are selling a physical product, such as clothing or jewellery, it’s a good practice to have multiple photos of it to really give your customer an insight into its features. The photos will also do well to reduce the number of returns or complaints about your product due to inadequate information.
Display photos as both a complete view of the product and close-up images of any feature details or patterns.
It’s always best practice to receive high resolution photos from your photographer. High resolution naturally means they are suitable for any print marketing materials but also that they can be cropped and still retain their resolution. This will reduce the blurriness of photos to keep them looking professional and of high quality.
When you approach your photographer of choice, you’ll now have a better understanding of the types of photos you want to have taken. Let your photographer know how you want to use the photos and ask for a variety of styles – close-ups and further away, landscapes and portraits. And have some fun with it!