Great Web Site Graphics - Best Practice For Using Pictures As Graphics and Images On Your Web Site



Graphics on a site are so often an afterthought. You can spot them immediately and there really is no excuse. Fuzzy product shots, staff pictures that are more embarrassing than the school yearbook and outside shots of an office block with rubble and traffic cones out front. Not ideal!

There is a reason that professional photographers exist - they are good at taking photo's. You can generally get a good shot with a camera in good light.

If you prepare the environment, you can get a better shot. Give staff notice that they will have their photograph taken and that you would like them to time their next haircut a week ahead of the shoot, so they have their time for hair to grow again, for those that will insist on having it cut right back - to give you the chance of having them looking like normal people. If you are planning product shots, try to photograph them in place, with all the accoutrements, nearby and thought through.

You want your product shot so good it will work as a postcard if you make food or anything. You probably will not be able to manage that ordinarily, this is where the investment in a skilled professional photographer can really help. Be prepared to spend some time hunting one out. You want one that is as close to you as possible, possibly with a studio and one that can demonstrate experience - show you previous product shots that show flair and potentially you want the photography that shares the best ideas on location too.

Get it right first time and you may not need to hire another photographer for decades. Better to go back to the one that you know does the best job.

Particularly care needs to be taken with food and kitchen equipment. Chocolate raisins can look like dog food or rat poison. Pans with beef in blood can look more like a horror movie. The are messages that you don't want to hear from prospective customers. For every 1 that tells you - if they tell you, there will be 20 that are just to polite.

Even the About Us section can look odd, especially if the head shots of staff are taken at different times in different conditions. Best to allocate a time and a place and photograph everyone, as one of the most important messages you want to convey is consistency and therefore trust. Your About Us page can really work against you if the head shots are all over the place.

Be wary of stock photography too, as there have been times when customers have been known to spot companies 'sharing' the same office space. You will most likely be found out if you 'fake it till you make it' using stock photography. To use stock photography as a base for a message or as an example, is of course fine.

Be prepared to have someone edit a photograph. Because that was how it was on the day or because that person simply refuses to wear one, if there is one person without a suit on in a shot. A stock and a touchup suit image with an appropriate edit could save the day.

In summary you want to start off with as high quality photos as you can possibly get - this leads to big file sizes sure, better to start there, then bring them down to 72 pixels per inch resolution for on screen website use. 300 dots per inch for print - always best to check with your printer - or colour photocopier/ printer whichever you are likely to print from. Point is better come down in resolution, as you check it out can not go up.

Keep the images consistent. Use the same photographer, or shoot from the same place with the same lighting, ensure all staff are dressed appropriately and looking at their best -that product shots don't look like they were in a horror movie as otherwise you could get remembered for the wrong things.

Finally do not be misleading, you people are your people, if you have the least employees in your industry, make it a benefit, short lines of communication, fast decision making, flexibility of outsourcing and so on. Take photos of the people that matter and take a bit more time to describe what they do or show them in context at work, looking good and 'on message'.

Your objective is to educate and entertain. Show them what you got, tell them what to do and give it to them. It's that simple.


Fuzzy product shots, staff pictures that are more embarrassing than the school yearbook and outside shots of an office block with rubble and traffic cones out front. You can generally get a good shot with a camera in good light.

You want one that is as close to you as possible, possibly with a studio and one that can demonstrate experience - show you previous product shots that show flair and potentially you want the photography that shares the best ideas on location too.

Even the About Us section can look odd, especially if the head shots of staff are taken at different times in different conditions. If there is one person without a suit on in a shot because that was how it was on the day or because that person simply refuses to wear one.

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