I could go into detail about the importance of professional photography for your website, but chances are you’re going to ignore that piece of professional advice. So let’s move on, everyone has a phone, but that doesn’t make everyone a photographer. Yes, they take moderately good photos; however, if you want a website that has a wow factor and gives a good first impression then toss the phone and beg, borrow, steal or better yet buy a camera.
No, say it ain’t so. You’re still not gonna let go of some green and you don’t want to go to jail for stealing, borrowing just ain’t your thing and you got to be kidding, BEG!
Well, we’re back to square one, the phone. That being said, camera technology in cell phones has really improved over last few years, so use the newest phone you have access to, be it a friend’s, or an employee’s.
I have a few tips you can do to improve the quality of pictures you take using a cell phone for use on a web page. Given the limitations of a cell-phone camera, it’s vitaly important to keep these tips in mind.
1. Shoot in broad daylight.
Cell phone camera lens are so tiny, they do not allow as much light as a ‘real’ camera (small aperture), so they compensate by using a longer exposure and boosting the gain, which results in a grainy and blurred picture. Very unappealing. In addition, don’t shoot when you are covered by a shadow or your subject is in a shadow or a shadow is in your picture.
2. Don’t clutter the scene.
Try to pick a shot with as few distraction as you can. Remember, your picture is supposed to tell a story and no one likes commercials. So, focus on the story and remove as much as you can from your shot that doesn’t contribute to the story. If you have to, stage your pictures rather than live shots; this goes for video to. If it’s a person, focus on the person. If it’s the exterior of your customer’s building or a landscape shot, try not to include a crowd of people, garbage cans, or parked cars if you can avoid it.
3. Consider how the picture will be used.
This one is pretty straightforward, but it is often forgotten: think about where the photo is going to be used on your website. If you want a large backgroud image on your homepage, you need the photo to be wide. So, turn you phone sideways.
4. Shoot in Landscape.
Portrait is rarely used on a web page. If you are going to provide employee pictures, use close up shots and fill the frame with your subject. Portrait should be reserved for really tall things like a tree, things that are that are tall and skinny.
However, if you’re taking pictures of buildings, landscape, or really any scene other than a single person, the camera needs to be in landscape mode.
In addition to pictures, videos should always shot in landscape mode.
5. Send full image files unedited to your web designer. Do not run your images through an editing app or resize them.
One last plea. Professional photographers have years of experience learning what makes photos good and they have professional grade equipment. But hey, we all have budget constraints and you have to do what you have to do. So, if it has to be a phone, keep the above tips in mind and we will make it work.