Why Using Quality Photos is Essential

Why Using Quality Photos is Essential

tropical sunset with palm trees

They say that image is everything. In business, that is a very true statement. When it comes to marketing and advertising products, it’s even more important. In a lot of cases, you have a limited opportunity to catch the eye of a prospective buyer. People are inundated by marketing across all media outlets because of the rapid growth of technology. What people see is what they perceive reality to be. Therefore, businesses are challenged to send the right messages by using quality photos in order to reach their target market.

When you think about social media marketing, there is a smaller window of opportunity in a Facebook or Twitter feed to grab someone’s attention. The new enemy of business is the finger that scrolls too fast. Will they see your product launch promotion? Will they notice the value in what you are selling? Maybe. Maybe not. All you can do is take care of what is within your control as a business owner. Creating and displaying high definition and high-quality imaging definitely is within your control.

Use the best photography equipment

As with anything else, the level of quality of a photo or digital image is in direct correlation to the quality of the device you use to create that image. Lately, it seems tech users throw around the term Megapixel a lot when discussing quality photos. A Megapixel (MP) is one million pixels of which each point in a photo is a pixel. The iPhone 7 Plus, for example, has 12MP which consists of 12 million pixels. One would think that having more is usually better, right? Not necessarily. The biggest determinant of quality is again the device you are using. Does the iPhone 7 Plus shoot good pictures? Of course. However, quality comes from the lens and the sensor being used.

Here are 4 important factors affecting image quality

Lens – What separates a good lens from a bad lens depends on glass quality, manufacturing process, and grade of coatings used. The innovation used in Nikon’s Aspherical Lens helps to drastically reduce distortion and lens aberration. A coating placed on a lens helps to minimize reflection of light issues. Basically, you get what you pay for. Quality isn’t always cheap, but it’s critical.

Sensor – This is typically the most expensive part of any camera. This is the device that captures the light and converts it into an image. The sensor removes the need for film. This is where ‘bigger is better’ stands out strongly. Larger sensors have the ability to capture more light and therefore create photos with an increased dynamic range with less noise.

picture of photographer taking a picture

Photographer – Taking a brilliant and dazzling photo isn’t as easy as one would think. Even with the production of better cell phones and DSLR cameras, that alone doesn’t lead to great imaging. What does matter is who is taking the photo. What skills and experience do they have? Are they familiar with how light affects photos in general? Use images taken by only those with the keen eye and talent for shooting.

Light Conditions – Understanding just how light affects a photograph cannot be overemphasized. What things do you have to look for as far as good lighting?

  • Where is the Sun shining up above?
  • What time of day are you taking the shot?
  • Is it cloudy or is the sky completely blue and bright?
  • Is there a great amount of shade?
  • Are you indoors or is it at night?

I think you get the point. Many variables directly influence when you should take that photo and if it will turn out good or not. Take a nice Flash with you if you will be in low-light areas or indoors. Haze and moisture affect the brightness of a photo too so keep an eye on humidity levels and the weather changes. Need a few tips on lighting, check out this video.

photo session setup with lighting

Now, let’s switch to what a lot of businesses are doing these days. That is using stock images from sites like Pixabay, Picjumbo, and Gratisography can be a fantastic way to find high-quality images for web use. Keep in mind, you want to know the copyright ramifications and if a particular image requires attribution or is free for commercial use. Take a look at the image closely and check any requirements before posting on your website or social media platform.

Take a look at the overall color scheme of the website when you decide which images to throw up. This will ensure everything flows and doesn’t look cluttered or out of place. Also, use the right size when uploading it on your site so that it loads fast when someone pulls up your page. You can check upload speeds online to make sure your website isn’t slowed by a photo.

Click here Call To Action button

The bottom line is that you want to attract the viewer and keep their interest. Using the best images on social media posts, email campaigns, and CTA’s can also drive website traffic and improve conversion rates. The most highly shared Facebook posts and retweets on Twitter are a lot of times a direct result of the imaging behind the posts.

Let me just make a side statement though. A lot of businesses starting out may not be able to purchase the greatest camera on the market. That’s okay. I am one of those. Rock what you’ve got. Bad grammar but a wise statement none the less. Create the best images you can with whatever tools you have.

So, take a look at the photos currently on your website and think about these aspects of quality imaging.

 

My Refuge, Therapy, and Happy Place

My Refuge, Therapy, and Happy Place

Everyone asks me why I always go to the beach. My simple answer has always been; “because it’s my happy place” or “I love the sound of the waves, and the smell of the ocean air”. And while those are both very true, they are just simple answers. So, I set out to find out why. What really lies behind my answers? Why do I actually go to the beach?

It has become my place of refuge. Have you ever just needed to get away? But where do you go to get a break? It’s different for everyone. And unfortunately, I’ve learned that some people don’t ever actually find their answer. So, I’m lucky enough to have found mine. In fact, after a recent tragedy in my life, I ran away. I’ve been doing this since I could drive. I get in my car and drive and drive and drive, until I clear my head, and can return back to civilization. LOL This particular time, I found myself driving towards the beach. Once I got there, I got out, ran to the edge of the water and laid down and just stared at the stars in the sky, listened to people talking and laughing, smelled the salt air, and listened to the waves crashing. I just laid there for hours, thinking, breathing, smelling, listening. When I had cleared my head, I got in my car, drove the hour home, and was a much better person for my family, friends, and business.

The beach is therapeutic. I can walk along the ocean edge, or sit on my beach chair, and just get lost in thought. I recently turned to my Mom and asked, “why is this the only place I can just sit and do nothing?”. We laughed, because I cannot sit anywhere for very long. When I sit, I am on my phone or iPad learning something, or falling asleep. I can quite literally sleep anywhere. HAHA So, why can I spend 6 hours staring at the beach, and not doing anything at all? I still don’t know… other than I feel better when I leave, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!!! The smells, sounds, sights, and places I allow myself to go to, within myself, heal me. It’s my therapy.

It’s truly our happy place. Since the kiddos were little, the beach has truly been our happy place. After reflecting on our days at the beach, over the years, I came to realize that is where we are all the happiest. There is no arguing, no complaining, no sadness of any kind. Well, except for the occasional bit of sand in the eye… there’s no way around crying about that! We are the picturesque family: riding the waves, walking on the edge of the water, playing football in the sand, laughing, barely taking a break, and never wanting the day to end. I think this is when I first realized the beach was magical. It’s full of nothing but peace & happiness.

So next time you need a break, go to your place. If you haven’t found your refuge, your therapy, your happy place, I implore you to make that your #1 priority. There’s nothing like knowing that if you are stressed, overwhelmed, depressed, or just need renewed energy, that you have the knowledge and power to make that change yourself and live towards being a better person for everyone whose lives you touch.

Here’s to making your world better, so you can better serve others. Isn’t that what all this is about?!

Say Goodbye to Boring Photos

Say Goodbye to Boring Photos

Have you ever needed a picture for a project you’re working on, but can’t find one anywhere? Or the photo you finally find is perfect… except it has copyright restrictions on it.  What?! No! Would anyone really notice if I use it? Nah, how could they? It’s a really big world out there, and I’m really small in comparison. Right?!

Don’t do it! There are “people” watching, and you will be the one that gets caught. At least that’s how my little world works.

The short of it, there can be really strong consequences in “using” photos that you don’t have the rights to. But where there’s a will, there’s a way (most of the time). Below, are some free websites you can use to find the perfect photo for your next project. You’ll notice, each site has it’s own style. So, pick your favorite(s) and buy them a coffee every once in awhile.

Gratisography

Free High Resolution Pictures

This such a cool site. All the images were taken by Ryan McGuire. He adds pictures weekly and all of them are free of any copyright restrictions. I think you’ll find his work very original. Such a creative guy!

Morguefile

Free Images for Creatives

“Free images for creatives, by creatives.” This is a great compilation of different types of photos. The cool thing about this site, is the creative spotlight it does on artists. It features one person every 24 hours. When you click on the picture, it takes you to their creative home page. Very cool thing for the moderators of Morguefile to promote.

StockSnap

multiple sites for stock photos

Here you’ll find a huge variety of high resolution images. There are a ton of searchable categories These are also free from copyright restrictions. You can even request to receive photos weekly.

Unsplash

Free Editable High Resolution Photos

You can “do whatever you want” with these photos. Their words, not mine. This is also a site you can sign up to to get pics delivered to your inbox, which can only help you out with inspiration, right?

Pixabay

get it on google play or apple store

This is my absolute favorite site. And one of the biggest pluses, is that it has an app! I was so excited to see this recently. I have absolutely no excuses for not finding that perfect photo. And now, you don’t either! You’re welcome!

I hope these sites will help you out, and open you up to the huge world out there. It’s so fun to see it through someone else’s eyes.

Please make sure to follow our blog for more tips and tricks coming your way.

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