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.
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.
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.
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.
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.