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A Beginner’s Guide to Taking Photos for Your Website

Nowadays it’s more important than ever to have quality original photos on your website. Whether you’re a construction business or a clothing boutique, people want to see photos of your work. Having a gallery section of nice photos on your website is important to keep a record of your work and also acts like a portfolio for your clients. Not to mention what it does for SEO and online marketing. Even if you’re just using a mobile phone, here are tips that will help you produce the best photos for your website.

Think About Lighting

No matter how perfect the shot is, bad lighting will ruin a photograph. The best lighting to use is diffused natural light. If you’re outside, be careful not to take a photo with the sun pointing into the camera. If you’re indoors, make sure there is enough lighting to get a clear image but not too much to where it washes out the photograph. Typically the best lighting is indoors next to a window or outdoors at dusk. If you are doing product photography and are unable to get good lighting, you can make your own light tent.

Choose the Right Mode

Flash or no flash? Auto or Manual? Cameras have a lot of different modes to them, so it’s important to make sure it’s on the right one. If you are a beginner when it comes to photography, it’s best to leave the setting on auto and turn off the flash. Once the flash is off, you will want to make sure to hold the camera very still as the exposure can easily blur. A tripod really comes in handy here!  If you feel comfortable with your camera, manual mode is a great way to take advantage of all its advanced capabilities. Experimenting with your camera is the best way to learn how to use it properly and create the effects you are looking for.

Set Up Your Photo

When setting up your photo you want to be aware of your surroundings. Is there clutter in the shot? What is the backdrop? Do any surrounding colors clash with your subject? These are all questions you’ll want to ask yourself. Remove anything distracting from the shot as it will take away from the subject. You want to avoid busy backgrounds and these other common product photography mistakes.

Get the Composition Down

A general rule of thumb for taking photos is to follow the Rule of Thirds. If you’re strictly doing product photos, you probably will be doing a lot of centered-subject shots. A great tip is to think ahead and visualize a grid in the viewfinder to get the “meat” of the photo in the right place. If you’re using the photo for a Facebook banner or slideshow on your website, think about the dimensions and how zoomed in/out your photo needs to be to fit that. You will also want to take shots from a variety of angles. Avoid straight on angels and take some photos kneeling down or from the side. It’s always better to take too many photos than just a few!

​A great website design or online marketing strategy needs great photos. Start your business off on the right foot by taking high quality images that show off your work. Keeping your gallery section and social media page updated with regular photos will put you one step ahead of the online marketing game!

Ruby Porter is a full service digital marketing and advertising agency in Eugene, Oregon that works with clients all over the country. We're here to share our best tips and favorite trends for SEO, marketing, website and app user design. Contact us to see how we can help boost your brand!

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