Ever heard the expression "a picture is worth a thousand words"? Photography on the Internet needs to be produced and presented by professionals, so that your clients receive a strong visual impression with superb imagery, on a website which loads quickly and easily.
Imagine you own a golf course and the greens have a yellow hue due to complications with keeping them in perfect conditions. Imagine that skin tones don't correctly represent the skin of the model - many a corporate portrait or model portfolio has be ruined by inexperienced web designers, adding imagery without due care and training in this specialised field.
Andalucia Web Solutions, with our in-house studio, photography department, design and production team, specialise in photo-led websites, priding itself on careful attention to the photographic elements of your website.
All aspects of your product or service are presented on your website exactly as you want them to look, with correct colours, contrast and shades, ensuring that the best and most attractive image possible is presented to your client.
So how do we achieve great imagery on your website?
Six key steps to achieve first-rate imagery on your photo-led website by our award-winning in-house photographer, Michelle Chaplow.
Shooting the imagery is just the first step; post-processing is of vital importance if you really want to make a strong visual statement using photography on your site.
2. Calibrations and calibrated monitors
Images on web pages need to have the correct calibrations - by that we refer to number of technical aspects: saturation; shadows and highlights; histogram analysis; colour tones and hues; contrast; and the correct white balance. This is a meticulous task that requires colour-calibrated monitors, qualified digital imagery personnel, and a working studio environment with 5000k lighting to ensure that imagery will display well on a wide range of monitors, from larger screen on desktop and laptop computers, to smaller tablets and smart phones.
3. Cropping and panoramic templates
Photographs must be correctly cropped (trimmed) to suit the relevant website. A badly-cropped image can jeopardize your image statement, if doesn't display your product or service at its full potential. It is important to work with your web design team to achieve full-frame crops at the initial design stage, so that the essential part of the image can be seen clearly on your website.
Unless you are producing a landscape-shaped site (horizontal), with images specifically shot on a panoramic camera, panoramic imagery very rarely works.
Many web companies provide panoramic templates for their photography, however this is not advisable for photographic imagery as major elements from the scene can be lost in the crop, as seen in the illustration below.
Poorly cropped panoramic shot
Full frame picture plus detail
4. Resizing images for the web
You want web surfers to see your images as clearly and as quickly as possible. As this means you need a careful balance between a fast download and the highest-quality imagery, it is always best to leave this step in expert hands. We never resize images of photo-led websites without carefully considering all the relevant criteria of each particular site and client.
Not only must the compression of an image be optimized between quality and download speed, it must also be performed using the correct format. Compressions are destructive in jpg format, and lost information from such wrongly-manipulated images can never be retrieved. For this reason we work with raw (unformatted) and tif images until the final stage of resizing has been reached. In this way, your original images are safely preserved.
5. Alt tags
Alternative text used when images cannot be displayed, these are essential for SEO and Google ranking, plus they are a great way for us to provide additional information to your readers and potential clients.
A slide-show of images on your website needs to load effortlessly and quickly for your client. This can be achieved with our expert resizing and programming.
7. Bold visual imagery
It's important to make imagery on your website powerful and bold - the web surfer will take in the visual imagery before reading any text. We offer professional design and photography services which can achieve this aim for you.
At Andalucia Web Solutions, we pride ourselves on our expertise in the fields of web photography, graphic design, SEO, information architecture, Content Management Systems (CMS) and web development. AWS can produce the whole package, from shooting the imagery, right through to launching your photo-led site.