With the advent of broadband connections and much more sophisticated websites, user expectations regarding photos are now much higher—and they are rising. As a business running an ecommerce site or using social media for promotions, you ignore this at your peril.
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Many factors are contributing to the drive for higher quality, larger photos. For example, tablet computers such as the iPad have very high resolution touchscreens, and larger, higher resolution monitors for business and personal computers alike are now the norm.
Poor photos become an immediate detriment to your products and your brand when viewed on these types of devices, and studies have shown that better website product photos lead to more user engagement and higher sales. Have a look at the photos by the brands represented on Catalog Spree (www.catalogspree) if you are skeptical.
The increased use of multiple product photos and zoom in/out features on many ecommerce product pages also dictates new thinking when it comes to your product photography shoots. As mentioned in the accompanying article, whenever you shoot product photos, you should capture images in as high a resolution as possible because you can always reduce the pixel count, but you cannot increase it. And, you need those pixels to display those nice zoomed images.
Another thing to remember is to shoot horizontals as well as verticals—most catalogs tend to need vertically oriented shots, but most websites need horizontals. So, during your photo shoots, capture both.
And last but certainly not least, the use of pictures in social media has exploded—and your potential customers are therefore quite used to the liberal use of photos. Amateurish images on your company’s Facebook page—as well as those being pinned on Pinterest—are probably not as detrimental to your brand as they would be on your company website, but they reflect on your brand nonetheless.
At the very least, make certain that you have permission to use the photos and that they are in focus and well composed.
Bud Reed (firstname.lastname@example.org) is president and founder of Liberty Creek Associates (libertycreekassoc.com).