So how popular are images?
There’s no doubt about it! The use of images on the Internet is growing exponentially.
Statistics tell us that the most engagement on Facebook is achieved by using images.
We’ve always been told that “a picture paints a thousand words”.
Now we have a website totally devoted to collecting and showing off all of our favourite images and if you don’t know that I’m referring to Pinterest, then I would have to ask you – “Where have you been these last 12 months”, as Pinterest has grown like billyo and looks set to continue.
However, whilst all of this exciting growth has been going on, there are folks out there who tell us that they aren’t artistic or creative and say – “I don’t know how to make my images look good”.
I’m not sure that I would agree with them, but that topic is for another time.
What is up for discussion is some practical, easy to implement tips that anyone can put into practice and have some good results with. Here they are.
1. Don’t underestimate the art of cropping an image
Firstly, a definition of cropping so we all know what I mean:
to remove unwanted areas of an image to improve the composition
I must admit that I do fall into this trap and it’s not until my sister, Davina, says to me – ‘Why don’t you crop it’. For some reason I forget, so now I have a big sign on my office wall just saying ‘CROP’! It comes in handy other times too!
However, it’s not only about cropping an image that can have a dramatic effect, but to crop an image tightly can be very dramatic and can quite often change the whole sense of the image.
Take a look at this 70 second video to see what I mean.
2. Use the correct size image for each Platform
Each site or platform will have their own suggested sizes to use and if you don’t follow their suggestion, the platform will either:
- Resize the image by ‘stretching’ it to fit. Pinterest profile image is 165px by 165px. If you use an image smaller than this, Pinterest will ‘stretch’ it to fit.Let’s take an example. Here we are using an image which was 440px square (the image on the left). We then reduced that to 110px square (for the purposes of illustrating this only). We then took that image and ‘stretched’ it to 165px square to show you what will happen if you use images that are too small (that’s the image on the right).
- Or Compress the image– this is an image taken from Facebook, but hopefully you can see what the compression looks like. We find that it tends to occur with the colours red, pink and orange.
Now these examples here may look different on other computer monitors/Windows or Mac machines, so if these look okay on your computer, just be aware that they may not on one of your customers.
Always use the exact size that the platform suggests.
3. Use emotion to draw the viewer in
Take this example.
This is a fun shot and could be used to promote a local Podiatrist or reflexologist.
The emotion that you are evoking using the image in this instance is humour, but it can be anything from fear (a picture of a big hairy spider) to excitement (using the colour red in an image).
However, bear in mind that the emotion needs to be relevant to context you are using it with.
4. Take care in using other people’s images
Google Images is a search service created by Google that allows users to search the Web for image content. It is made up of everyone’s images on the web.
However, just because the images are found on Google doesn’t mean that you can freely use them without checking the license.
Take the time to find the original source and credit the owner of the image. You can use a tool such as Tineye.com (which also come as an app for Chrome) to do this.
Alternatively, you can search for an image in the usual way, and then click on the Gear Icon, which can be found on the top right hand side of the page. Here is a drop-down menu and you can select Advance search.
This gives you the ability to search in Google images for those that are free to use, share or modify even for commercial use.
The alternative to using other people’s images of course is to use your own!
The most popular images are original and unique and these are liked, re-pinned, followed and commented on the most on Pinterest so take the time to create your own.
Get that camera out and start taking your own pictures or you can create your own graphic by taking a look at our free video tutorials.
Alternatively you can creatively embellish your existing images to make them more share-worthy by taking a look at my ‘Impact with Images’ Guide, in which I have detailed over 35 ideas to do just that. Click Here now to find out more.
This is a guest post by Caroline Jones. Caroline is the co-owner (together with her sister, Davina) of Useful Graphic Design Tutorials – the place to come to if you’d like know how to create your own graphics. Visit the website and take a look around: http://usefulgraphicdesigntutorials.com