MAKE YOUR DESTINATION PICTURE PERFECT
Understanding the importance of great imagery and video can turn your destination's website from drab to fab!
Written by: Jay Pratt, Technical Lead at DestinationCore.
Jay Pratt, Technical Lead at DestinationCore.
Read time: 4 minutes
Taking delivery of your destination's shiny new website is an exciting time; you've gone through the wireframes, drooled over the stunning design and now it’s time release it to the world. However, this is also where a large proportion of websites start to lose those “day one” looks. Imagery, people, I'm talking about imagery.
Ensuring your site looks as good as it does at launch throughout its life is down to a couple of major factors;
- Fresh, engaging content
- Useful functionality
and last but by no means least - GREAT IMAGERY!
So often we see that a site starts to be let down by poor iPhone photos or blurry pictures - ultimately leaving your destination looking less like a place to visit and more like a scrapbook of holiday snaps.
We aren't all David Bailey!
Now clearly the majority of us aren't Mr Bailey (famed photographer for those that aren't aware) and the truth is, you don't need to be! There are ways that even the untrained among us can do our best to ensure that our photography still looks as good as it can and truly reflects the place it depicts. Some simple steps could be;
- Choose a day where the weather is pleasant - a sunny backdrop will always be better than an overcast British winter's day.
- Don't use photos for business logos - this happens more often than you would think!
- Rotate that phone - if you must use your smartphone (most do have very capable cameras these days) please try and shoot the images landscape. More often than not, images on a site will be landscape or square in orientation and portrait images will always cut out more of the scene that you want. If budgets allow, you could invest in a digital SLR camera to really take your photos to the next level but it's ultimately down to each of you to decide what's realistic.
Of course, the other option is to hire a professional to take care of all this for you, but in reality, budgets don’t always allow so this may not be an option for you and your team.
Visitors are going to be looking for imagery that best shows off your destination.
Great tools to utilise
To be able to get those photos looking great before they get uploaded to your DestinationCore site, you're going to need some simple tools to make sure that;
- They are the right shape
- They are the right file size (images should always be under 500kb)
- They are the right file format (ideally an RGB JPEG at 72DPI - dots per inch, often referred to as “low res”)
One of the biggest killers of page load times is huge image file sizes.
There are some great tools out there that will allow you to cover off the three points above to make sure that your great imagery doesn't impact the performance of your site. Also, not all of them will break the bank!
Take a look at a couple below:
GIMP (excuse the name!)
GIMP is a photo editing app that is free to download and use as you wish. It has all the basic tools that you will need to resize and save your images in the correct format for your website.
The undisputed king of photo editing apps, you can get Photoshop for around £20 per month on a subscription via adobe.com. If your budget allows – this would certainly be my recommendation. Benchmarq has a great tutorial on how to save your images for the web in Photoshop: https://bmarq.co.uk/photoshop-tutorial-save-web/).
TechRadar also has a great article on the best free image editing software:
It can all seem a bit intimidating at first but trust me once you have resized and optimised a couple of images, it's childs play, plus on top of improving your websites' look and performance, it's another useful skill to add to your arsenal!
NOTE: As mentioned above, images for the web should be 72DPI, this is because most screens can only display images at this resolution. Some can go to 96DPI but 72DPI is the norm. Images for print will need to be 300DPI and CMYK colour (as printers can handle a much denser amount of Dots Per Inch).
We're here to help
Of course, if you are a DestinationCore client, then we are always on hand to help. Great photography is just another service that we can provide throughout the life of your DestinationCore site. Get in touch to talk to us about your needs. For those with larger budgets why not also consider video or drone footage/imagery to really make your site pop.
The truth is, visitors are going to be looking for imagery that best shows off your destination. If you are anything like me, when I book a holiday or trip, I am straight on Google Images or YouTube to start to get a real feel for where I am going, it builds up my excitement. The key is to be ahead of the curve and have that content already present and keep creating it.