If you want to keep folks coming back to your website, I suggest you use your cell phone to take photos for the web. Smart phones are taking clearer and clearer photos because competition is driving manufacturers to produce ever better equipment. You don’t have to own an expensive camera to take good web photos. You’ll do fine with your smart phone if you follow a few tips:

1. Hold your phone steady.

This is best done with two hands. The steadier you hold your phone, the clearer your photos will be. Practice pressing the take-a-photo spot on your phone gently, so that you don’t move the phone much.

2 Recommended: Hold your phone horizontally, not vertically.

Why? Photos can be used in videos, and it’s best to use horizontal photos (i.e., landscape view ones) in videos because video frames are horizontal. When you make a phone call you hold your phone vertically, but when you take a photo, flip your phone sideways, to landscape view.

3. Move up close.

Fill image frame with the subject matter of your photo. Particularly if you’re showing a group of people you need to move in close, because if you don’t their faces will be too small to recognize.

4. Avoid photographing directly toward a bright light.

For instance, the sun, or an open window. Instead, if possible, place persons in front of a dark background. Your subjects’ faces will be better exposed this way.

5. Don’t place a subject of interest smack dab in the middle of your photo.

In general, too much symmetry makes for a boring image. It’s better to place your subject a little to the left or right of center. This off-balance approach helps make a more lively image. And, for the same reason, sometimes it’s good to tilt your phone a little when you take a picture. This can make it more interesting.

Sizing cell phone photos for the web:

Many phones make photos that are 640 pixels wide. This is ideal for web pages. The height of your photos should not exceed 960 pixels, because this is the dimension of many smart phone screens, and smart phone users viewing a web page would rather not scroll down to see the bottom of an image. The good news is that smart phones generally do not produce images higher than 960 pixels. So, you’re pretty safe uploading your smart phone pictures directly to your website’s media library without editing them first for size.

— TCDavis

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