Keep ’em Square!! & Keep ’em Small!!
I really cannot stress this enough – BIGGER IS NOT BETTER! 😛
For the best performance on the site images MUST be:
- Mostly Square in size (Your primary product photos must be squarish – exact squares are not needed, but don’t use definite rectangles. Additional gallery photos you add can be rectangles as they don’t show on the shop pages)
- No larger in image (pixel) size than 900 x 900 pixels in size
- No larger than 300kbs in file size (Site will not allow photos to be uploaded larger than this size)
- Be deleted when no longer needed (please be friendly to our server!)
Preferably make sure pads are angled – not straight, that helps keep the photo square in size. Backgrounds should be neat and and good quality photos.
Our main product pages display square images in little polaroid-looking photo thumbnails. If you select a rectangular photo for the main product photo then the ends of the photo (and your pad) will be chopped off, or if it’s too much of a rectangle, then the little polaroid picture will be long and look bad. (any photos that change the size of the polaroid thumbnail will be set to “draft” until you fix the photo to make it square). From time to time I will take photos from the site to promote us on instagram and facebook, where square photos display better – I will not use any photos that I don’t feel the best representation for our store and work well with other photos I’m uploading together
Why the 900 x 900 limit?
- Photos larger than this look unflattering in the close zoom unless they are perfectly sewn.
- The larger the file size the longer pages take to load for customers
- The larger the file size the longer it takes for you to upload them
- Larger photos use more of our site bandwidth.
- They waste space on our server
So there is NO benefit to having images over this size and only negatives.
When customers put their mouse over the product image on the individual product page, the image displays a full size zoom. If you’ve uploaded a very large photo, then this gives the customer a larger-than-life, microscopic view of your pad! Which isn’t very helpful for the customer and such close-up detail might show off any imperfections you’d rather people not focus on.
If you look at the examples below, the purple pad image is the standard size straight from a phone/camera and creates such an extreme close-up view you can’t properly see the pad. The fox pad is an 800 x 800 image, so when zoomed in the customer can see more detail on the pad, but not too large to be unflattering or unhelpful.
So if you keep your images within the size limits, your photos will look good when the customer looks at the zoomed in photo.
(The purple pad photo is too large and well over 2x the recommended size. The fox pad is a good size)
DO NOT upload photos directly from your phone or camera without editing them first as they will be far too big. (See article on resizing photos) They don’t need to be round numbers or exactly square, so 745 x 867 would be fine. But a recommended size would be 800 x 800. No number can be over 900 pixels (so a 900 x 100 picture is not allowed)
Most of our pad sellers take the pad photos with the pads on an angle, rather than completely straight horizontal/vertical. The below example shows what I mean by straight and angled. The pad on the left is straight, pad on the right is angled. Not only is a straight photo usually rectangular (which we want to avoid), some of us feel the angled photos look softer and make a more rounded and balanced focal point, with a more flattering view (as well as making a more square shaped overall photo). The amount of angle doesn’t matter, nor does the direction.
Good Quality Photos?
Remember that customers can only look at the photos of your pads, not the actual pads. So you want to make the photos look as attractive as possible to entice customers to buy. Look around to see how other padmakers take photos of their pads for inspiration. Some tips to consider:
- Background – Make sure the background they are on does not overpower the pad. If the background is too dark or “busy” it can make the pad not stand out as much. It should also look clean and tidy.
- No Floors! – Avoid using carpet or wooden floors, as some customers do not like the thought of their pads being put onto floors for sanitary reasons.
- Framing – Try to remove too much extra blank space around the product so that the product itself is the main feature of the image. But make sure there is some free space around the edges so the photos don’t display with the pad ends being chopped off or too close to the edge of the image
- Datestamps – Please do not use photos that contain datestamps as these can look unprofessional, it also shows when the pad was photographed, so if that was a while ago, it shows that pad hasn’t sold (customers may then wonder why your pads don’t sell well)
- Iron!! – If the pad looks a bit wrinkly, give it an iron!!
- Lighting – It is difficult to get the lighting right, and different monitors/screens are set to different levels of brightness. But you want the photos to be neither too dark nor too bright. Indoor lighting may not be bright enough, but outside in direct sunlight may be too bright. Light from a window or lamps, as well as outside in the shade might provide good lighting positions. You can also manipulate the photo in a graphics program to brighten it if needed.
- Fabric backgrounds – White tends to look dull as a background, and fabric should either look smooth or crinkled on purpose, not just un-ironed
- Space – Think about how much spare space around the pad. Not too much, not too little. I find photos that are cropped right against the pad make the pad stand out less than if there is some spare space around.