Formatting Photos for Your Website

"Friends don't let friends stretch photos"

“Friends don’t let friends stretch photos”

Artists, for the most part, have no shortage of square photos. From albums covers and press photos to CD covers and booklets, the square format prevails.

Unfortunately, square photos are poorly suited for many online applications. Social media banners, website backgrounds, and email newsletters, are all formats for which uploading a relatively square image may give you a rather distorted result.

If not square, then what?

Unfortunately the answer isn’t entirely straightforward; with internet-connected devices ranging from smartphones to wide screen televisions,  there’s no “one size fits all” solution. So how do you ensure you have images suited for any application?

 1. Give your subject matter some room

Most digital cameras offer extremely high resolution these days, which means you can stand a little further away from your subject and capture more of the surroundings while still getting a crisp picture of the main attraction. The benefit? When you’re ready to place these images on the web you can crop out the top and bottom to make a wide image or crop out the sides for a tall one, you could even chop off all the edges to make a round picture. Not only will it be easier to fit the image where you want it, but it can make for some really interesting shots!

2. Understand aspect ratio

Aspect ratio is the width of an image relative to its height. For example: most widescreen monitors use an aspect ratio of 16:9. This could mean that the monitor is 16 inches wide and 9 inches tall or more commonly 19 inches wide and 10 3/4 inches tall. So how does this help you? Take pictures with your aspect ratio in mind. Many digital cameras will allow you to change your aspect ratio settings. You can also simply compose your shot with the intent to crop to your aspect ratio later.

If you’re working with a professional photographer, they can shoot to your intended aspect ratio. Just let them know the aspect ratios you need. A professional photographer should be able to create pictures that will work perfectly for your purposes. Using photos at the correct aspect ratio will make for incredible looking images that make sense and fit well.

See this article to learn more about Aspect Ratio

So for your next photoshoot, take inventory of the kinds of photos you need. Do you need a thin rectangle for a banner, a thick rectangle for a email header, a large photo for your background, and a square photo for your profile pick? Make sure you cover your bases and you won’t end up with stretched-out photos that make you or your bandmates look like Gumbi.

Let us know your thoughts and tips on artist photos in the comments below.

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