3 Questions for Photo Expert, Mickaël Gipchtein

3 questions à Mickaël Gipchtein, expert en photo

Are you trying to choose images for your website? Do you want to photograph your products? Whatever your goals, the visual impact of photos is ultra important.  How can you create fabulous photos? What are the common errors to avoid? Mickaël Gipchtein, the head of Linkeo’s photo and video department gives us the answers.

1. What precautions should we take when we’re on the search for visuals for our website?

It’s important to make sure that the photos you choose are royalty free. Just because a photo is on the Internet doesn’t mean you are free to use it.  All photos are protected by copyright.  Whether you’re using a free or paid photo, you must always mention the name of the photographer (© + name of photographer) It is also recommended to read the terms of use on the website where you found the photos. The simplest option entails buying photos from an image bank like Shutterstock or Fotolia.  Here you’ll find high-quality photos of varying sizes and prices.

Handy Tip

  • Do you have a tight budget? Don’t worry. There are plenty of free image banks: Fr.freepick, Flickr, Fr.freeimages, Foodiesfeed, Pexels, Stockvault, Publicdomainearchive, Picjumbo, Morguefile, Stocksnap, Gratisography…
  • But be careful. Unlike most paid image banks, websites that offer royalty-free images are sometimes poorly organized. Finding an image you like can sometimes be long and tedious.
  • On paid sites, the quality of the visuals is consistent. That said, they are sometimes criticized for being too generic.

2. What hardware do I need to photograph my products for my e-commerce site?

To prevent your photos from being out of focus, it is essential to get a tripod. This will ensure perfect  stability. Many photos also need digital touch-ups . Do not underestimate the important of editing.  By playing with contrast and reworking the light, it is possible to fix a photo.  Personally, I use Photoshopo and Lightroom, but there are a number of free software programs like Gimp, Paint or Photoscape.  If you have a latest generation Smartphone (iPhone 7 and up), nothing’s stopping you from taking your photos yourself.  But the quality of your pictures will be better if you invest in a good camera like a Reflex.  That is, as long as you know how to use it.

Pro Tip

Activate the “macro” function on your camera to make sure you don’t miss any details of whatever you’re taking a photo of.  Especially if it’s small, like a piece of jewelry.

3. What are some tips for amazing photos?

If you have to take your photos yourself, remember that lighting is essential. In photography, excellent light is non-negotiable! As much as possible, try to use natural light.  If you have to work with artificial light, you’ll need more equipment, Like a swivel flash or flash diffuser.  Instead of shining light directly on the product you want to photograph, it’s usually best to light a nearby white surface, like a ceiling.  Reflecting the flash will make the light more diffuse.  If you have an e-commerce site, to make your products stand out, photograph them in front of a white backdrop. Later, this will make it easier to trim your photos and remove the background of your product, revealing only your product and giving your pictures a refined look.  It is also very important to find the right field of view. But finally, remember that nothing can replace the expertise of a professional photographer. The idea is you want to present your products and business as accurately as possible in a way that makes it look great. Nothing’s stopping you from taking a photo from in front or above.  But when you opt for a slightly submerged field of view, i.e. taken from above, but staggered, it’s easier to get a sense of how much product is in the photo. Photographed from the front, a cube is always a cube.  So the composition of your photo, i.e. the structure of the image itself needs to hold your attention. In photography, we often follow the rule of “three tiers”  Imagine that your photo has two horizontal and two vertical lines dividing it into 9 zones.  Instead of placing your object inside one of these zones, it’s better to place it where the lines intersect. If you follow this rule, your picture will have a greater impact.

Good to know

Ideally, a photo for a website should be a minimum of 1024 x 683 pixels and should not exceed 5 Mo.

Key Points to Remember:

  • Exposure is an essential component to a successful photo.
  • Though they will not match the performance of a Reflex, some high-end Smartphones can compare with a Compact.
  • Hiring a professional photographer will guarantee high quality photos.
  • It is possible to download royalty-free pictures from image banks. Some sites offer this for free.

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