It is an undeniable truth. The quality of the images you show your potential clients represent the quality of the service you provide. I am not talking here about the quality of what is depicted in the image but the quality of the image itself.
POOR IMAGES imply LOW STANDARDS
QUALITY IMAGES evoke HIGH STANDARDS
The effect is particularly powerful because it is based on your actions rather than your words. This is why I don’t just focus on producing great photography for the built environment sector. I am also here to support clients in making best use of images I make for them.
Here are a few things it is important to know about using digital images.
JPGs degrade every time they are re-saved
JPG is a great format because it reduces file size for minimum loss of quality. It does this by disposing of the image information it can do without. However, it does this every time it is saved so if you crop, resize, or stylise a jpg and then save it you will loose quality whether you can see it or not. It is usually fine for the first few saves but loss of quality is inevitable after a few re-saves. This can be particularly important as some project information systems (PIMS) reprocess image files rather than just reading them.
My clients know they can always come back to me and ask me to edit and re-output for them using the original digital negative. If your design agency wants to do detailed colour work ask me to supply them with a 16bit TIFF. This much larger file type has no compression and a lot more colour information for them to work with.
Images for print and for web require different colour-spaces
Most image formats include some rules about how the colours are displayed by the software that renders them. These rules are called the colour-space and without embedding the rules in the image file, you stand the risk the software will make up its own rules with unpredictable and sometimes ugly results. Print can usually show more colours and may also use a blend of four colours (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) rather than the three used for screens (red, green and blue). I supply images optimised for web and for print to ensure my clients have the best quality.
You need to keep an eye on file size for the web
I think most people know this but it is worth reiterating. I have recent experience where two different client’s web agencies (who should know better!) have mangled images I have supplied producing files several times bigger than the files I supply and in the wrong colour-space! Bloated images slow down page rendering which is a turn-off for potential clients especially if they are using cell phones or tablets.
Not all web browsers are created equal
Chrome, Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Edge use different methods to present images. This becomes a particular problem if the colour-space (the rules for how colours are to be displayed) is not embedded in the image or the incorrect colour-space is embedded. This makes it very important that you review your website on a variety of web browsers and devices. If you just rely on one web browser you may never realise that your images are giving a poor impression of your company.
YouTube can damage your video
YouTube compresses every video you upload. This can result in unexpected reductions in quality. Sometimes this can be quite random and hard to check because YouTube reprocess your upload in a variety of formats for different devices. I optimise video for YouTube but still sometimes get caught out. The only answer I have found it to delete the upload and try again. It is worth waiting a few hours after upload before checking quality as YouTube seems to post a lesser quality in the first instance. Vimeo also compresses uploaded video but seems to produce fewer compression problems.
Whether you are an architect, interior designer, contractor, building products supplier or artisan creative working in the built environment sector, when you commission Place Photography you are engaging with specialist expertise in architectural and interiors photography. Please feel free to make the most of it.