Several things have got me thinking about this subject lately:
- I've seen several real estate photographers websites recently where the presentation of the gallery images detracts from the impact of the images.
- This principle is my 10th essential of my 10 essentials of real estate photography and I'm rewriting this section in the third edition of Photography For Real Estate.
- I've been reading Steve Job's biography and one of Steve's design principles was one he adopted from Leonardo de Vinci which says, "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication".
- Mike Gardner sent me a link to a property site for one of his new listings on Malibu, California. This is one of the simplest and most elegant property sites I've seen. He created it with a template at showitfast.com.
The point I want to make is that if you take the time and go to the expense to present still images in an elegant well designed way it can make a huge difference in their impact and feel. If you are spending time to create great images also spend the time and money to present them in an elegant way. In real estate photography this issue comes up mostly in the area of web galleries and tours. Here are my biggest complaints that drive me crazy:
- Mixing of landscape and portrait orientation in a slideshow. If you are shooting for a vertical flyer or magazine cover sure, use portrait orientation. If you are shooting for a web slide show use landscape mode. When you throw a portrait mode with big black lines left and right in the middle of a series of elegantly dissolving landscape mode photos in a slide show it just looks like hell! If you have award winning portrait mode images make a composite image with two portrait mode shots combined into one landscape mode shot for the slideshow.
- Mixing photos of all different aspect ratios into a slide show so the black bars left, right, top and bottom constantly vary. Sure, I understand every image demands it's own cropping but balance this with presenting them in an elegant way.
- Galleries or slide shows where the viewer has to do something to start the slide show or worse has to click something to move to the next photo each time. Give me a break, you can find plenty of slide shows that just start automatically and continuously cycle through the images.
- Photos have more impact when they are obscenely large. 800x600 is a minimum. This is one place where you want to go big or go home! Images just look better big and 99% of people on the internet have broadband so download time is not the issue it was in 2001.
There, I feel much better getting that rant off my chest!