Adventures in Website Photos
One of the most annoying things I must deal with in web design is when a client sends me tiny photos and they want them used on something like the splash screen slider on the home page. I once had a client send me legit thumbnail-sized images that were 150px x 150px who expected me to use them on the slider. When I tried to explain to him what the problem was, he insisted that I didn’t know what I was talking about. He claimed that he knows how to design websites (something that every client seems to be proficient at BTW, but they don’t have the time for) and that I can simply enlarge the photos. Now I understand that there are some really great tools out there that are AI-powered and can enhance images, but they will not be able to take something that is 150×150 and enlarge it to 1920×1200. It is just so difficult to get them to understand this simple concept. In this one case, I simply dumped the thumbnails into the slider and basically said, here you go.
If I’m lucky enough to get them to send you decent-sized images, then they will all be portrait when I need landscape. I can’t for the life of me understand why people take photos with their phone in portrait mode, it just kills me, but then again, photography is one of my hobbies, that I love to do, but I don’t talk much about it here because, everyone will have something negative to say about each and every photo, and I want my blog to be as positive as I can make it, but still make it “me”.
I really hate it when a client sends me a blurry or grainy photo and asks me to work some Photoshop magic on it. I mean, I’m decent at Photoshop, but I’m not sure a Photoshop expert can fix something this bad. And the funny thing is that it is usually something like a photo of the front of their store, you know something that they could just take again.
Or better yet, they will take a whole series of photos of the individual products that they sell. They will send you like 200 photos and every one of them looks like they smeared peanut butter and Nutella all over the lens and then hung the light up facing the wrong way.
I love it when they send you an image torn from a newspaper and ask you to make it look like a regular photo. I try to explain to them about pixels and how there isn’t enough in the newspaper photo to work with, but like the web design, they are also a photographer and Photoshop guru but just don’t have the time.
I had a client who wanted us to come to their store and take around 150 photos but thought $150 was too much money. I told them, that I had to come to your store, using my gas and time, my time to take the images, and my time to process them and get them ready for the website. Ugh, some people are just too damn cheap.
The best is the person who uses all stock photos for their website. They will sell something cool looking and will look great if we take real photos of it, but instead, they will use stock photos for everything. Like a stock photo for the store front, I mean, how lazy or cheap can you get, lol.
The image above is 225 pixels wide. This would be considered either a thumbnail-sized or a small photo.
Below is the same image, stretched to 800 pixels wide. Notice how blurry it is, that is caused by not having enough pixels to make a detailed image. Ultimately an image is made up of pixels.
This is that same image stretched to 1920 pixels and cropped to fit, which is the size of a normal slider on a website home page. There is no tool or software that can make something like this really usable. There are tools that can add more pixels via AI, but the end result isn’t always that great.