Five top photo tips

Over the past few month I have been lucky to watch, read and listen to many sources of practical help for writers – so this month, my own blog offers a few tip that might come in handy if you’re using images for social media, reviews or your author website.

1 Always take photos in landscape format – it’s then far easier to make them work for most social media channels and websites. This can be tricky if you want to take a photo of a book cover (your own or one you are sharing or reviewing) as this will almost certainly be portrait. Try laying it on a surface and taking a shot with a background, or capturing just the main title area to give a flavour. Here’s an example:

2 Try Canva, the free online design site. Here, you can upload images, choose the format you want (Twitter, say) and resize an image in that exact proportion in moments. You can name it and download it as a jpeg file, ready to use later – or publish straight to social media.

3 To compress your images, another useful free site is Tinypng which lets you automatically do this, without reducing quality. The reason this matters is, when people visit your website they may be using a phone or other mobile device and you want to make sure that everything loads quickly and doesn’t eat up their data!

4 Looking for a ready made photo? It can be hard to tell if images you see online are copyright free, so I like Pexels which makes it crystal clear. I always credit the creator, of course.

5 When you’re naming an image file it’s good to think about searching and accessibility. It might seem odd to use a long name but is helpful for anyone visually impaired, and also for behind-the-scenes search engines that will identify authentic images. The image file below is labelled ‘I’m Not a Mouse picture book image’ and was created for promoting a review. Job done!

Top image credit: Andre Furtado at