Guest Writer, Matt Kennedy is an International Wedding Photographer and has been shooting weddings for 7 years throughout North America, Mexico and Italy. He is well known for his Sparkler Shots and Marketing techniques and is always willing to share and raise the bar for the industry.
If there’s one thing the average Facebook user doesn't seem to execute properly it’s cropping their images. Cropping is such an integral part to the composition of a finished image, and when so much time and consideration has gone in to a shot being polished and complete, it kills me to see images destroyed by poor cropping. We all know that Facebook can bring a lot of referrals in, so you want to make sure that your images are presented in the most attractive way possible.
Now it’s not just the innocent bystanders fault… it’s Facebook, it’s mobile devices, it’s web browser windows, and it’s a lot to think about! We’re not just dealing with prints and frames anymore, we’re dealing with various shapes and sizes of viewing windows and we want to maximize the compatibility of our images with these things so our images are seen in their best light.
First we need to understand our clients' process for choosing images to showcase in such coveted positions as the Facebook cover photo and profile photo. Usually it comes down to them getting amazing images of themselves (or their cats) and then they will click on the cover image of their profile page and select “Change Cover” and then “Upload Photo.” This is what they’re used to doing for the most part... and most people haven’t noticed the option of “Use as Profile Picture” or “Use as Cover Photo”. This means the client has to have the image on their computer or mobile device in order to upload it. Then when they upload it they are able to re-position the photo, but I’m not sure that they always do. This is why we need to prepare them some images that they will not have to crop. Also, images that you post to your business page cannot be used directly as cover images for some reason (thanks Facebook). The client has to download the image from there, or get it from the images you sent them, and upload it themselves.
Here’s where you come in as the professional and the curator of your work. It is your job to give your client the best service possible, and I believe that one facet of that is making their life easy when it comes to printing and sharing their photos. Remember that it is in your best interest to put in a little extra effort so that you see the referral return because your work is showcased for everyone to see. So here are my top 5 tips for the Facebook Cover image and profile picture.
Choose some photos that will look good as facebook cover images and crop them in the aspect ratio of 1700W x 630H and export at 72DPI.
Ensure that nothing important is in the lower left corner of the image because the profile picture window will interfere with it.
HINT: If the main focus of the shot is in the lower left, mirror the image so that it’s on the right. Clients most likely won’t know how to do this themselves, so you’re a hero!
Choose some close up shots that you think would make for a good profile picture and crop them to a square.
HINT: Usually close up shots work best for profile pictures as they are used as small thumbnails throughout Facebook and other websites that use Facebook login, so their faces will be recognizable even when small.
For weddings, choose at least 1 cover image of each of the following to maximize the chances of people using your photos as their cover image:
Bridesmaids with bride
Groomsmen with groom
Whole wedding party
Bride’s Immediate family
Groom’s Immediate family
Bride and groom together
Share the images with the couple in a separate collection (if using PASS) and let them know that you've chosen a few that you think would be great fits for them just to make their lives easier, but that they can use other images if they want as well. By you giving your input, you are now giving them service they didn't expect and putting the thought in their heads that this is what they should do with your photos anyways.
I have found great success with this system of sharing images, and many times have had the whole wedding party and many guests using my images the day after the wedding as their cover and profile photos. I hope this helps you get some more referrals and most of all helps your clients have a great experience with you as a photographer.