A (good) picture is worth a thousand words

Presentation is everything when it comes to selling – and really good clear pictures can place your ad above others just by taking the trouble to get good pictures and ensure that they are optimally sized and framed for displaying on a website.

Since all classifieds type websites use different proportions – some square, some rectangular – the best suited pictures for display across all sizes and dimensions is a picture which is not already cropped for a specific size/proportion.

Note also the different devices used to view ads – from 30″ monitors to small mobile devices – so just where do you begin?

Most websites have the capability built in to process the correct size needed for display.  So how do you know how to present your pictures? The first rule is to leave adequate cropping space around the subject of the picture (normally your horse) so that the parts of your image that get cropped are from the surrounding areas – the edges which are not as important for the correct display of your horse.

In this picture you can see that the horse takes up most of the picture which means that some of this horse will get cropped in square pictures and thumbnails:

Notice that the horse – though nicely framed to fill the entire picture – gets the nose and tail cropped on a square picture. A better framed picture is the image below, which positions the horse in the center, but also leaves a bigger area around the perimeter which allows the horse to remain intact:

Other considerations and framing techniques

It is important to consider the size of images you wish to upload. On the one hand you don’t want them to be so large that your ad takes several seconds to load – especially when 50% of visitors are using small devices such as smartphones and tablets. GetMyHorse.com has a built-in image optimizer which will automatically optimize the size for display on our website – which is great for larger images. However, we have no such tool which can improve out of focus, tiny or poor quality images. It is always better to obtain larger images. Our website includes retina capability which optimizes images for devices such as iphones and ipads therefore uploading larger, better quality images should be considered.

Make it sharp

Unless you are aiming for an artistic flair to your ad, you should upload images which are sharp – crisp and well exposed. Dark, over-exposed or blurred images can distract from the intent of purveying a good look and feel to your ad so it is important that the pictures are of good quality. Remember that you are trying to sell your horse and buyers are more inclined to favor images that clearly represent the horse.

Header (cover images)

We will manually reposition images which are not centered vertically, but we cannot improve poor quality images. Again, if you really want to impress potential buyers and represent your horse in the best possible way, follow these guidelines:

  1. Ensure that your horse (or the focal point of your horse) is in the center of the picture – both vertically and horizontally.
  2. Make sure the image is large enough for a poster image (1400px wide is good!)
  3. Ensure that there is plenty of room around the edge of the image to leave room for device cropping *see the image below*
  4. Use sharp, well exposed, clear images – professional photos always look better
  5. Avoid using watermarked photos or photographer proofs – It makes you look cheap

(Some images which have been artistically processed – black and white/sepia images – professionally cropped images etc. can work without necessarily following the above guidelines).

Closing thoughts

We really want your ad to do well so don’t be afraid to experiment! Try out different images for the duration of your listing as you can change these at any time. Using quality images to advertise your horse not only makes it more appealing to potential buyers, but it brings to life all the features of your horse you’re trying to show.



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