Why on earth do women love tall photos? Nah, it’s not what you may think! It’s because of Pinterest. Huh? Yes, that’s right: Pinterest. Ok, this is very unscientific, and most likely they don’t exactly love tall photos, but that’s what you find on Pinterest where 80% of the users are women.
Does that make sense to you? No? To me neither! Let’s back this up with some data and some tips on what you can do to get more repins.
The thing with the size and the orientation
Ah ah ah, don’t let your mind wander off into the wrong direction again – this is about photography, nothing else! So, concentrate now!
Many serious photographers will tell you that posting photos online in portrait orientation (short side up) is not a good idea. Your images will get very small due to the typical restrictions on the height of the canvas on which your photos are being displayed. There is one exception though. On Pinterest the rule is as follows: The taller your photos are the more likes and repins you will get. This is backed up by a recent study by Dan Zarella, social media scientist at HubSpot.
The reason is the way Pinterest displays photos. Most photo sharing sites have a fixed size for the display of your photos, and that size favors landscape orientation (e.g. 500px wide and 300px tall). If your photo is in portrait orientation, it will still only be 300px tall and maybe only 180px wide in most gallery views – pretty darn small.
Pinterest on the other hand only restricts the width of your photos but they can have any height. If you view a board, your images are restricted to a width of 192 pixels. That’s it! This means that if you pin an image that is 192 pixels wide and 6000 (!) pixels tall, it will be displayed that way such that you get a lot of vertical screen space, and people will see it for a long time while you scroll down the page.
How should you prepare your images for Pinterest?
Of course, you can simply pin your original images straight from your website or blog. There is nothing wrong about that. But if you want to tailor them to the specifics of Pinterest to make them stand out from the crowd, you can do the following:
- Go through your archives and look for images that favor a tall crop. Some images just don’t look good when you crop them to be really tall. Go and find the ones that do.
- Load them into Photoshop and set up the crop tool for 300px wide and 1200px tall crops. You can experiment with other dimensions, but if you make it too tall, people will lose track while scrolling. Moreover, they will have to scroll all the way back up to the top of the image to repin it. You shouldn’t make that too hard for them.
- Change the size of the crop box by dragging the corners and move the crop box until you find a good crop. No matter how big or small you make the crop box, once you press Enter, you will get an image that’s 300×1200 pixels big. So don’t make the box too small or else you will get a very crappy resolution.
- Press Enter and save under a new filename.
- Upload to your website and pin it or upload it directly to Pinterest. I would recommend pinning it from your website as this creates a link back to your page and drives traffic to your site.
How to crop to make your images look good
While the technical process of cropping explained above is straight forward, the question how to size the crop box and where to put it in the original image is a tricky one. There is no general rule here. Set your creative mind free and experiment. In a sense you have to recompose your image for the new dimensions. Below, I am giving you a few examples of how this could look.
To get to the original image, just click on the respective cropped version below.