Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College

Select and prepare a photo for your site

Before a photo ever touches your site's Media Library, consider its:

  1. value as content. Think about what they say about calories: No empty ones, please. Select photos that contribute to a reader's understanding of your content. Ask yourself: "Why am I including this image here?" and, if your answer has something to do with decoration, find a different photo or do without. Photos should be appropriate and professional.
  2. owner and permissions. A photo should be fine to use if you took it, or if someone you know took it and has given you permission to use it on the web, or if the Communications Office provided it to you. Crediting the photographer is good practice. If the photo came from elsewhere on the web, you need to be certain that you have permission to use it—either because you paid for the rights, or the owner explicitly granted the right to use it without payment. Even images that are free to use under a Creative Commons or other license usually require that you include credits with the image on your pages. Your site's Media Library has a "comments" field for each image which you can use it to note ownership and permission information for each image.
  3. quality. If your photo passes tests for content value and permissions, it's time to move on to quality. Select only the best. It's better to have one terrific photo than twenty "so-so" ones. For example, a photo that's badly out-of-focus shouldn't be used.
  4. preparation. Even a photo that makes it this far probably need a little work before you upload it to your site's Media Library. If you don't have Photoshop, there are online options that can help you put the final touches on your photo.

Your photo is ready to upload into your site's Media Library when it is:

  • corrected for levels and color;
  • sized appropriately (ex. no more than 2,000 pixels wide); and
  • cropped well.

Good practice tip: We recommend uploading images to your site's Media Library so they can be served locally, rather than pointing to them on some other site.

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