Pinterest has evolved as a best place for visual inspiration. Pinterest has exploded onto the social scene with hundreds of thousands of users signing up and sharing inspiring images: things they have, things they want, things they admire, and more. Pinterest has become a popular place for visual inspiration — you can pin images from any site with their pinning bookmark, making it easy to share any image on a whim. Everything is broken down into categories, so if you are looking for products or images that fit into particular categories such as fashion, design, etc., you can find images easily. Other users can repin your pins, which link back to the original source. Many companies, large and small, have started using Pinterest as a valuable marketing tool, leveraging the social aspect to go viral and increase their exposure and visibility.
Now comes the real factor how to polish your photos for Pinterest.
Choosing a Portrait or Vertical Image
The way that Pinterest is laid out, each item has a portrait section that stacks with other images in order to stack on top of each other. This is called a “masonry layout” in web design. You can use this to your advantage when choosing the orientation of your image. The width of your image is limited to 554px, but there is no height limit, so viewers will see more of your image if it is in a vertical format.
Optimal Cropping for Pinterest
You can actually crop your images to ensure that they have more visual impact. It is a simple concept, but it works. Use the rule of thirds to ensure that there is at least one focal point in your image. Open your image in Photoshop and select the crop tool.
A quick way to remove blemishes is to use the spot healing brush, single-clicking over things such as scratches and pimples to blend them away. You will want to perform this step before smoothing the skin; otherwise you will end up smoothing the blemishes into the skin, which can cause problems in some cases.
Smooth the Skin
Making smooth the skin is a quick and easy step as well. Right-click your image and choose “Convert to Smart Object.” Then, Choose “Filter” > “Blur” > “Surface Blur.” Depending on the resolution, I bumped the radius up close to 70 and set the threshold to around 17 for this image. You might have to adjust these values, depending on your image.
If you are pinning a colorful image, you can make it stand out with bright or unexpected colors. Getting creative with color can really make a difference when your image is competing for visual attention among thousands of others on Pinterest. In the layers panel, click on the new adjustment layer icon and choose Photofilter. Other great options are to replicate a lomography or an Instagram-style effect, with vintage flair.
Black and White
Instead of building bold colors, you could also distinguish your Pinterest post by going the opposite direction and removing all color. This is a great choice, because your images will stand out against the cast array of color images on Pinterest. One method that gives you a lot of control over the tonal range of your black and white image is to create a Black and White Adjustment Layer. In the Properties Panel, you can adjust the sliders for different colors to control how dark or light those areas are.
One final method to help promote your images is to name them with relevant, thoughtful keywords that you or your business is associated with. When you save your image, keep this in mind so that your images can be easily found when you place them on specific boards. You might even name your image using multiple keywords, separated by an underscore or dash.