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Don’t be a Covid-iot – be set safe

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Fall is here. You can feel it in the air, at least on the East Coast where hurricanes and fires have not wrecked havoc of late. With everything going on and production easing back into a daily grind we have to remember to stay safe and smart, or we will be right back where we were a few short months ago.

Remember Danny Boyle’s 2002 film, 28 days later, well NY feels a lot like that lately. It seems it was only a few days ago that the world was shut down, toilet paper was in short supply, and the idea of hugging a relative was considered punishable by law. Thankfully, NYers and others across the country worked together to stay apart. Thought and care was put into numerous plans to get things, and people, working again.

Fortunately for us in the production world we have a number of organizations with dedicated people who have crafted guidelines to getting back safely.

The AICP published their COVID-19 WORKPLACE GUIDELINES AND CONSIDERATIONS outline. Version 6 — Last Updated 9/07/20 is available as a PDF on their site. You can read more here.

On the other side of the fence, the Directors Guild of America (DGA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) and the Basic Crafts, and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) released their multi-union report on Covid-19 safety in “The Safe Way Forward.”

At Bean Labs, our team is ready and willing to get back to work safely. Let us know if we can give you a hand with anything.

 

Taking Pride in our 5-Star Clutch Profile!

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Taking Pride in our 5-Star Reviews of Bean Labs!

Video production is the future of marketing. Videos capture audience attention with ease while relaying important information.  However, they can be hard to create without the necessary business insight in the production world, alongside proven experience working with the creative video making processes.

That’s where Bean Labs strives. With us by their side, our clients only need to have their project purpose and vision; we take care of the rest. We provide support from the beginning ideation stages to the final distribution. For us, we place our clients as our priority and bring their visions into reality with complete integrity and attention.

It makes us extremely happy to see that our clients have enjoyed their experience working with us, as we maintain our 5-star average profile rating on Clutch. Clutch is a DC-based B2B platform that connects companies to solutions providers on the basis of ratings and reviews from former clients. 

Our first review on the site comes from KZSW Advertising, a full-service ad agency. They requested our support in marketing materials, specifically TV commercials for the greater New York market. We worked alongside them from the very first step to successfully putting together multiple commercials over the course of several years. Throughout the process, it remains important to us that not only are satisfied results met, but that the client is able to collaborate with us at every point.

“The commercials we worked together on have been so successful over the last few years that the number of projects and the media budgets we have to deploy them have grown steadily, year after year.” -President and Creative Director, KZSW Advertising 

5 star Review of Bean Labs Video Production

One of our more recent reviews on Clutch is from The Canine Review, an online publication focused specifically on dogs within the pet industry. We helped them with a project that required branding ideation, positioning, and website design and build. We understand that marketing goes beyond just video projects, and strive to help our clients with whatever they may require assistance with in order to reach their desired target market. The process involved two separate mini-projects, between the ideation and branding, and then the overall discussion regarding the design and functions for the website. At the end, both these projects came together to fit the overall brand of The Canine Review.

They were honest and ethical. The great thing about them is that they’re terrific about spontaneously starting a project when I give them a call. They’re great at putting together a reasonable plan. I highly recommend them for startups and publishers. They’re very reliable.” -Editor and Publisher, The Canine Review

5 Star Review of Bean Labs Branding and Web design

 

Clutch also maintains a sister site, The Manifest. The Manifest is a supplemental tool to highlight top companies across various industries and regions so that partner-seekers can narrow their searches for the perfect match regarding an upcoming project.

If you are interested in working with us or learning more about our work, please do not hesitate to reach out and let us know!

Picture This: A quick guide to website image preparation

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Recently we launched a new local directory website for Northern Westchester County, WestchesterNorth.com. Westchester is home to a number of amazing places and people. The area is rich in history and beauty. Westchester is located north of New York City (no it’s not upstate – that would be Buffalo). It is a convenient and enjoyable commute to Grand Central Terminal (no not station – that would also be incorrect). Westchester North is a gateway to the local businesses and people of Northern Westchester, and we continue to enjoy developing content for the site and social. But I digress, the point of this post is to talk about the importance of images on your website, in your social media, and for your brand in general. 

In building and designing Westchester North one of our primary tasks was to capture and organize 1000s of photos for the site and for social. As content creators we tend to go overboard with high-end cameras and lenses, often capturing content in 4K and beyond when necessary or just enjoyable. When it comes to a website however it is best to keep in mind the mantra “size matters.” If you are building an image-heavy website you need to make sure your site will load quickly and efficiently for both proper google ranking (and SEO) and most importantly for ease of use by your visitors. Below we breakdown some important steps to help you optimize your content. Our quick guide to preparing your images for your website, brand, and beyond. 

Let’s start with the basics. 

QUALITY

Julie is a PaH patient sharing her story.

First, start with high-quality images. Whether you are sourcing stock imagery or taking your own photos start with the highest quality possible. This will give you the opportunity to properly resize, crop, correct, augment, or enhance as your heart desires. 

It’s also important to remember if you are using your phone to capture images for your website how you plan on using the image. Play it safe and take a PORTRAIT and LANDSCAPE photo, you’ll thank me later.

chris valentino, Bean Labs, producer and director - headshot

Portrait of Mr. Chris Valentino

 

Landscape Photo of Nancy Burpee for NYU Winthrop Hospital

Landscape Photo of Nancy Burpee for NYU Winthrop

 

FILE FORMAT

In most cases, your image is likely to be a JPEG file. While there are other web-compatible files such as GIF, SVG, and PNG, JPEG and PNG are most common. PNG’s offer you the option to have a transparent background say for your logo if you want to overlay it on your page or another photo. Starting with a high-quality LARGE jpeg file will give you the opportunity to edit it for a variety of uses. Remember you can always make a large image smaller, but making a smaller image larger well that results in a poor looking, pixelated disaster.

Story Half Told: Esther Director and Producer, Chris Valentino, on set TexasJPEG for Photos

PNG for Graphics and Logos

Many simple image programs you might find on your computer or phone let you choose JPG or PNG by going to “Save As,” “Export,” or “Save for web” and selecting your preference. There are some great web apps that make editing images and graphics super easy. (We love canva and crello for creating simple graphics.)

 

RESIZE TO OPTIMIZE

Life is all about balance. When it comes to your photos and your website you will need to find the right balance between page speed and appearance. If you are using a high-resolution image (read large file size) you will greatly affect the speed at which your web page loads. Large file = Slow load, this hurts your user’s experience and your SEO as I mentioned above.

That said there are times when you want to use a large image for your page header or hero banner or to showcase an amazing feature that requires detail, so it’s okay, but don’t go overboard. You want to keep an eye on the size of the image after you save it. Is it 6 MB or 128 KBs? Are you using multiple images on a page? They add up too.

Size and Resolution (DPI). DPI or dots per square inch refers to the pixel density of an image. If you plan on printing you will often want your images to be 300 dpi minimum and scale up as necessary (which if we jump back up a few paragraphs is why we often capture content with super cameras and lenses, or as we say, overkill). However, if your goal is the internet then you need to think smaller, 72 dpi to be exact (although 92 dpi is also an acceptable practice). Now, the resolution is only one part of the equation, the other is dimension. Like most humans you are probably familiar with typical photo formats such as 4×6 or 5×7, perhaps you even have your 8×10 highschool photo matted in a nice 9×12 frame. On the web we talk about dimensions in pixels. For example, a hero blog pic may be 1600 by 800 pixels. We typically start with our images at 2000x 1200 and scale down as appropriate. There are times where we will play with the scale of an image for a more cinematic look and others where the image dictates the format (such as a portrait or landscape photo).

We could talk for hours about the numerous ways to format a picture from 1:1 for Instagram, to 4:3, to 16:9, to 9:16, and so on. Every social media page has its own requirements and guidelines and you have to think of how your image will work on both desktop and mobile as well. 

 

CONSISTENCY IS KEY ( a side note)

Before we jump into the all-important topic of naming and organizing, we’d like to stress that consistency plays a huge role in your web design and presentation. Think about how your images will be used on your page or in your post and create your own brand style guide to uniformly organize your images.

 

THE NAME GAME

As some of my clients will tell you, I can be a bit pushy when it comes to naming things clearly and properly. When it comes to images most people don’t think about their file names at all. If they took a pic and it is “DSC_120312343489.jpg”, “Photo2.png” or, dare I say, “Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 3.28.42 PM”

If this sounds familiar, take a break from reading and start renaming your images before you upload anything to your website. Why? Why? Because doing this one simple thing makes managing your photos easier and in the process, it may just help boost your SEO (depending on where the images appear online.)

Again on the topic of consistency, stick to one format: use lowercase letters and numbers 0-9. Don’t introduce punctuation or spaces, it is best to use-hyphens-to-separate-words-rather-than_underscores. (Think awesome-photo-of-chris-valentino-on-set-looking-dashing.jpg rather than DSC12345.jpg).

 

CAPTION THIS

Once you properly name, resize, and UPLOAD your images think about the other SEO seasoning called Alt-Tags (Alternative Text). While not visible to your average user this information tells search engines what your image is all about. Typically with Alt – tags you want to describe your image in a simple, descriptive way this helps visually impaired visitors who navigate your site with audio-based software. It’s also a great way to improve website accessibility.

 

PLACEMENT

The last thing to add is to always keep your images placed in a relevant position on your page or post.

Don’t just toss it on the page, place it close to the related textual content. While Google is getting better at recognizing images they won’t do your work for you. 

All in all, think organization, optimization, and quality!

Be Still My Heart

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Video and photography go hand-in-hand it is why we have always championed a tandem photo shoot with every video production. We have a talented team of photographers who specialize in different types of imagery, from commercial to corporate, from architectural to behind the scenes and more. Whatever your need we can meet it. Before you start your next project talk with us about the different ways and mediums in which we can champion your story. It all starts with discovery and planning.