Tag Archives: professional business photography

Why is photography important in advertising and marketing?

Commercial Photographer LeicesterPosted on Thursday, February12th, 2015

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Couldn’t you just eat them?

Advertising and marketing is an important part of selling products and services.  This is not just true in business, but also for local authorities, charities and educational establishments.  Imagery can perform many functions from catching a prospective customer’s eye, simplifying concepts, enhancing the appeal of a product or service, or just pulling together an idea. But it is often the part of an advertising campaign that is left to last, but strong photographs in advertising can make the difference between being just “okay” to being very effective. Photographs play an important role in advertising and marketing because they can tell a story. As the ancient Chinese proverb so rightly stated: “one picture is worth ten thousand words”.

Rather than seeing it as a drain on your business expenses, you should see them as a return on that investment. Using high quality marketing images should be used to ensure the growth of sales. I worry because quite a few businesses focus on the cost of photography for a marketing campaign and forget the benefits it can bring. I agree that high quality photography is likely to cost more than stock images or self-help photographs.  But and it is a big BUT the overall benefit against cost is comparatively greater. It is frustrating that companies will happily spend large amounts on printing and distributing, but scrimp on photography costs. This will mean that the funds invested in the overall campaign have been wasted by a poor final result.

How do I use photography in advertising and marketing then?

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Make sparks fly with your marketing

Good use of photography can tie a whole advertising concept together.  Now stock photography has a place in advertising and marketing, but it can also portray a lack of originality of the product or service. Poor use of photographs and pictures can weaken or destroy a campaign because it does not have real impact.  Photography can bring that Impact. Just remember, we are bombarded by marketing messages.  In the 1970s we were exposed to about 500 ads a day back, whilst today it can be as many as 5,000 a day today.”  Because of this incessant bombardment, consumers are only able to give their attention to brochures and advertising materials for a few seconds before discarding it and moving on to the next piece.  After that, be it in print or online – it goes in the rubbish bin. It is here that great photographs can make a real difference and extend those precious seconds to “a good read”.

A good professional photographer will produce high quality images that will be unique to your business.  They will be unique because only you will have them.  But more importantly, they will be photographs of you and your business.  Done well, they will help your products and services stand out from your competitors.  They can be tailored to fit with your brand, which will help target the right customers.

Getting your message across effectively

Message photography in advertising and marketingRather than hiring a jobbing “professional photographer”, it is always more effective to deal with a photographer who has some experience with advertising photography. The product has to stand out, not disappear into a background.  It needs to stand apart from other adverts in the field.  A good photograph will grab a viewer’s attention and make an impact on their through processes.   Getting a message embedded in a photograph takes someone with a real eye for the product and its opportunities.

When planning your marketing and advertising campaigns, you should always allow an element in your marketing budget to cover photography.  Paying for a professional photographer makes good business sense.

If you hire a photographer to do a photo shoot for you, you will have original images to use when you want.  But do not forget to consider the license agreement you have with the photographer.  Do they give you unlimited use of the images, are they for one project only, do you pay them a fee every time you use the photographs.  Many photographers retain the copyright pf the images, even if you can use them exclusively.  What that means is that you can use them, but you cannot resell them.

Different types of advertising photography need different skills.  Food photography is not just a simple case of putting a bit of food on a plate and taking a photograph.  To make it appetising it needs to be shown at its most desirable, which may require using materials that hold a products look.  This can range from cocktail sticks, food varnish and other tricks of the trade. Fashion photographers need other skills to make a shot feel active, attractive and desirable.

Final Words about using photography in advertising and marketing

Managing an effective advertising or marketing campaign can be a daunting task.  But with good photography and a clear message you can grab the attention of customers.  This will help them take the next step towards a purchase of products or services.

If you want to find out how great photography can help your advertising and marketing then call Martin Neeves on 01455 271849 or on 07973 638591 or use my contact form to get in touch now

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How to use photographs to help your business press relations

Posted on Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Good photography can be a powerful addition to your PR armoury.  Poor photography will often be ignored.  If you see a page of print in a newspaper, magazine, on your website, on social media pages or other publication, the eyes are immediately drawn to any pictures on the page.  At this point, the viewer can make an instant decision to click the back button, turn the page OR read the text.  After all, it is usually the text that carries the real message that you want the viewer to read.  My message is that photographs help business press relations.

GDHowever, the eye can grab an image and process it in the brain in less than a second. So if you want the reader, wherever they are, to carry on and engage with your content in more depth, it really does help to have great imagery.  If your photographs evoke a quick eye scan and nothing more – your chances of further engagement are severely diminished.

If this article was just using this photo, it would be terribly uninspiring – after all how many head and shoulders shots do we see?  Just another mug-shot with a tie.  Would it make you want to read further in this article?  No, because you have seen this type of shot time and time again.  Rather than having a simple mugshot, it would be far better to include a photograph that says something about his business or him.  Something to grab the eye and make you think, “Well what is this all about?  What does he do?  What is his company?  Is he a one man band or the CEO of a bigger company?”  None of these and many other questions answered visually. And the photo is not great quality.

SGP Commercial Property Services - photographs help business press relationsSo what do these folk do?  Is there a team?  What is their company?  What are their corporate colours?  Do they look friendly?  Does your eye get pulled towards this photograph?  Do they look enthusiastic?  All these questions are answered in less than 2 seconds and if you are interested in their services and want to find out more you are now more likely to read the editorial content, whatever it is.

Another factor is that if you want a newsroom or editor to run a story about your business, they will be looking for something to engage their readers.  They are desperate for copy, but they are even more desperate for great copy supported by good photographs.  In my experience press releases and stories without good images to support them get fed in as fillers or little short pieces – often referred to as NIBS (News In Brief).

So what sorts of photographs are good for PR and how photographs help business press relations?

If you want your PR package to have an impact when it lands on an editor’s desk, you have got to understand that an editor is looking for.  Well first understand how they make decisions – the first one, “Is there a good reason to include or exclude your story?”. That gets the story into their decision pile and they will often have loads of press releases crossing their desk.  So want can you do to get them to choose your story? My experience is that one factor that increases the odds of selection is having a great picture because that is more likely to catch their eye.  Next, make sure that you get the story into the photograph. If your photo looks like old passport photo above it says nothing.  Whereas the taxi image leads straight into the story that it is designed to support.

You can bet your life that a low quality photograph will reduce your chances of not only engaging with the editor, but more importantly the readers of article, webpage etc.  From my past experience in the press industry, I know that it is not unusual for a great story not to be published because the photos accompanying it were poor.  Your photographs have to help the busy editor seeing the potentials in your piece. Not only will it get your current story better coverage – BUT they are more likely to ask you again for other articles because they can rely on getting quality from you.

So, this leads me to my next point, it is well worthwhile investing in a professional photographer who is able to understand your subject area.  It is also important that you do not think of a photograph as a one shot use.  It can be used on websites, uploaded onto social media sites, in marketing collateral and even potentially in future press material to display a consistent branding message.  However, you should always check the photographer’s terms and conditions to ensure that you can re-use the images.  .

How can you provide a good people portrait?

cook - photographs help business press relationsFirstly, as I said avoid head and shoulders photos, they should be appropriate for the position and industry of the person being photographed.  A good professional photograph will find a way of bringing the image to life.  They are very likely to offer suggestions about location, dress, poses, and they will light the image well to give it some atmosphere.

So, with the photograph on the right you can have the executive or staff of a restaurant chain pose in a kitchen. The photo has personality and is more likely to stand out from hundreds of other similar pictures.

What is going to be a good photo?

Firstly, they should be high resolution with a quality of at least 300 dpi and, ideally, be nine inches (or more) on longest side. The reason for this is that larger, high-resolution photographs keep their quality when they are resized, usually downwards.  Mobile phone cameras are getting better, but the photographs produced by a digital SLR are going to give you the quality required.

Another consideration is that an action picture is going to have more visual interest.  I find standard posed shots of groups can be uninteresting because they are less likely to grab the viewer’s attention. This is where a good professional photographer will come be invaluable. They have the right equipment and they have the experience to get good innovative photographs for you. They know how to make sure that your photographs help business press relations for you.

Call me now on 07973 638591 or on 01455 271849 or CONTACT ME to find out how I can provide your business with PR photography to make your business stand out and explain how photographs help business press relations.

Why use a professional photographer for your website or business photography Hinckley?

Posted on Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

The Internet has opened up many opportunities for businesses to promote their goods and services to a much bigger audience. Great images have an incredible impact, but conversely, poor images tell another story.  An out of focus or poorly produced photograph can put the site visitor off your services or products.  Imagine you are selling a television in an offline shop and it is dusty, scratched and nor displayed to attract a sale – would you put up with that?  Or perhaps you have a printed flyer that has spelling mistakes, looks amateurish – is it going to convince someone to use your services unless they are after cheap and cheerful, and do not care about quality.

Poor quality tells the customer you do not care about quality!

Poorly lit, fuzzy photographs are not going to sell your business.  Poor images tell the potential customer that YOU do not care about quality! If your business photography is poor, then what else in the business is poor?

Mobile phones and digital cameras have made us think that taking photos is easy; anyone can produce “good enough” for the web.  But that is actually not true, it is often the attention to detail and the creative way that an image is photographed that makes all the difference.

For example, the shine back of the flash causing a glow or the reflection of the photographer in a shiny image distracts the potential customer and are classic errors made by a camera owner who thinks they are a photographer.

business photography
Let us play a game – spot the photographer.

Or oops the flash shows up the polish marks.
Or oops the flash shows up the polish marks

Stock images then?

Okay got my point, but of course you might say that you can use stock images. In most cases stock images look generic; they do now show your real-life business. They look posed, set-up and “acted”.  One stock image usually comes from a suite of up to 100 variations of the same theme and models from the same photographer, so the chances are that you will not have a unique image.  Half the battle for businesses these days is to stand out from the crowd – to be unique.  Your business is unique, so it needs to have a style of imagery that compliments your brand, instead of mimicking someone else’s. You will not do a good job “shoe-horning” a hotchpotch of stock images to fit your corporate brand.

Okay, okay so why the professional for business photography?

A good professional photographer will understand your brief and work out an image set that expresses your brand in the way you want it.   This will help your company to portray itself in your unique and individual way with great business photography.

Because you are briefing the photographer and working with them, you will have control of the way the images are produced.  Poor quality photographs or littering your website, brochure and sales leaflets with cheap stock library images can cost you a lot more than using a professional photographer.  The damage poor imagery can do to your brand, corporate identity and the image is too big a risk.

If you wants exclusive photographic images that sets your business apart from your competitors, then think carefully about using a professional photographer. Remember a great artist is not a great artist because of the equipment they have but because of the knowledge and skills acquired over many years.

A professional photographer, who is experienced in producing business photography, knows that things can go wrong during a shoot, and leaves nothing to chance. They will have planned your shoot, and have fall-back ideas to cope with weather, lighting, equipment failure. When an amateur photographer takes a photograph with good or bad equipment they tend to just point the camera and trust the equipment to do the work.  Whilst it can be possible to produce reasonable photographs, you can quickly see the difference from a professional shot.  A professional photographer can take into account exposure times, lighting distance to the subject, and the benefits of using different lenses.  With all these variables considered, the professional will frame the image to generate best visual effect.  Your photographs, and hence your business will stand out from the crowd.   That is business photography in action, working for your business.

See examples of my business photography.

Call me now on 07973 638591 or on 01455 271849 or CONTACT ME for an estimate or to discuss how my professional business photography can add real value to your business by the Professional Photographer Hinckley.