Commercial photography to capture your business perfectly

commercial photography

A guest blog by Jenny Stewart on the importance of quality images to create the right impact for your business and how commercial photography can play a significant role in helping you achieve the best results.

Images have always had the power to move us

The old cliché “a picture tells a thousand words” has been around for a very, very long time however the world is becoming increasingly more visual. Just about everyone has a camera on them at all times now eh?! – and the image centric social networks like pinterest and instagram are seeing incredible growth.

So images and the impact (be it positive or negative) that they can have on your business has probably never been greater than it is right now.

impact of using images

In a world where we’re constantly being bombarded with images there is the very real danger that everything just fades into a sea of uniformity.

And consumers are impatient too. Sometimes things have to have happened before we’ve even known we wanted them to happen! So as business owners we have a really short time to grab people’s attention – 3 seconds they say! So along with great design and branding, exciting headlines, beautiful photography is a must!

When it comes to your photography there are three ways you can go about it:  

1. Shoot the images yourself

2. Use stock photography

3. Hire a professional

And I believe there are two key things to consider before you decide which is right for you:

Image quality

To create the right impact your business needs to have beautiful images that stand out from the crowd. Poor images will probably lose you sales and average ones won’t really grab people’s attention or encourage them to find out more, so you really have to make sure the images are the best they can be.

Our businesses need to stand out from the crowd. We need what we’re offering to really jump up and out at people and to create some sort of emotional response with them.

I believe very strongly that one of the ways to help achieve this, is for people to feel a genuine connection with who we are, what we’re all about and most importantly what we have to offer and how it can make a difference to them.

And I believe the only way to do this is to be authentic and real about our business and ourselves and then present that in the very best possible light.

The second thing I believe you need to consider when making the choice is the:

Investment required and the return on that investment

As with any investment that you make into your business, you need to consider ROI before deciding whether it’s the right … or wrong … investment for you to make.

It’s no good spending hundreds or even thousands of pounds on something all shiny and sparkly if the volume you’ll need to sell to recoup your investment is so large that it doesn’t even figure in your 10 year plan.

Though conversely penny pinching and not spending on something that would only need a couple of extra sales to recoup your investment is perhaps cutting your nose off to spite your face! You could even find you don’t make any sales if you don’t make that investment.

Other things to consider in the ROI calculation are the longevity of the images you’re going to get – you certainly don’t want to be in a position where they have to be updated every few months – and how much you can use them across all your business – in articles, blogs, websites, press releases, adverts, flyers, leaflets, social media and the like.

So what we’re looking for is authentic and real, stand out images that deliver a great return on investment.

Taking each way of achieving your commercial photography in turn:

1. Shoot the images yourself

Assuming you have access to a camera or have a friend with a good camera you can probably get this for free – potentially an excellent ROI! But what’s the quality going to be like? Will they stand out? Do they represent you in the best possible light? Will they encourage people to find out more and buy you or what your business has to offer?

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image 1c

 

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2. Use stock photography

Now with stock images you will get great quality and, depending on your size and licence requirements, you could get them for a pretty reasonable price.

But it does take time – a lot of time – to find the right images. And going back to my earlier point of standing out from the crowd and being authentic, you’re not really going to get that with stock images. Other businesses will be using those images and they do have a very distinct look about them.

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image 2b 

3. Hire a professional

When hiring a professional, getting great quality images should, as with stock photography, be a given and you’ll definitely get something that is unique to you and your business. And whilst it’s unlikely to be as cheap as stock photography you may be surprised at the true value of bespoke imagery once you start to consider the ROI.

I’d advise you to thoroughly check out their portfolio when thinking about whom to potentially work with. Does their style create an emotional response in you, will that style sit with your branding and what you’re all about, do you like the sound/look of them themselves, will they have a proper discussion with you to understand your business, what you’re looking for and your budget, have they got suggestions of their own to add to the mix, etc etc.

Absolutely hiring a professional is an investment, however just look at the difference it can make.

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Can you afford not to?

Getting the best commercial photography that you can is an absolute must for any business operating in today’s world.

Good or bad photos can have a huge impact on your success and when you’re looking at whether hiring a professional photographer is something your business can afford I’d ask you to really look at the return on investment. And is it perhaps something you can’t afford not to invest in?

Further information

Whether you need commercial photography for your business, family or pet portraits full of memories, or original wall art for your home or office, Jenny would love to chat about how she can best help you. Though Gloucestershire based, she works further afield as well. So when you’re ready, you can visit her website www.jennystewart.co.uk or reach her by calling 07774 210 971, or emailing jenny@jennystewart.co.uk.

 

“Shoot them yourself” images kindly supplied by:
JD Brown Jewellery
The Lamb Inn Great Rissington
The M’Hencha Company
Walton PR
 
Professional images are copyright of Jenny Stewart 2013 All Rights Reserved and also feature:
Mums2BFitWear
The Cotswold School

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