by Wendy Cluse
We’ve worked with a lot of businesses. Many are small family-run operations, and some are just starting out. It can be a tough sell to convince them to invest in professional photography. We totally get it. Money is tight. Things seem uncertain and unpredictable. So many other things are on your to-do list, but getting pro photos of your business is not one of them. We’ve compiled 7 reasons why we believe having pro photos for your business is an investment you really need to make.
Your first impression to your customers often happens online.
Regardless of the type of business, many of your potential customers are checking you out before they even walk through your doors. They may be right outside your door, but they still seek the internet to see what you’re all about. And although a website is great for posting your location and hours of operation, it’s a missed opportunity if you’re not showing them why they should look no further and walk through your door. Having an excellent visual presence online shows off your professionalism, makes your products look inviting, and gives a sense of the atmosphere of your shop. If you’re in the service industry, modern headshots can offer a sense of trust. Customers often want to know who you are and what your business is all about. Photographs can portray that much quicker than words alone.
Good photography sells.
There’s a reason advertising uses compelling images to sell stuff. Because it works. Showing off what you have to offer in a creative, flattering way grabs the attention of customers. And these days having a cache of your own pro photos is an incredible tool that can be used in all of your marketing strategies. Social media, website, flyers, menus, pamphlets, email campaigns, you name it. One photo shoot could give you enough content to target all of these areas and really connect with your audience.
Your time is valuable.
Running a business takes a lot of work. You wear so many hats already, do you really have time to be your own photographer as well? We live in a DIY society that gets a lot of accomplishment out of figuring things out and going it alone. Believe me, we know (we’ve fixed our dryer, replaced random car parts, and even put on our own roof without the assistance of a professional. Luckily, all turned out great. But I will never put my own roof on again). My point is, doing it yourself can be gratifying, but it is extremely time consuming (and back breaking). Researching how you want your shots to look, what lighting you need, what all the settings are on your camera and how you use them, what size do the files need to be for what they are being used for — not to mention all the details that go into the actual photo shoot. There’s a point where you have to ask yourself if your time is too valuable to be spent this way and it may be more efficient to seek out someone who already knows how to do it.
It takes more than a good camera.
We occasionally hear business owners say that they have a friend that has a good camera and will take pictures for them. I don’t want to discredit that friend and their abilities with a camera, but this scenario can turn out less than desirable results if everyone is relying too heavily on the camera. Having a great camera is a good start, but it is actually a small part of what makes a great photo. Professional photographers are experts at working with light. They know its color, its intensity, and its angle for creating just the right effect. All those camera settings you were thinking of researching (see above)? The pros know what they all mean and what they do. They know just how to adjust them to get the right look. They know about composition and setting up a great shot. They know a thing or two about styling the objects being photographed. And when the shoot is over, they take the time to edit each photo to perfection. Lifting the shadows, enhancing the color, even removing that distracting stray hair on your shirt. You get your money’s worth and then some when you hire a pro.
SIDE NOTE: We had a client who had a friend take the photos for her menu board. Not only was she underwhelmed by the photos, but she felt she had to wait to get the pro photos she wanted for fear of hurting her friend’s feelings. Awkward.
A good pro will help you convey your message.
Make sure any photographer you go with takes the time to listen to you. Who are your customers? What are you trying to tell them? What kind of image or brand does your business have? These types of questions will help a pro photographer know what direction to take in your photo shoot. The images should tell the story that you and your business are telling. You won’t get that from stock photos.
It’s a win-win for small business.
This one is my personal favorite. When we support each other, we create a community and a respect for each other’s stories. We love hearing how our client’s businesses started, and feeling the passion for what they do. We love supporting them and love that they support us. Small businesses are the unique fabric of any community and can make even the largest of urban centers feel like a neighborhood. When you start a relationship with a photographer who gets you and what you are all about, you gain an amazing ally for your business. We love to see our client’s businesses flourish, and when you do well, we do well.
You worked hard for this.
You’ve put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into your business. You’ve perfected your product or skill, spent hours designing your space, were meticulous with the details, hired all the right employees, got your branding and packaging just right. You deserve to show this off in the best possible light. Tell your story to the world through images that are as beautiful and professional as you are. Be proud of what you have achieved. You can do this.
All content copyright Lisa Goshe Photography 2019