Simple Strategies to get perfect professional photography for business

As digital marketing consultants, we know how important the right images are to business’ marketing campaigns! Often, stock images won’t do because they do not always convey the right view for business. Furthermore, people scorn at stock photographs for all sorts of reasons. For a professional look that captures your business in the best light, Professional photography may be the only answer. This excellent guest post by John Ferguson explains how to get the right photographer to capture expert images for any business. 

Simple Strategies to get Perfect Professional Photography for Business

Simple Strategies to get perfect photography for businessSomeone once said that a great photograph could speak a thousand words. Wise words indeed! One of the most important issues that any new start-up or established business must be able to demonstrate for their clients is proving that their business website & marketing material communicates and conveys the right look and message for their products or the services they intend to offer.

One should always remember that the Internet is a vast visual environment and one that evolves and moves on at a rapid speed, and your website should not be immune to these changes. It’s your on-line shop window to the world, remember, you’re competing against thousands of other businesses, and that’s probably just in your own part of the country! So, therefore, you must communicate quality, trust in your product, and present yourself and your staff in an attractive and pleasing way to new clients and customers.

Your online visual representation is one of the most powerful tools you have which communicates with your audience, yet it’s so often overlooked and then becomes a point of frustration and annoyance later down the line. Every business’ goal is to endeavour that your site is visually stimulating, authoritative, trustworthy, bright, fresh and enticing – put simply, a reflection of your business, which ultimately leads to customers contacting you and hopefully making a sale or using your services.  

 

How to find a good photographer?

Finding the right photographer for your business can be tricky. There are cheap ones, expensive ones, plain rubbish ones and of course some really great ones out there too. Unfortunately, there are no legal regulations or licenses that photographers need to hold. This means there’s no guarantee of the quality of the work that a photographer will produce. Fortunately, there are photographic organisations in the UK that can help you with these questions, and whose photographers have created self-imposed regulations and established formal associations to monitor and regulate the quality of imagery photographers are producing today. Organisations like these:

Association of Photographers – www.the-aop.org

BIPP British Institute of Professional Photography – www.bipp.com

The Guild of Photographers – UK Photographers Trade Association – https://photoguild.co.uk

The Royal Photographic Society – www.rps.org

The BPPA | The British Press Photographers’ Association – https://thebppa.com/

SWPP: Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers – www.swpp.co.uk/

All these societies have professional members signed up to their membership and assess and advance the industries standard quality of photography. They all have search boards, and you’ll be able to find any number of professional photographers in your area, whatever your requirement may be.   For instance, if you’re in need of a photographer for your range of small products, you won’t want to be contacting a wedding photographer, you’d be looking more for a commercial photographer. Just as, if your business were selling high-end wedding dresses, you’d look to hire a fashion or again, a good commercial photographer to create creative editorial style photos for your designs.  

Most of the time referrals come by word of mouth, but I always recommend you meet with the photographer before you start work on any projects or campaigns.  

 

Unexpected costs when hiring a photographer

For most new start-up’s and small businesses, your chief concern is rightly always your budget. However, I’d advise you to be open about this when speaking with the photographer from the start. Any fine or competent photographer will know what it takes and how much a photo shoot will cost to produce depending on the size of the shoot. They work out the day(s), the need for any photographic assistants required to accomplished the shoot, any venue or studio hire costs, transportation costs, subsistence allowances, etc.  

They will also decide on whether you will need a make-up artist and/or a hairstylist, or maybe a food or fashion stylist too. But before you say ‘Hang on, there’s no way I’m going to need a makeup artist or hair stylist.’ Let me just suggest that if you’re spending hundreds of pounds on someone photographing you for your business materials and website profiles, and you undoubtedly want the world to see you at your best; then this is an absolute must.

These aren’t holiday snaps you’re putting up on your site but are professional photographs that will help provide confidence in your customers about whom they’re aiming to do business or looking to work with. There’s nothing worse than getting your beautifully produced photographs back and noticing that your shirt is wrinkled, or your hair is not quite good enough, or the shine on your forehead is a bit off-putting. Remember this is your brand and self-image that you’re investing into. Believe me; the photographer will be looking at a host of other connected things even while he’s taking the shots.        

 

Working with the Photographer

Goggle director of Search for Europe Adrian Joseph photographed at the companies HQ in London's West End.

Good photographers have a list of local hair and make-up artist who they have worked with in the past and their cost range from £100 to £200 per day.   Also, and one of the biggest frustrations photographers have when dealing with new clients, is educating them on the amount of time it takes for the post-production of digital files after a photo shoot has taken place. We all want the imagery to look it’s best, sometimes a little better than it actually is.

In truth, this does take some time when trying to achieve the right finished look for your product or service. Whether it’s blemishes, wrinkles, etc. that you’d liked removed, or you might require backgrounds cleaning up, or staff members moved from the wrong positions, maybe it’s more involved digital manipulation, this all takes time and retouching is an art in itself. The final costing for any additional work will be included in any quotes and estimate. It’s much easier and cheaper to fix hair, makeup, wardrobe, backgrounds, etc. on the day of your shoot than it is in post-production. A little extra thought at the start of any shoot will, remember, save you money at the end of any photo shoot too.

For instance, if you’re looking to hire a photographer for your cookery business, make sure you have everything in the right place and order. Don’t have unsightly and ugly pots and pans that don’t match your theme in the background. Have fruit and Veg and other foodstuff that look appealing and that will 

photograph well, use bright colours to show freshness and cleanliness.   Little things like these take time to fix in post-production, and while the photographer will help with some of the organising, it smooths the photo shoot along if you have most of these conditions already in hand. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget these simple practices.

 

Budgeting for photo shoots

One thing that I must say, however, is that you shouldn’t expect miracles if you’re on a tight budget. If you have reasonable expectations, most jobs are possible. At worst, a photographer will always advise you on which are the best options for cutting the cost of the shoot without losing the quality of the final images.   So investing in the right professional photographer is crucial. One who has good experience in shooting photography specifically for web design, marketing and promotional campaigns and who are up-to-date with all the latest technology. Check out a selection of websites before choosing a photographer and ensure that their style matches your business image.

Try not to use stock photography; your customers are very savvy and will mostly spot images that aren’t genuine, they also lack personality and will lose your business some of the authenticity and trust which is exactly the message that you’re trying to get across to your customers. Stock photography can be incredibly useful, and it does have its place, so if you are to use this method of imagery, use it sparingly.  

Working with a good web designer

Lastly, your website should be responsively-designed, meaning that it has to be viewed correctly on all electronic devices, from mobile smartphones, tablets to desktop computers. Working with an experienced web designer and photographer, or providing the photographer with the appropriate website designs would ensure that any issues can be smoothed out quickly and efficiently saving the customer both time and money.  

Professional photography might seem like and expensive add-on for any new start-up or small business, but the end results will justify the investment. Working with new up-to-date imagery that’s fit for your purposes will always benefit your business in the long run. Prices will vary depending on the number of days needed for each particular job or photo-shoot. I would start one’s budget at around £350 per day when hiring a professional photographer. The total fee would obviously be dependent on the number of days it would take to finish the commission and other costs, which I mentioned earlier.    

About the author

John Ferguson is a well establish commercial and editorial photographer based in Suffolk but working nationwide. He as worked for many blue chip companies alongside a host of well-known leading National and International Newspapers and Magazines around the world.

Interested in getting your next web project or visual marketing or promotional campaign up and running? Then please contact John for a free consultation via: 

Email: jfergie@btinternet.com

Mobile: 07710613934

Website: www.johnferguson.co.uk & www.studio-luxe.co.uk

www.facebook.com/STLuxe

www.facebook.com/johnfergusonphotos

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