Photography is rarely on the top of business expenditure, which is a great shame – because good photographs lead to sales. Sales lead to profit.
Why? A good image evokes emotion and if your images make you stand out among your competitors, potential customers will put you at the top of their list when making calls or emailing about your product or service.
This is especially important if your product or service is more ‘luxury’. In a world where everyone can take images on their smartphones or tablets, that doesn’t mean that an image will emanate a feeling of luxury.
When images match the brand, and enhance the brand – you are giving a visual edge to your price point and when people make contact, they will already have an expectation that this is not a low cost item or service. They will already be thinking ‘how can I afford this?’ not ‘I can’t afford it’. Those who cannot afford it won’t even make contact.
People often think stock photos are perfectly good to use – they are, after all, professional photographs. They are useful, they are quick and easy.
Of course, they will sell a business just as well as investing in professional photography, won’t they?
In fact, no they won’t. Anyone can use stock photos. They are not specifically branded to your business. The same images you are using could be used by countless other businesses around the world. You are not setting out what’s unique about you – not in terms of your product, service, people or premises. You are simply doing what’s easy.
If you are serious about your business, then photography needs to be taken seriously too. If you plan it, and work with a professional photographer who understands your needs and your business, it’s also a great investment to get images that no one else can use – and which set you apart.
Now is a good time to start to plan for next year…
Ten tips for planning your professional photography needs.
- Plan for the seasons of the year, and the seasonal celebrations throughout the year when you are considering new team headshots, and especially product photoshoots. Dress for the season, use backdrops that match the colours of the season, or props to go alongside your products. Try to match the season – even if you are being photographed outside that particular seasonal time of the year! Christmas is a perfect example of this. There’s a saying #christmasinjuly – if it’s a great selling time for you, prepare as early as you can.
- When you have new products or new services, take a range of photos that can be used on your website, on social media etc. Talk with your photographer about these and their size and how you want to use them as that will affect their size, composition and even if they are black & white or colour.
- Are seasonal celebrations such as Easter, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Halloween or other special celebrations throughout the year important for your business? If yes, then arrange photoshoots around those celebrations, so you have photos to match social media posts and any specific marketing for those times. This includes images for blog posts too. Often a professional photographer can have an archive of images you can choose from or can create a range of ‘Easter’ images for you to use when that festival arrives. Even something as simple as ‘Happy Easter’…
- New people in your team will need photographs in the same style as everyone else. If your headshots are old, it may be time to upgrade them when new employees join the team. Also you’ll need a new team shot. This means your team information is up to date however it also makes a new team member feel included and valued from the start.
- Plan ahead for any major business milestones or events you may have happening during the year. Arrange for your photographer to come along and take a few photos for you. i.e. Expos; product launches; major speaking events where you or someone in the business is the keynote speaker. You may be working with a new charity for the year – photo opportunities are important.
- Is your website being redesigned or does it just need updating? If the images on your website are old, they need replacing, because we all change over the years. Updated images are important help get your business found on the web due to SEO – optimized photos help and engage customers to stay on your website longer.
- Images for social media posts, such as, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google My business etc. are vital, and having your own photos as already mentioned above, is important.
- Your traditional marketing collateral may need updating, or a completely new re-brand. You will need the appropriate photos for your brochures, for an e-commerce site or for a catalogue, a magazine article, advertorial or editorial. These are all important touch points for your potential clients.
- If you are looking to raise your profile, then you may be considering writing articles for an industry, professional magazine, or for some of your business milestones, you may want to write a press release. Again, professional photos for any of these situations are so important, the media is 100 per cent more likely to use any story you send them if it is linked to a professional, and lovely, photograph WHICH MAKES SENSE WITH THE STORY. For example, a photograph of the member of staff quoted, not the CEO who isn’t even included in the story.
- Next year might be the time when you move into new premises. Book in your photographer to take photos at the opening, and interiors for future posts.
Don’t leave any of these things to the last minute, you may find that your favourite photographer is booked up. If you look across the year and you can see many areas where you need photography, why not consider working with a professional photographer on a retainer basis. This helps with your cashflow and gives the photographer some guaranteed income for, six months or perhaps a year? This might work well for certain businesses such as estate and lettings agents; antique dealers; established artists or events companies.
Think about what you have coming up in 2022 – what new initiatives, celebrations, business requirements, and plan for your images, including costing, as you would for any other business expenditure.
Article by Neil Moore of Moore Photographics based in Wiltshire yet operating across the UK. For more information visit https://www.moore-photographics.com