These days, everyone owns a digital camera or a smart phone that can take reasonable images. Some of the highest spec iPhones and other smart phones can take high quality images at high resolution and have pretty good editing functions, in camera.
Does that make everyone a photographer? Yes and no. It certainly gives everyone the potential to be photographer and we live in the age of the instant image, clicked, stored and shared within seconds to family, friends or the general public. Add a few hash tags to that on topics that are trending and you can go viral on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snap chat or Pinterest.
Therein lies the problem. It’s so easy to take photographs these days, without the need to develop film, that we all think that we can do it well.
I would point out two important things: one, that there is a big difference between a snapshot for fun and a quality commercial image promoting your business, brand and what you do and; two, that there are so many images out there that in order to get the attention that you deserve, your images need to stand out, making people want to click into them or look at them and thereby be directed to your website, promotional material, online shop or products and services.
Certain social media platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest, are highly visual and image led, and therefore quality images relating to you or your business are essential in order to promote it to maximum effect. Without them they’ll quickly disappear into cyberspace.
There are usually two mitigating factors that deter people from commissioning a professional photographer: one, that people are by nature cost conscious and don’t want to spend any more money than they have to. That’s normal and sensible, but has to be assessed in the context of what the images are for and the potential to impact positively on your business; and two, most people think they can take sufficiently good photographs themselves which will suffice, which in many cases simply isn’t good enough. Don’t get me wrong, some people take excellent photos and have a good eye, but many don’t. A quick click into a website will instantly give you an impression of what’s on offer by the quality, composition and content of the images on display.
I’ve seen many quality craft and jewelry companies, for instance, whose products are extremely good quality when viewed in the flesh, and if photographed well would showcase perfectly on a well-designed website. But a quick look at their website instantly disappoints, when I see that their images are amateur even to an unpracticed eye and they lower the tone of the overall site and the perception of what it is that’s on offer or for sale. This is also often evidenced in the hardcopy flyers and brochures that they hand out with the same poor images.
By spending a few hundred pounds they could obtain excellent commercial images of their products that showcase them in the best possible light, enticing prospective buyers to purchase online or go and view them at a shop or fair. Many of their products are high value and cost far in excess of what it would cost to engage a commercial product photographer. If they thought about it logically then it really makes sense to get them done properly.
The difference is that a professional photographer is familiar with how to photograph different subject matter with a high spec DLSR and its technical capabilities, has a good eye for composition and above all, knows how to utilise light properly.
So, don’t skimp on getting quality images of your products or your business, as they will pay dividends and can be used on your website, on social media platforms and in general marketing material. It’s important that you keep your images fresh if you have new products and designs, as this will allow you to remain contemporary and also ensure people visit your website more often to see what’s new and on offer.
Please visit my website at gileswilcox.com to see my scope of services for both photography and writing website content and promotional material, and to view my images galleries. I look forward to discussing any projects that you might consider me for.