A picture speaks a thousand words
Whether you’re accruing likes on a social media post, or connecting with potential customers online, images have become an indispensable and highly effective tool used for engagement in today’s visually orientated culture.
Whilst some businesses still choose to use stock images, savvy business owners acknowledge the importance of creating a cohesive brand image. Commissioning a photographer to take professional, on-brand images and portraits sets a business apart from its competition, ensuring its visual impact is powerful and pervasive.
Your brand image is your first impression. So, how do you decide who to trust to make this first impression a good one?
In today’s article, we’ll be outlining the three most important questions to consider before you make this important decision.
- Are you dealing with a full time, professional business photographer?
This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of businesses that fall into the trap of assuming that any professional photographer can create effective brand imagery.
Before choosing your photographer, ask them what other photography services they offer, and what percentage of their time they spend working with businesses and entrepreneurs. How visible are they in their local business community? Are they participating in the networking and events circuit? Do they work on brand photography full-time?
‘Personal branding’ has become somewhat of a buzzword in the world of photography. Because of this, many photographers are jumping on the bandwagon and are adding this to their list of services.
You wouldn’t ask a pet portrait photographer to do a fashion photoshoot. So, make sure you’re not asking a wedding photographer to photograph your brand!
Brand photography is a unique genre. A competent brand photographer will not only know the techniques required to make you and your business look your best, but they’ll also have a good understanding of your local competition. Make sure you choose someone who has the right skillset and knowledge, as well as the right camera equipment.
- Does the photographer have experience capturing images in artificial light (flash, etc.) or do they only work in natural light?
As any photographer knows, natural light tends to produce the most pleasing images. There are, of course, obvious exceptions to this rule. If light needs to be controlled across a long shoot, for instance, a photography session may produce better results if pictures are taken in a studio.
However, most business owners and entrepreneurs work indoors. Your products are manufactured indoors, your office is indoors, and corporate events tend to be hosted at a venue, again, mainly indoors.
A command of light is therefore vital when creating stand-out images for your business. It’s always worth asking the photographer what lighting they typically use, and when and how they use it?
Even grasping the basics of on-camera flash takes time, but controlling multiple lights requires considerably more experience (and equipment). If you work indoors, then you need to make sure your photographer has the skills to do so as well.
- Check out the photographer’s image portfolio – does it contain images you really like?
Every photoshoot a branding photographer attends is different. Whether it’s the people, the product, or the business ethos, no two shoots are the same and there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.
Regardless of these differences, do you like the images that the photographer has taken? Are there any that you can use as a point of comparison to illustrate what you’d like to create?
Ask the photographer to talk you through the images and the process of taking these pictures. What does this entail and how much does it cost? The more you understand about how your photographer works, the better the results will be.
Choosing the right photographer can either make or break your brand image, and making a bad decision can cost you time, money, and even clients.