It’s very common for small businesses owners and entrepreneurs who are just starting out, to use what they have or what they can when it comes to photography – of their staff, products, store, etc.. The reason why good photography does not always make it’s place into startup advertising is most often because of lack of time, money or knowledge.
I understand how important it is to stay on budget and keep overhead low, but if you deliver an advertising campaign via print or digitally using photos that are sub-par, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage to your competition who invested in stunning images to showcase their attributes.
Visuals are everything to new customers, especially digitally! If you can show off what you can do in an engaging way, you are going to capture the attention of your audience, and that is the first step to gaining their trust
Of course the best and my most recommended way to ensure the best photography is by hiring a professional to take and edit the pictures for you. Be careful if you are having your photos taken by a friend/relative who is just starting out or just likes taking pictures without the right setup or knowledge about lighting, composition, angles etc. I am not saying that everyone starting out with photography is not very good, they may have a natural talent, but I know for a fact that practice makes perfect. I can say this, because I was once that photographer – just starting out, and I did a lot of work for free or very cheap to build my portfolio. Looking back, the images I took as a beginner were still better than a total amateur, but 3-5 years later I was producing high quality, advertising worthy photographs.
So yes, you can use the beginning photographer friend/relative who will do it at a low-cost or free, let them build their resume, but don’t be afraid to be choosy with which images you actually use from them, or just opt to hire a more experienced photographer after you see the result of the photoshoot. Although this will not be the best use of your time, it will be a great move if you want to have your photog friend stick around for when they get really good – it’s all about networking!
Lastly, and the most affordable option, you can DIY. If you do want to take your own advertising photographs, I will give you some quick tricks to make sure you produce images that will work..
Basic DIY Photography Must-Haves:
You will need a camera with a decent lens, any dslr will work – even iphones and some androids will work – but smartphones made before 2018 are just going to lack quality and technology to get the right amount of depth for the high quality images you need. Also – you have to be patient and teachable, this is a learning process, be OK with not being good at this while you practice if you want to improve your photo skills. It’s going to take a while to get the hang of it.
5 Top Components to Promotional Photography:
1. Lighting – No harsh shadows, keep it light and airy
2. Angle – Find the best angle for your subject to maximize detail + flattery
3. Composition – Un-clutter your scene, find a balance between subject + space.
4. Resolution – Higher resolution always! HDR, Raw, these settings are key.
5. Subject – From people to products, remember that the subject is your focus!
Obeying some simple tricks and rules with those 5 components can mean the difference between gaining or loosing potential customers. If you give it your best shot and your images are still not turning heads for the right reasons – I highly recommend you invest in a professional photographer to handle your promo shots – the result will mean the difference between captivating your audience, or encouraging your potential customers to look elsewhere.
Would you rather showcase your product like this:
…. or this?