“A picture is worth a thousand words.”
We hear this phrase over and over again…and with good reason. A great photograph can “say” so much more than words can. And that’s why photography is so important when it comes to the design of marketing collateral. Naturally Ima has a lot to say about photography and its role in marketing your business. Here are some of her thoughts on the topic.
Using stock photography
Ima absolutely agrees that there are times when purchasing stock photography is ok. One case would be when you are marketing a product that’s somewhat generic, for example, a car dealership. I myself have used it when I needed photos of pets, a single-storey house, or a group of business people in a meting.
Naturally this applies to a case where you need a photo of a non-specific item, for instance, “a cup of coffee.” On the other hand, if you sell a very specific product stock photos are not the way to go. Think of a wedding cake baker; it simply wouldn’t make sense to use pictures of someone else’s cakes!
Who needs professional photography?
Ima’s answer to this question surprised me: she believes that any and every industry can benefit from professional photography. Photography is an expression of the individual, and a professional is far better at capturing that than us amateurs can. The stumbling block for many is the (perceived) cost.
What if you can’t afford a professional shoot? Once again, her answer was unexpected: if you are marketing your product/service, you can’t afford not to hire a professional-and at any rate, a good photogapher should be able to work within your budget, and customize a shoot to your needs.
But what about those times when we don’t need to hire a professional-but still need a headshot?
These days more and more business owners are joining social media networks, and it is beneficial to post a photo. In this case it’s ok to use casual photos you take, but here’s Ima’s tips:
- use a clear, clutter-free background: no one needs to see your microwave or kids’ artwork!
- have correct lighting
- make sure you are relaxed and not stressing!
- skip clothing with harsh fluorescent colours
- some pattern in your clothing is ok, but not when a group of people is being photographed-then it’s too much
Although these are photos you take, remember you still have to look friendly and welcoming, appealing, and most importantly, professional. I once received a flyer from a local realtor who had a horrible photo: She was wearing a tank top, obviously in a corn field, her hair was blowing all over her face, and she had a big pimple on her chin. That’s not the type of photo that says “professional.”
And with those tips in mind, we wish you happy snapping!