As a business owner or someone in charge of marketing, you have probably questioned whether or not you should hire a professional photographer for your advertising or marketing needs. Whether it’s for your website, marketing pieces, a menu or a product catalog, photography matters! We live in a visual world with increasingly short attention spans. Consumers make choices fast; professional photography will help you make a lasting impression that resonates with your target audience.
Here are 5 common objections we hear from businesses not wanting to use a professional photographer and why we feel they are invalid arguments.
“I have a sweet camera.”
I know, almost everyone has a nice camera, most phones even have an HD camera. But there’s so much more to great photography than equipment. With the introduction of digital cameras and camera phones, we have entered the ‘Everyone’s a Photographer’ era. Having a $1,000 camera and watching a couple of “how-to” Youtube videos makes you a photographer as much as buying Turbo Tax® and asking my uncle a few questions makes me a professional tax preparer. Photographers are artists who have invested time and money into education, experience and equipment.
“Our graphic designer can just Photoshop it.”
Photoshop should be used to enhance your photos, not fix them. Photoshop can only do so much, and it takes time. It is next to impossible to Photoshop a lo-res, badly lit, awkwardly angled photo into a hi-res, colorful, appetizing photo. The money you’re paying your graphic designer to fix the photos could be better spent on professional photos, which are done right the first time. This is your business, your passion… your photography should show that.
“Can’t I just use stock photography?”
The answer is yes. Some of the time, stock photography is a great choice. But if you are trying to showcase your products or service, having photos that depict your actual company is a must. Your brand is your personality, by using your own photography you can express it best. Another issue with stock photography is there is no limit to how many times a photo can be used. Too many times I have seen the same photo used on a billboard for a hospital, a print ad for a coffee shop, and then in a frame at the drug store. I have even been witness to two competing businesses using the same photo on their sales materials. Awkward! By using your own professional photography, this issue is completely eliminated.
“It's a hassle to get models, clothes, hair, etc.”
Many photographers have modeling agencies they use or can recommend to you. But, don’t feel like you need professional models. If Jane is the person people will see at the front desk when they come in, use Jane. This way she will seem familiar to your customers when they come in. Another choice is to use who you can find - a neighbor, a co-worker, etc. We used our own staff for a shoot for Nature’s Fury (just be sure to get model releases).
“Why a professional and not my Aunt Joyce?”
Professionals know what to look for. Whether scouting locations or in their studio, they are able to see details the untrained eye is oblivious too: Is there a garbage can in the background, does his shirt look wrinkled, is there another brand or logo in the shot that shouldn’t be, etc. At the end of the day, it comes down to this: You are good at what you do, that’s why you’re successful. Photographers are good at what they do, let them do it. When you hire a professional, you’re hiring someone that knows how to make you, your product, and/or your business look amazing.
A photo is worth a thousand words. So don't you want those thousand words to send the best message possible? Amazing, delicious, quality, integrity. These are the types of words you want to come to mind when people think of your products and/or services. Not dull, dark or blurry. In advertising and marketing, image does matter and you will be judged on your appearance. Every piece of your image defines who you are, let it be a positive one.
What are your thoughts on the subject? Let me know in the comments below.
I love numbers! I get a rush pouring through data and finding useful information to keep our company happy, healthy, and growing. As the Administrative Assistant here at Leighton Interactive, I get to combine my loves of numbers, helping, and organizing. I wear many hats and wouldn’t have it any other way. Out of the office you can find me out on adventures with my boys or chilling in my favorite chair with a bottle of wine and a good book.