Commercial photography is something I’ve expanded on in the last couple of years and something I really love doing! I’ve had the pleasure of working with some really amazing companies, both service-based and product-based, and some of the images I’ve done for them will be featured in this post.
In the first of a series of Blog posts, today I’m going to share with you why I think professional imagery is really, really important for your brand or business.
Firstly, and perhaps the most obvious factor, is for your website. Images are often the first thing your customers will notice when they click on your website. It’s therefore so important that that first impression is a good one. Good, quality images will portray professionalism, and reflect in the products or services you are offering. Most websites will have some landscape, banner images, product images or something to convey the services you are offering, images of the people behind the brand, plus some others too. A professional photographer will be able to work to your website requirements and create the images that you need. It also helps build consistency across your website and other platforms (which I’ll come on to next!). Of course, I think it’s really important to work with a good Website designer and I can personally recommend Black Nova Designs for your website needs.
In addition to your website, imagery is hugely important in forming your online presence on social media.
We all know that to build an engaged following on our social platforms, we need to be posting consistently and regularly. But I’m sure I speak for us all when we’ve wanted to post before but have become tongue-tied! Or have something to say, but no new or relevant images to accompany it. Many of the businesses I work with love that they have a ‘bank’ of images following our photoshoots, with content readily available to post when they need it. For service-based businesses, our shoots often comprise of images of the team, interacting with eachother, interacting with clients, partaking in daily business tasks, even just answering the phone! Then changing outfits and locations and repeating! For product-based businesses, it’s much of the above, but of the products too… showing them in different scenarios, showing how they work, or what they look like when in use. All of the above creates social media content. People LOVE to see behind the scenes, and what goes into the running of your business.
“Posts that include images produce 650% higher engagement than text-only posts. “
This leads me onto my next point which is the ‘know, like and trust factor’. I think this is particularly important in service based businesses, but is becoming more expected in product companies too. By creating the sort of images we spoke about above, your audience will already begin to feel like they know you. If they can see you working, (for example, an image of an equine physiotherapist treating a horse), then you’re no longer just a name, or a stock image, but they can see you and begin to know what to expect from hiring you and your services.
“The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. “
By having images of your products in use, your audience get a better feel for how they look in use, how they work etc, which builds on that trust. I recently did a product photoshoot for JS Equine, and one of the things they said they get asked a lot is about the different sizes of their yard tools. By having images of these products in use, their audience can start to get a feel for which product is best for their needs and visualise the products being part of their lives. Particularly in the equine industry too, the products we use often need to withstand daily use, extreme weathers and the occasional horse stepping on them! As useful as traditional product images are (and they definitely have a place on your website!). they just aren’t as relateable in the same way as lifestyle images are. They also don’t make for very interesting social media content either!
As well as Social Media content, having a supply of images available is useful for your blog posts, advertising banners, leaflets, as well as media coverage. My sister Tara Punter is an equine PR expert, and is passionate about her clients having quality, professional images readily available to use when opportunities arise. “A bad photo will lessen the chances of something being featured. Publications will not use a poor photo as it doesn’t look good on them. So it actually is the difference between getting featured and not!”
“When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. “
Although the initial investment can be daunting, (particularly for new businesses starting out), hiring a professional photographer is a great example of creating batch content. A half day photoshoot could leave you with enough social content for the year ahead, which gives you more time to invest in other ways. In terms of cost, this can vary massively. It is worth looking for a photographer who is a specialist in your industry and asking around for pricing and recommendations to find the right photographer for you. And that is what I’ll be focusing on next time!