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A picture can say a thousand words. Poor snap photography in your promotional material can say even more. And it usually ain't good. So it's worth considering hiring a professional photographer.
How does one go about hiring a photographer?
Look at their portfolio
Find out about their photo-situ approach (in studio, on-site, both? Exterior, interior?)
Find out about their specialty (people, product, building/landscape?)
Find out about their post-production services (Photoshop tweaking of photograph for professional finish?)
Find out their rates and payment terms (hourly? by job? pay upfront, 50%/50%, at end of job?)
If possible, lever feedback from someone who has already used them
Get a quote based on your brief
Yes, you need to brief the photographer on what the job actually is. This means getting a clear picture (excuse the pun) on exactly what images you want – even before searching for someone to take them.
First think about who the photos are for:
Who is your target market?
(females/in thirties/low-mid income, boys/16 years old/urban, men/wealthy/aged20-40, etc?)
What feeling will be appealing to them?
(exciting, soft, conservative, etc?)
What images do you want and need?
Often, photographers are hired for the 'portrait' shot. The head and shoulders images to pop onto the website and perhaps on facebook. But it's worth making sure you get all the images you need for your business. So consider your promotional material and what images could be useful for it.
Merchandise – e.g. magnets
Think about what each photo says.
An image is a message. So what’s the message? Using the same imagery throughout your print and digital material can be advantageous for branding reinforcement.
What clothes are you wearing? Why?
Can you wear corporate colours for branding continuity?
Is your make-up reflective of what would be appealing to your target market?
Do you have an isolated (white/plain) background?
If you do have a background, what is in it and why?
What different poses can you hold (different furniture) to give yourself variety?
Photo for social media Tip: Can you have a headshot that combines well with your logo (to fit a small square)?
Non-product shots for promo material Website could include: slideshow banner, on core pages, product shots.
– what are your core messages?
– what is on each website page that could use an image?
Product shots Someone interacting with the product can give valuable information about size and use.
Is the background isolated (white) to allow easy application to various formats?
if you have a background, what background should you have? Why?
Interior site shots: What time of day looks best?
Rather than having empty rooms, consider including people to inspire an emotional connection.
Customer service shots
Show you/your staff demonstrating your service to clients/customers.
Who is going to ‘play’ your client? Do they reflect your target market?
Again, what is in the background? Why?
Important hint: Crop space
Be mindful of having space around the image to allow:
text to appear next to it with the background still behind the text
cropping to portrait, landscape or square formats depending on where the image will appear
e.g. website banner: crop wide and short
This post was written by Megan Hills. Megan is a writer, cartoonist and marketing consultant who is conscious that photo libraries can only take us so far. Find out more about Megan.