A good photo captures the consumer’s attention. When it comes to business expenses, professional photography is a common item on the list of necessary expenses. Whether you’re a new company building your website for the first time, or an already established company reopening or renovating your online presence, the cost of professional photography will make you wonder if you really need it? What is it that is so hard about photography? You can do it yourself, right? There are photos available online for not a lot of money in photo libraries. You can use the resources dedicated to professional photographs for advertising?
Every business, regardless of industry, should take advantage of professional photography on its website. No matter who your customers are, what, or how you sell your product, quality photography is an important advantage that will contribute to the overall recognition of the brand and consequently the success of the sale. When it comes to business costs, professional photography should definitely be high on your list.
Why is professional photography so important for your business?
- A picture is worth a thousand words.
You’ve probably heard this before. Today, photographs are worth well over a thousand words. They allow you to show your products or services to your customers, not only write what you have available. Consumers like to see the product before they decide to purchase it. A good photo can be the decisive part to convince the consumer to purchase the product.
- The photos you share with users represent your brand.
The cost of professional photography often entices companies to find a cheaper alternative such as an employee that has a camera. If you’re also thinking in that direction, remember: the photos you post represent your brand. Unprofessional low-quality photos on your site may reflect the low quality of your products in the eyes of the consumer.
- Customers want to get to know you.
Photos offered in photo libraries such as Shutterstock, Bigstockphoto, Pexels, Freepik … are definitely a cheaper alternative to professional photos. Although such photos are very appropriate in some situations, they are not the best choice when it comes to presenting your company, your services, products, and your employees. Why? Because these are not genuine photos of YOUR products, services, or company.
When visiting your website, customers want to get to know you. Photos from photo libraries do not help you or may even misrepresent you. The best way for potential customers to get to know you is to show photos of your company, staff members, products, and services you offer.
- Photos help you to be discovered online.
If your business has a website, you may have already heard of search engine optimization or SEO, the process of strategically optimizing various elements of your site in an effort for the site to perform better in search engine ranking results. SEO covers many parameters and one of them is photos.
Optimized photos can help your site be found in photo results like Google images and better ranked in Google search results. They also help to engage your customers, consequently keep them on the site longer and encourage them to choose you over a competitor.
- Professional photos are a versatile asset.
When it comes to marketing your business online, the main principle is “content is king”. Every photo tells a story and thus is a versatile and robust form of content. You can make your website look much more attractive with photographic material. You can use them to build your brand on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google My Business, and others. You can also present your business with photos in blogs and articles. The possibilities are endless.
“ Photos can also be used in brochures and other promotional materials. By investing in professional photos, you get new, useful content that you can use in your marketing approaches for many years to come”.
Tips to take better photos. “DIY”
Now that we’ve realized why good and eloquent photos are important, we have some tips for all photography enthusiasts who would still prefer to take care of the visual content of social channels and websites themselves to achieve better results in photographic ventures.
The Golden ratio rule
The golden ratio rule is the first and main rule of photography composition, which will help you achieve the “wow” effect in your photos. As you look through the camera, imagine 4 lines in the frame, 2 horizontal and 2 vertical, which divide the frame into 9 equal parts. Some images will look best with the focus subject in the middle square, but if you place the focus subject on one of the intersection points of those imaginary lines, you often get a much more aesthetically pleasing photo. A photo whose main subject is positioned according to the rule of the golden ratio is much more pleasing to the eye.
Try to capture the subject from a perspective that is both enjoyable and not mundane. Seeing a flower from a perspective of a man standing above it is nothing special as almost every person in the world has seen a flower like that. Try to bend down and try to catch the flower from its height. Move around a bit until you find the perspective you think is best.
Avoid camera shake
Camera shake or blur is a problem for every photographer, however, it can be avoided. You must first learn to hold the camera properly; use both hands, one on the camera body and one under the lens for support. Hold the camera close to your body.
When shooting for the hand, be sure to use a fast shutter speed. If the shutter speed is too slow, any accidental movement or shaking of the camera will result in a blurry photo.
As a rule, do not shoot with a shutter speed less than the focal length of the lens. If you are using a 100mm lens, then your shutter speed should not be less than 1/100 second. If possible use a tripod or a monopod.
Learn the holy trinity of exposure
To make the photos look their best, you need to master three basics: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. You also need to understand the relationship between these three controls. When you adjust one of them, usually you should adjust at least one other as well.
The automatic mode takes care of these parameters, but you pay the price with photos that don’t look the way you wanted. It’s better to learn to use the program of aperture priority and shutter priority, which allow you to control one or the other and let the camera adjust the other parameters.
Use a polarizing filter
If you can only afford one filter, use a polarizer. This helps reduce light reflection on water, metals, or glass and improve the colours of the sky and leaves, helping your photos to give that “wow” effect. It also protects your lens from scratches. There is no reason not to leave it attached to your camera all the time.
Create a sense of depth
When photographing landscapes, try to create a sense of depth and thus give the viewer the feeling of being there. For a panoramic photo use a wide-angle lens (less than 35 mm) and close the aperture (f/ 10 or more) to keep the background sharp. If you put a person or an object in the foreground you will emphasize the feeling of depth by reducing the aperture (f as small as possible). If possible use a tripod.
Use simple backgrounds
In digital photography, the easy approach is usually the best one. Decide what should be in the photo and try to minimize objects that would draw attention away from it. If possible choose a plain background with neutral colours and simple patterns.
You want the viewers eye to be immediately drawn to the main subject, not to some colored dot or unusual building in the background. This is especially important in a shot, where a model is placed in the middle.
Do not use the flash indoors
The flash creates a very focused and rough light. Your subjects will quickly look very unnatural, so there are different ways to take photos indoors without using the flash.
You can increase your ISO value first. Usually, values ranging from 800 to 1600 will be necessary as there are not many rooms that are bright enough for shutter speeds much more than 1/100. Open the aperture (as low an F value as possible) – this way more light will reach the sensor and you will have a nicely blurred background. Using a tripod or IS.S (Image Stabilization) is also a great way to avoid blurry images.
If the use of a flash is unavoidable, then it is imperative that you have one with a folding head so that you can point it at the ceiling above the subject, which will diffuse the reflected light and soften the image.
Select the correct ISO value
ISO value determines the sensitivity of the sensor in your camera. The higher the ISO value, the more sensitive the sensor is to light, and the brighter the photo will be. The downside is the grain that comes with higher ISO. The ISO we choose depends on the situation – when it’s dark, we have to push the ISO number higher and thus you will be able to set higher shutter speeds and avoid blurry images. On sunny days we can select ISO 100 or the automatic option as we have more light to work with.
If you want to catch a subject in motion and emphasize that it is moving, use a technique named panning. Shutter speeds should be slightly longer than necessary but close the aperture slightly so that the photo is not too bright. Try to follow your subject closely through the viewfinder and take photos of it while following it. The result is a sharp subject and blurred background.
Experiment with shutter speeds
Don’t be afraid to play around with shutter speeds as you can create interesting effects.
For night photography, use a tripod and try shooting with a very long shutter such as 3 seconds, 5 seconds, or even 30 seconds. You will see that the still object is sharp and surrounded by light traces. If you choose a higher shutter speed, say 1/250 second, the tracks won’t be as long or bright; you will freeze the action instead. Try shooting other compositions with moving objects or backgrounds such as waves on the beach, a crowd of people, passing cars at different shutter speeds to capture blurred or frozen motion. Whenever you use slow shutter speeds it is crucial that the camera is fixed into place to prevent accidental shaking.
Invest in learning, not in equipment
Of course better equipment means better results, but the equipment alone can only do so much. People are often disappointed because their shiny new toys don’t create the photos they expected. You can make equally impressive photos with a modest digital camera with a fixed zoom lens as with a camera that costs thousand and thousand of euros, so it’s crucial to learn, master the composition, and experiment with lighting situations before buying new equipment.
“It is interesting to experiment in different fields as each new experience broadens the horizons of an individual. However, if you have a business and you are tempted to use professional photos for marketing purposes, entrust this work to someone with knowledge and experience. Call us (070 773 850) or write to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and make sure we are the right ones for you.”