What Does Photography do for Your Marketing?

Marketing materials must be informative, functional, and above all BEAUTIFUL to be effective. Photography adds dimensions that no mere words can convey.

Your Printed Materials

Pick up a magazine–what is the first thing you see?  Open a newspaper–what catches your eye?

If you are like most people, it would be the pictures that attract your initial interest, because we enjoy looking into someone else’s space and discovering new sights. When we look to buy items, we want to see what they look like first.  Photography and graphic arts are the primary means of introducing your potential client to your products and services. We are extremely visual creatures, or as they say in the food industries, “We eat with our eyes first.”

When you hand the client your company’s brochure, the character, reputation and credibility of your company is folded into the pages of that pamphlet.

Your Website

On a daily basis, millions of people are hitting millions of websites at home, at the office, the local coffee house, everywhere.  We’re addicted.  The internet is the most widely used of all media to access information, latest news, and to purchase items.

Almost every website has graphics.  Pictures are an integral part of these websites.  They are important to making the site attractive and interesting.  Even if few images are being used on the site, they still enhance the content on the page.  But more than that, an appropriate image will give credibility to the written content.

Photography VS Graphics

“Okay,” you say, “I know that illustrations are important, but when do I need to hire the photographer instead of the graphic designer?”

Let’s ask a few questions to see if we can help you make that decision.

  1. Are you in the “designing” stage of your website?
  2. Are you still unsure of your “theme” or branding for your company’s look?
  3. Is your product / service still being developed?
  4. Is your copywriter still working with the content of your pages?

Answering yes to any of these questions means you’re still in need of the graphic designer.  He or she has the job of designing your overall look.  And if you have progressed far enough to need photographs, don’t let go of your graphic designer yet!

The photograph starts in the heart of your graphic designer.

The photograph starts in the heart of your graphic designer.  She (he, they) will be able to communicate your “look” to the photographer who can then capture images worthy of your marketing collateral. Beyond that, the graphic designer will take the images from the photographer and crop, enhance, tweak and do whatever is necessary to give you a completely integrated look.

The designer or design staff may also be responsible for designing and arranging the photo shoot, which can take a load off your shoulders.  She can also work closely with the photographer during the shoot to work out how she’ll use the photographs, so the photographer knows, for example, where to leave space around the subject that will have copy typed on it.

Photography will give a finished look to your product.  An illustration is often just that: an illustration–which can mean that the building isn’t built, or the product developed yet…or is just a gleam in its daddy’s eye. There are times, of course, when a design or illustration is appropriate, but remember that your audience wants to see what they’re getting into!

Stock VS Custom Photography

For very little money (compared to hiring a professional photographer) you can “buy” a stock image-you pay a licensing fee for the right to use an image under a certain understood set of rules.  So why would you want the extra expense of custom work?

When you are ready to have your product jump ahead of the pack and become memorable, you will want custom work.

The stock image can get you through the initial stages of your company’s development, but your images will have a generic feel to them, and that will reflect on your company–other companies may be using exactly the same image!

Custom photography is the only way to showcase the uniqueness of your service or product.  Stock photography is shot with the idea in mind that it is not specific to any region or flavor so anyone can use it; just the opposite of how you want your company portrayed.

Remember, you’re trying to have the photography meet the needs of your advertising campaign.  If you start with stock photography, you must develop your creative platform to fit the image, instead of developing the best creative strategy for your branding.  Your images need to support your marketing objectives.

Your Photographer

Years of instruction and experience have gone into making a professional photographer.  Today, with cameras as smart as they are, it seems like anyone can get a good photograph.  But your professional photographer is always a better choice.

An important and successful shoot takes more than standing behind a camera and pushing a button.  It requires planning in the initial stages.  There are locations to scout, time of day to consider, natural or studio lights, props, models. During the shoot there is makeup, propping, lighting, re-staging, composition, and a host of surprises (in every shoot!).  After the shoot your professional photographer is skilled at color correction, cropping, retouching, and other editing that may be needed.  Good photography isn’t as quick as the shutter on the camera.  Budget for your photography and you’ll not be disappointed.