Forget about the cheesy stock photos, it’s time to get personal!
A “high quality” image does not mean resorting to stock photos. Stock images can come in handy for a last minute project or a quick social media post, but maybe it’s time to add a personal touch.
Don’t think for a second that a DLSR or “professional” camera is required to take awesome photos. Making the best with what you have - such as a smart phone or that digital camera that was gifted from Uncle George for last year's birthday - is all you need!
But what ARE stock images?
Stock images are photos that come from online libraries (for a small fee). These can come in handy for a first venture into the digital space before you have your own photography to work with, depending on how many images needed to be purchased. These images are best used when a business is in their “starter” phase just beginning and in need of some visual content whether building out their first website or using direct email to attract new customers.
Another option would be asking a friend or family member who has a little time and know-how to help! You don't need fancy equipment to get great business photos.
Who needs art school when it’s really about HOW the photos are taken? It’s as simple as trying a different angle or adjusting the distance from the camera to the subject.
Where do I start?
Think about what you want to promote. Images are key to promoting particular products or services. Sure, written content is just as important, but the eyes tend to flow straight towards visuals first. For example, if a restaurant wants to promote their drink specials, they could take photos of the different drink options that are offered! This allows their promotional message stand out from the rest.
Take that camera out and start snapping pictures! Experiment with what is shown on the screen by moving closer or further away from the subject. Something to keep in mind is what to focus on, and how that photo represents the business.
Tips & Tricks (no need to leave it to the professionals)
- Check the lighting, surroundings, and tidy up if needed
- Lighting can be tricky, but it can be easily manipulated by using lamps or other lighting sources found around the home. Lighting will become your best friend or worst enemy. Too dark, the image can become dull and difficult to see. Too much light can distort, discolor, or even wash out the entire image.
- Take photos that are clear of any distractions. A plumber could take a great photo of his or her service from a job they completed, however there are tool boxes and other extra materials lying around that could potentially distract the viewer from what they are supposed to be looking at.
- Use FREE tools online to edit photos, such as Pixlr, Canva, or other programs
- Crop your photos, adjust brightness, size, etc.
- No need to purchase expensive editing tools when there are plenty of sources that can be found online with a simple search!
- Get creative with your framing, angles, and background
- Use an “artsy” angle by focusing on one subject up close, and blur out everything behind it
- Rule of Thirds: if you’re feeling a bit creative, check out how the Rule of Thirds can give that extra “umph” you might be looking for
- There is no such thing as “too many” photos - take as many as needed
- You can delete the ones with your finger over the lens later!
- Most importantly, have FUN representing your business!
Why It Matters:
Ask the question, “Why does this photo matter?”
Remember, this is the photo that you are showing your potential customers. Take photos of products or services that you want to promote, of your well-designed space, or of your team hard at work. Another thing to keep in mind is “what do your customers want to see?”
Personal touches go a long way. It’s important to take the time to know your business and be a cheerleader for the work that is being put out. It also helps set expectations for the client, so they know who and what they can anticipate when visiting your store or working with you on a project.services.