We live in a visual world – every day we are bombarded with hundreds of images almost from the moment we open our eyes in the morning until we close our eyes at night. So it makes sense that having stand out imagery in our businesses is super important in order to make an impact with our viewers. I’m going to run through why imagery is important for every business and then give you some quick tips on how to DIY good photos for your business.
Why is business imagery important?
In the online world, imagery is the fastest way to communicate with our customers. As they say – a picture tells a thousand words, it really is the case that pictures communicate a story no matter what they are. Let’s think about Instagram for a minute – it’s one of the biggest image sharing platforms in the world (if not the biggest) and with the selection of photos seen in any given profile grid, you can get a really good idea about what a person is business is all about in just a glance. One of the problems I see time and again is small businesses being so keen to share their latest product with the world that they take photos right away wherever they are and it creates that muddled inconsistent look to their overall visual image on their website and social media profiles.
Let’s have a look at some examples. I searched through Instagram for jewellery and cafe related tags to analyse what their visual story portrayed.
Take business A –
All the images are clear, bright and share similar environments and styling elements. You can see the products easily and you get a good idea of what they offer. What’s the impression you get of the business? Professional, experienced, trustworthy are words that might come to mind.
Now, look at business B –
They have pictures taken in different lighting, some are dull and others are blurry. Some of the photos are confusing because you don’t know what you’re supposed to be looking at. What’s the impression of this business? Maybe disorganised, unprofessional and confused.
There is certainly a middle ground here in terms of showing real life and business personality that can be hit with good results, but for the sake of illustration you get the point – the photos tell very different stories to the viewer and these stories make a huge difference in the perception of the business behind the products. Telling the right story through your photos is vital.
Quick tips for getting good images that tell the story you want to tell:
Natural daylight is easily the best, cheapest and most abundant light source that you can use. An easy way to use natural light is to find a large window and photograph your product in the light from the window.
Usually, you want to find the spot that isn’t in the direct stream of sunlight, it’s the filtered, reflected light that is the best. It’s beautiful even light that wraps around the object and makes all the different elements of the subject easily seen. Lok around your home or workplace and notice how the light falls at certain times of the day – indirect window light is awesome for basic product photos and by finding a single spot that you can use consistently with natural light will make a big difference in the way your photos look.
Think about the environment and make sure it is suited to the product and the story you are trying to tell. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but styling things in a consistent way and in nice lighting makes the story easier to tell. Documentary shots of a product in action are also a great way to sell your customer on how the product can fit into their lives, but the initial introduction to the product needs to be simple, clear and show its features. Don’t distract your customer with confusing environmental elements that take focus away from the key subject.
Photograph things on a schedule
Now that you’ve found the best light, and you are in control of the environmental story, it’s time to batch your product photos. This way you will gain some consistency in the look within a certain set of photos and taking them all at once means that you have them on hand whenever you need to use them.
As with everything in business, having a strategy when it comes to visuals is so important, it’s the most instant way that your business and brand communicates its story online. We covered some quick tips to help you get started when it comes to taking photos for your business and products. I hope this helps you to start thinking about the overall story your visuals are telling about your brand and business!
In my business, Ryan’s Daughter Photography, my focus is on people, in particular, I offer business and personal branding packages as a one-off or ongoing basis to help you create consistency in your brand imagery and to help tell the right story to your customers and audience. You can find out more by getting in touch via the contact page on my website www.ryansdaughterphotography.co.nz