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Want Your Picture to Be Worth a Thousand Words?

Josh Donelson
May 22nd, 2020 Marketing

Hire a professional.

Have you ever seen a B-grade film? The plot makes no sense, the tracking isn’t lined up, the green screen looks beyond fake, characters are very clearly played by two different people, the lighting looks like it was filmed under a streetlamp—you end up losing any investment you may have had, and even further, you don’t believe the story. Why? Because who wants to try and believe something that looks and feels unbelievable. 

The same thing happens in marketing. If you choose to go with outdated stock images, generic free photos, or videos that feel tackier than drying glue, your efforts will likely reach few and impact no one. Do you remember Surf Ninjas? What about Steel (with Shaq)? … Didn’t think so. (For the record, neither do we.) 

To avoid becoming overlooked, or worse, forgotten, take stock in shaping your brand through quality imagery and video to ensure the content you produce has merit and worth—and the best way to do this is by hiring a photographer. We promise the extra effort will pay off in the long run. 

Photography: A [GOOD] picture speaks volumes

Whatever your business offers the public—landscaping services, facial cleansers, coffee, drywall—showing the benefits of your offerings is one of the best ways to gain customers—if you do it correctly. A strong image can tell a story just as well as a page of words. A photographer knows how to pay attention to setting, color, space, and placement when taking photos for your brand. They understand how to capture more than just your product or service, but how you want people to feel. 

Take a look at some of Tinker and Blooms by Wildwood’s brand imagery to see what we mean. 

Using unique imagery not only gives you a competitive edge, but it also helps you push away from overused iStock imagery or the newly popular Unsplash. That is another thing, stock photography.

Avoiding Stock Images

We see this often. Clients come to the table with a picture of their website, but they lack the unique assets outside of web copy. As we move through the stages of the project, we begin to piece together a mood board to compliment the brand and create a theme (color grade) of sorts to make sure the site looks consistent. This is tough when we are locked into stock images produced by photographers by a single asset or if we are lucky, a collection of similar images. Your brand can’t grow if it’s stuck looking like the Internet’s version of business, which is what can happen when using stock photography, like this: 

Yes, we know you want your site to be unique, but when we are left to the same set of images as potential industry-related companies, the bar is only so high. This is where we enlist the help of our photographers. People want to see people. That is why the most effective and memorable images include humans. A good photographer knows how to stage an image to make sure it’s not obvious or cold. A good example of this is our wonderful clients, Themevision. We leveraged the use of videography in order to produce engaged header loops, but also the ability to pull anywhere from 30, 60, and even 120 still frames per second footage. Will it all be 10/10. Nope, but it gives you a lot to choose from. 

Header imagery differs from in-body images, and even more from headshots. The key is to define the purpose of the page and the specific section where the image will show up. For example, if we are talking about X service and you set a photo Y service, you will create confusion for the reader and likely move them away from the content they need. Be intentional to be impactful.

When You Want Perfection, Leave It to the Professionals

By now, any photographer knows that the phone you are likely holding to read this amazing article is built with a beautiful camera that can rival that of many cameras on the market. Apple and Samsung seem to be chomping at the bit to take market share from the ever-popular mirrorless camera market that is trying to take market share from traditional DSLR cameras. When you want to move about the world with ease and have the ability to capture the essence of life, smaller is better-ish. Nothing can capture a bald eagle with the precision of a 400mm 2.8f lens, but that is for the pro. 

What the phone in your pocket does not replace is the soul of the photographer. When you are hiring a photographer, you aren’t hiring someone to just take pictures. You are hiring their years of experience and knowledge of light, editing, and people. Photographers see things differently than the average person. They look for leading lines to draw your attention into the photo. They use light to create stunning portraits. They capture everyday actions we overlook and turn them into stories. The expectation here is quality.

Professional photographers use high-end equipment with specs that we won’t bore you with but could easily nerd out on. Will you notice the difference between a micro four-thirds and a full-frame sensor? The average person might not. A good photographer is intimately involved with their equipment and knows the ins and outs in order to optimize photoshoots. They bring professional lighting that allows them to eliminate shadows and use them to reproduce daylight scenes and mood where needed. Apple can try to mimic the professionals with portrait mode and three lenses, but experience will always count for more. 

Skill + Practice + Marketing = Business

Without design and photography, your product doesn’t exist. Design and photography cover nearly all aspects of what makes you look good online and in-house. Your logo, leave-behinds, website, packaging, all of it is created by design and photographic professionals, yet many companies don’t see value in the opinion of these professionals.

In a 2018 report from McKinsey & Company, they noted that “the results held true in all three of the industries we looked at… This suggests that good design matters whether your company focuses on physical goods, digital products, services, or some combination of these.” 

To even further strengthen the movement for design-centric growth, senior-level stakeholders were asked where their biggest weaknesses took place. You will see below that design is mentioned in six different areas. 

You should think of it like this. If you spend your life cultivating the skill, one that you are trying to sell and market, you. Treat a photographer with the same respect and expectation you would want from your client. Paula Scher said it best, "It took me a few seconds to draw it, but it took me 34 years to learn how to draw it in a few seconds." 

If you’re looking for photographers or want to discuss options to improve your brand’s image, give us a call. We’re here to help.

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