When I talk to people about what I do for a living, they are often intrigued by my job description. I have to admit, it does sound pretty cool to be able to say that I’m a commercial photographer, and I get to take photos of all kinds of different things everyday. One day I may be shooting recipes for use on packaging, and the next day I could be taking pictures of buildings for an architect’s website. I’ve photographed everything from tiny semi-conductors to giant heat exchanger units, and pretty much everything in between. The fact that what I do helps my clients to advertise their business is an added bonus for me. I love seeing my clients succeed and their businesses grow, and it’s great to be a part of it as well.
Over the years I’ve met business owners who have questioned the need for using professional photography in their marketing materials. Why should they pay a commercial photographer when they can shoot their product, service, or location using their cell phone or point-and-shoot camera? The answer is simple. Great photography will get you noticed. Bad photography will get you noticed for all the wrong reasons. A commercial photographer understands lighting, which is the key to great photography. Another way to look at it is to consider the fact that you probably wouldn’t opt to do your own surgery if you needed it, because there’s a surgeon who’s trained for years to do it for you. I’m not suggesting that photography is equivalent to brain surgery, but there is a vast and visible difference between an image taken by an amateur and one taken by a professional.
So, maybe you don’t believe me (that happens sometimes!) and you’d like to see some proof. Okay, here goes. The first image is one I found online, and is obviously not taken by a professional.
The second image is one that I shot for a client of mine while at his restaurant.
Which would you rather eat?
This is only one example of the difference between using a professional photographer’s services and shooting your own images. The same difference is apparent regardless of the type of business you run, product you sell, or service you provide. A professional photograph gives you a professional image. It has been determined that people form an opinion of you and your business within 7 seconds of meeting you, so you have very little time to make a great first impression. If your business’s photography is mediocre or non-existent, your image will suffer for it.
As a business owner myself, I understand the desire to handle everything, and often say “I could do that” when tackling some aspect of my business. Usually I flounder around and waste lots of time and energy before realizing that there’s a reason that someone has made a profession out of what I’m trying to do. Sometimes, you just need to call the professionals! I bet you’re really great at what you do which is why you’re in business in the first place. Using professional photography in your marketing materials will help you put your best image forward and make a great first impression.