They say a picture paints a thousand words but what if those words aren’t ones you would like associated with your business? Like ‘un-professional’, ‘behind the times’, ‘technologically inept’ or ‘embarrassing’.
Photography, used well, can be one of the most impactful tools an organisation has at its disposal. Enticing a prospect, showcasing a function, standing out in a crowd or leaping off a page. It can convey your company’s personality or your latest product’s capabilities in an instant.
The right image gives quicker and more enlightening insight than even the most brilliantly crafted copy.
On the flip side, there’s nothing worse than a business using terrible imagery.
I’ve lost count of the number of emails, websites, brochures, exhibition stands or adverts I’ve seen that are let down by bad photography.
First impressions are everything, so it doesn’t matter whether it’s uninspiring, out of focus, inappropriate or poorly composed. If it’s awful… don’t use it! No excuses.
While I always advocate the use of a professional photographer whenever possible, I appreciate that some contexts and budgets don’t allow.
A live social media update for example. David Bailey isn’t always on hand. So how fortunate that 99% of us carry a multi-megapixel camera in our pockets 99% of the time. These things are quite impressive – it’s why Apple and others have sold a few.
So pray tell me how people contrive to magically transform a crystal clear, beautifully lit work of art into a 9kb monstrosity by the time it reaches their design agency? Or when the planets align for the perfect PR moment, how the happy snapper manages to sever the head off the hero from only a few feet away?
And don’t get me started on ’selfies’ as LinkedIn profile pictures. I want to see who I’m making a business transaction with, not their arm, their pout or their best Blue Steel.
Most importantly, when planning your promotional materials, I implore you to do it properly. Find that extra budget for a photographer with proven expertise. Their livelihood depends on making you look good – so unsurprisingly they’ve become incredibly skilled at it.
Many readers will work in B2B organisations that invest thousands in materials, equipment, research and development. You leave no stone unturned in honing your products to the exact needs of the market place. You assemble a team of industry experts to design, manufacture and sell them to an audience you have worked tirelessly to know and understand. You will do whatever it takes to establish a slick supply chain and profitable route to market.
So don’t fall at the final hurdle. Show that product in the best possible light. Bring it to life creatively. Promote it in all its glory.
In the scheme of things great photography is a negligible cost. But it’s the first thing your customer will see.