The importance of professional images
What do your images say about your brand? Do you use professional images or do you try to get away with cheap phone snaps?
Branding is an important part of building a successful business. You brand is made up of various factors including your logo, the colours you use, fonts, uniforms, values, etc. (See more in this article on marketing & branding basics). In short, we could say that your brand is what people perceive when they encounter your business. In our modern culture, visuals are very important. We tend to look at pictures first when reading articles or scanning through Twitter feeds, for example. What people see tends to go a long way towards forming their first impression (and often a lasting impression) of your business. So, clearly you want them to see something great when they first encounter you, don’t you?
Whether it is on social media, your website or in a printed brochure, the images that you use matter a great deal. If you chose to use photos that you’ve taken yourself quickly using a phone camera then you are unlikely to achieve a polished, high class look. On the other hand, if you use images taken by a professional photographer who has worked hard to hone their skills then your pictures will stand out in the right way. Catch the eye of potential customers with classy photographs. Use powerful imagery to create a positive impression of your brand. Professional images will help show off your professional services or products in the best light.
For example, which of these 2 photos of the same wine glass would you classify as a professional image?
I would hope that the choice is an obvious one…. The top image is a poorly executed photo. It is low quality as it was taken on a phone and it couldn’t be printed really large even if you wanted to. The bottom image, on the other hand, shows the glass off much better. The background is neutral black and the glass really stands out. What messages are communicated with each image? They don’t say the same things, do they? One is sophisticated, the other is a mess. One is inviting, the other isn’t. Professional images are worth that extra expense.
What about stock image libraries? Yes, you can licence professional images from stock libraries for a reasonable fee. However, they will not accurately represent your business. Stock images are generic, not specific. To ensure that your USP (Unique Selling Point) and values are communicated accurately it is important for your pictures and written material to be produced especially for you. A good commercial photographer will help you to find ways of communicating your brand through images, just as a good designer does through a logo. Customers then will also feel more able to trust you. Imagine going to stay at a hotel only to find that it looked nothing like the brochure! It is important that the images tell a true story – your story.
© Joe Lenton, May 2015