Everywhere you look today there is visual stimuli—photos and video everyone online and in print promoting and selling something. How can your business stand out?
Do you have marketing photos you regularly use for your business: For website, marketing collateral, advertisements? If so you are on the right track. Now, can you say you have original material? Meaning you haven’t purchased a stock image online or had your designer do so in creating your website or materials. Not that stock is inherently bad. On the contrary there are lots of great uses for a good stock photograph. However does it accurately represent your business? Does it clearly communicate what it is you do? And—this is a big one—is it unique? Chances are it’s not super accurate for your business—not your location or your staff. And I’m guessing it’s not unique. You might think so until you click on a website that is using the exact same image. Ouch. Double ouch if it’s in your same market.
So what to do? Work with a photographer who is familiar with photographing for companies. One who can create a great series of images for you to choose from. A great photograph or series of photos custom designed for your business can speak volumes. It shows your location/office/warehouse/business etc. It shows staff or even if you’ve use models for an advertising shot it pretty much represents your staff and customers.
Custom photographs for your business will allow you to stand out—it will allow you to be unique and more accurately get your message across to yourtarget market. So how do you get started?
How To Work With A Photographer
After you’ve made the decision to hire a photographer for marketing photographs here are a few things you need to know. First, do you have a budget set aside for your marketing materials and advertising? This may be the first question a photographer asks you after you ask how much something costs. You will most likely be licensing the image. The photographer will retain copyright of the image but will craft a license for you to use the image for a certain fee. You may ask, don’t I own the image? The short answer is no—not useless you pay much more than you will have most likely determined as a budget. Clearly communicate with your photographer up front about your desired use for the images. It makes a big difference if you are using a custom photograph on your website or on a company billboard, in a trade magazine and in all your marketing materials.
Your use license will most likely spell out how long you can use the image—some licenses are unlimited use while others are for a predetermined length of time. Meet with your photographer to discuss the scope of the project. Hammer out all the details so the photographer can craft a contract spelling out what each party is responsible for. Having a contract is best for both the photographer and the business owner.
How Do You Find A Good Photographer?
While Google is used for just about everything—including finding great photographers—it may be much faster to get a referral from a graphic designer you’ve worked with. Or check out the local chapters of some of the professional photography associations such as American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) or Professional Photographers of America. (PPA).
Working with a professional photographer can make a big difference between having just a photograph in your marketing materials and an image that will positively impact your business.