How to Get Fantastic Professional Photos for Your Marketing

Wait, I know. You’re already thinking…well, this article isn’t for me! I don’t have the money to hire a photographer. You’d be surprised. Most photographers are happy to work within your (reasonable) budget and professional photos of your stores, products and people significantly increase the wow factor of any marketing piece.

The trick is to communicate effectively with your photographer. They want the photos to be great too. Here are a few tips to getting exactly what you need:

  1. Look at the Photographer’s Portfolio: This seems basic but is key. Every photographer has a different style of shooting and finishing the photos. Make sure you choose the photographer best suited to your vision of the final product (side note: liking your photographer’s personality is really important too, as is feeling like they “get” what you want)
  2. Ask your Photographer What You’ll Get: Make sure you know how many finished photos you’ll actually receive in the end and approximately how many proofs you’ll have to choose the final number from. You probably won’t need printed photos for marketing material — just finished photos on a disc. You should also know how much additional photos will cost. Let’s say you get 25 digital photos in your package but you love 30 — you will be able to buy those additional 5 but should know how much each will cost before you fall in love (after all, love can be fickle)
  3. Figure Out How You’ll Use the Images: Are these only for a website? They could be used for many, many things: packaging, bus ads, print ads, brochures, social media, online directories, and the list goes on. Will some of the photos be head shots? It’s better to think of too many uses now than to realize you don’t have a photo appropriate for use X because you hadn’t thought of it
  4. Write a Shot List: Sounds professional, doesn’t it? You are a professional! Knowing how many finished images you’ll get, plan out how many of each photo you’ll want…5 head shots, 2 building shots, 5 overall product shots, 5 product detail shots, 4 of people making the product, etc. This is not to say that the photographer will only take 5 head shots and 2 building shots. They will probably take several hundred snaps to get your short list of finished images
  5. Be Prepared for the Shoot: You’ll have an hour or two with your photographer, so make the most of it. Be prepared. Have the “head shot” people ready to go with their hair done and clothes looking nice. Clean up the garden in front of the building. Have the products you want shot out, shined up, and ready to go. Remember, fingerprints show in photographs. Your photographer will have ideas too and you’ll probably need to go grab things you didn’t anticipate but if all the basics are ready, you’ll be golden.

Most of all? Have fun! Happy energy makes for happy photos. These images will represent your brand, company, and products for the next while and a little planning will make them great.

Looking for a photographer? Let me know; I know a few I can refer you to. Do you have any tips for getting great business photos? Please let me know in the comments!