When you need to capture emotion, only bespoke photography will do
When it comes to wedding or special occasion photography; there’s no question in anyone’s minds that the role of the photographer is to capture emotion, beauty and love.
But when it comes to marketing and advertising; the benefits of powerfully conveyed and captured emotion are equally huge, if not essential, to success.
Using emotive photography works because it has impact through evoking feelings.
Emotive imagery in advertising is nothing new. Using advertising to make us feel scared, happy, hopeful, inspired is an effective tactic. But if it’s not done well it can backfire badly. It can look cheap or cheesy. It can bear no resemblance to your organisational value or brand. It can be misinterpreted if you’re not very careful.
Of course, you can search image libraries for ‘happy’, ‘sad’, ‘scared’, ‘excited’ – pretty much any emotion that you can think of. But you’ll generally find this results in overacted, almost caricatured, in-your-face portrayals of the emotion which may not be quite right for your campaign.
These ‘searchable’ emotions are simple, basic concepts. But you may need to get across something much more complex and subtle. For example, your campaign may need to indicate bravery. Or happiness in the face of adversity. Put forward a gritty, serious perspective. Or even more challenging; where the business is very much focused on one person, convey their personality.
The only way to achieve all this is through a skilled commercial photographer; who can create, plan, direct, shoot and edit a suite of photographs to a specific and unique result.
But what is it that a talented commercial photographer can bring to the process that is so important?
When creating a suite of bespoke photography for a website, marketing communications or advertising campaign, it becomes a reflection of your organisation. You’ll want it to support and reinforce your organisational or personal brand, your values and be pitched appropriately at your audience so that it engages them.
To do this a photographer needs to immerse themselves in understanding your objectives, business proposition, values and preferences so that all aspects of the photoshoot and final finish are spot on.
In these images, I went to great lengths to observe and familiarise myself with the work, personality and drive of these individuals. In the case of a specialist chef; conveying a bubbly personality with a passion for spice; portrayal of movement and focus on the hands as the trademark of a keynote speaker; and a stunning and contemporary pose that gets across the individuality of this florist.
Symbolism, interpretation and subtlety
A good commercial photographer does not just take a brief and interpret it literally. They will explore themes and symbols, crafting a creative concept that gets across the message in an engaging, thought provoking, effective and visually appealing way.
Want to get across business growth? How many adverts have you seen containing brash images of pound signs. It’s hard to be subtle and classy with that kind of look.
But consider this photograph. From this one picture, you can interpret so much. New beginnings, responsibility and growth are just some of the notions that come to mind. All presented beautifully in a contemporary style with colours saturated to draw focus to the green seedling.
Creativity, direction and style
The only way to create a truly bespoke ambience, theme and style is to create it from scratch. A photographer with artistic talents will be able to take a requirement and direct the photoshoot with the right lighting and shooting style to achieve it. A significant part of this work will also be in the post-production.
Knowing whether to use black and white or colour. Whether to shoot internally or externally. The focus and angles. How to direct models in their pose, expressions, clothing and make up. These are all individual and integral to evoking the right feelings and emotion when the viewer connects with the image.
I was asked to shoot an image for a software company. You may think; just a picture of a keyboard will do, won’t it? But this image gets across a distinctive brand; a stylish, abstract, gritty action shot, showing a programmer hard at work.
Multiple chances to capture that look
Sometimes you know the look you need but it won’t come easily. And it may take time, effort, repositioning, retaking many times over. This is particularly the case when working with lay people i.e. not professional models.
In this beautiful, natural family shot for a cancer charity, the joyous, hopeful and positive nature of this family just had to shine through. There’s no short cuts. Just the time and patience to make people comfortable and keep going until that magic shot is captured.
Photography can convey emotion, tell a story, capture a moment and position a brand.
But make sure it’s the right emotion. Your story. Your moment. And your brand.
To have a no obligation chat about wedding or commercial photography, contact firstname.lastname@example.org 07767 776839.