Amanda Duncan Photography | Three perceptions about using commercial photography that are wrong, wrong, wrong

Three perceptions about using commercial photography that are wrong, wrong, wrong

April 19, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Three perceptions about using commercial photography that are wrong, wrong, wrong

When you invest in advertising and marketing for your business, what are you hoping to achieve?


The answer to this question should be impact, interest, curiosity and reaction. Reinforcement of your brand. Conveying an impression of quality, individuality and recognition.


Bespoke photography can be a key factor in delivering this.


So why do so many businesses, when spending significant budgets on advertising, leave good quality photography out of the mix?


As a commercial photographer, the benefits seem obvious to me. But from speaking with businesses, particularly Small Medium Establishments, I know that there are some misperceptions which deter the commissioning of photography.


I’m going to take these common myths, and bust them. I’m going to explain why photography is a good investment, why it’s better than using stock images and why to improve the impact of your advertising, it’s the right thing to do.


Myth number 1: Commercial photography is too expensive.


This is probably the biggest and most off-putting perception for any business without a huge budget. Completely understandably, if you’re an SME, you need a cost effective website and advertising campaign. Quite possibly, you’ve looked into it before and photography costs were immense. However, it does not have to be this way. And here’s why;


  • Like any service, there are a wide range of companies providing it in the market. Many photographers are highly cost effective, charging very reasonable hourly rates, including the production work, and organising shoots as carefully as possible so as to keep costs down. Many photographers also have arrangements with models and venues in place in order to keep the costs affordable for clients.
  • Most commercial photographers will include the initial briefing meeting for free (and I’ll even provide you with a profile shot should you need it for your social media, all included in the cost of the shoot).
  • The alternative to bespoke photography, the use stock shots, is not always a cheap solution. Well they can be, but you do get what you pay for. You may be lucky and find the perfect royalty free shot that fits your campaign. However, be aware of the hidden costs of using stock images;
    • You’ll often be charged for the time graphic designers take undertaking time consuming image search. Instead of paying for half a day of image search, this money could have been invested in a photoshoot.
    • Unless an image is completely free, most will carry at least a small charge, which could represent an hour of photography. Many good stock images will carry a substantial charge, and if they are not royalty free you will need to pay every time you use it. Compare this to bespoke photography – once you have your disk of images, they are yours to use whenever you wish. It’s a one off investment.
    • Stock images are not exclusive. Your competitor, or another entirely different company, could use the same image in their campaign or on their website. Imagine the embarrassment. You’ve paid for imagery only - to look the same as someone else. Enter bespoke photography – it’s yours for life, it’s individual and no one else will have it.
    • Stock images will still carry production charges from your designers, as they may need to be cropped or altered in order to fit the campaign or website requirements.


Myth number 2: Commercial photography will take too long, I need to get my website up and running or an advert out asap.


Not so fast! Most commercial photographers will arrange a briefing meeting as soon as is needed. Photoshoots can be arranged quickly and photographers will deliver the production work within the timescales and deadlines of your project. I have a mobile studio which I can bring out to you or the relevant venue at very short notice. Properly arranged, you’d be amazed at what could be achieved within one hour of photography, let alone half a day. Unless it’s a very complex campaign, undertaking photography simply does not have to be a lengthy process.


Myth number 3: Photography is not appropriate or necessary for my business, we don’t sell products online and we’re only a small company.


I can assure you that this is not the case. Agreed, if you are selling products online, great photography is even more crucial in enhancing the customer’s ability to appreciate your products and reduce the number of returns. However, for any business with a website, and who invests in marketing, this is your ‘shop window’. It’s your ability to get noticed by potential customers. Even your profile shot is part of the impression you make and can engage or deter interest in your business.


I have undertaken bespoke photography for cleaning companies, hairdressers, pubs and florists. I have produced creative portrait pictures for a motivational speaker, photographed products for a clothing store and worked with hotels and golf clubs. Every type of business, with any level of budget, can benefit from investing in photography.


So don’t let these 3 popular misperceptions put you off exploring bespoke photography. The chances are, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what can be done and delighted with the results.


"Thank you Amanda we are delighted with the food and lifestyle photography for our website which has really captured what we are about, with the bespoke photography that you have created for us.  The images are professional and of the highest quality".  Damien Man - The White Hart, Chipstead.

For a no obligation chat about my prices and how I can help please contact me at


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