They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So why isn’t a photographer part of your creative project?
If you’re a marketer, a creative, a web designer or a business launching a creative project, do you have a photographer as part of the team?
If not, you could be missing out on authenticity, originality, quality and another creative mind to add to the mix.
Make photography part of the story
‘’According to eye-tracking research, people spend 10% more time looking at visuals on a website than reading text’’. (Source: Nielson Norman Research Group).
Branding is all about story telling; so the experts tell us. Branding is not a logo or a layout, it’s a business’s purpose, vision and values which make up its story and enables it to connect with an audience. It’s about telling customers how if they buy the services and products on offer, it will change their lives.
One way of getting across this story is through the words, the content. But the other crucial element is the imagery. Ideally, the two work together, to tell the story as powerfully, creatively, uniquely and effectively as possible.
Too often though, photography is an afterthought. Or because it’s left until the end, it’s even left out all together in favour of a using an image library.
Stock shots have their purpose, but they will not be unique to one business, one brand.
They will be selected to fit a brand, not form a brand.
Bespoke photography on the other hand, if introduced at the beginning, can be key to a business brand, and how it connects with customers. It can be moody, emotive and thought-provoking, evocative, bold or controversial, humorous and entertaining, quirky, edgy and uber-cool. It can be whatever it needs to be, but only if it’s part of the story from the beginning.
A suite of bespoke photography also has multiple uses so is well worth the investment. It can be used across websites, advertising campaigns and contribute to a successful social media or content marketing strategy.
Successful marketing needs the right image
‘’Some types of pictures are completely ignored. This is typically the case for big feel-good images that are purely decorative. Other types of pictures are treated as important content and scrutinized. Photos of products and real people (as opposed to stock photos of models) often fall into this category’’. (Source: Nielson Norman Research Group).
Most web design involves imagery, but this can be a real sticking point. In the absence of creative input, often there’s a reliance on standard stock images – houses for construction companies, cheesy images of headphone-adorned customer services personnel for call centres, for example. This shows little imagination, lacks any conceptual thinking and certainly has no originality or authenticity – particularly as you run the risk of a competitor having picked the same stock shot.
If you’re a copywriter, web designer, marketing strategist or graphic designer, you’ll know how bouncing ideas off other similarly minded creatives can lead to a light bulb moment. Including a photographer in this process can provide a additional angle, introducing innovative and creative ways imagery can be used to convey the brand message or underpin a creative concept.
It could be in the stylising, editing and production – for example using black and white, saturating colours, combining real photography with graphic design, whether to opt for a natural look or a staged, creative photographic style. Or it could be discussing how to approach team or individual portraiture in a company ‘about’ page to set them apart from other businesses and reflect their individual brand personality.
For a professional finish, include all the right professionals
‘’32% of marketers say visual images are the most important form of content for their business’’. (Source: 2018 social media marketing industry report).
In any project which incorporates a range of disciplines, the aspect which is poor quality will stand out like a sore thumb. You wouldn’t refit a kitchen with all the top range appliances, expert carpentry, granite worktops but then opt for broken, old fashioned tiles! All the elements of any project need to be planned in from the outset and consistent in their quality, approach and professionalism.
When it comes to marketing, whether through a creative concept or in presenting images of your product or service, the first impression can win or lose a customer. It doesn’t matter how good the words are if the images of your products are poor quality, thanks to being shot on a phone with poor lighting and background distractions. It won’t matter how slick a website design is if the imagery is bland, generic and unoriginal. And the impact of your funky, creative graphic design will be lost, if accompanying photography is at odds with the business brand values by being old fashioned and uninspiring.
So how do you find a photographer you’ll click with?
Whether you’re a small agency, or a freelance creative professional, it can be hard to find a photographer you can trust and enjoy working with.
Local networking can be a great way to reach other professionals, form relationships and create an informal team who can come together on projects. Most areas have a variety of networking groups, and it’s a case of finding one that suits you. If you don’t have time for networking, asking other marketing or creative professionals for referrals, or making connections on LinkedIn can also work well.
By having a local network, you’ll have a team ready to go with the relevant talent and disciplines involved from the outset of the project. This will ensure the project plan incorporates the right solutions and can be delivered on time.
Click with me!
If you’d like an experienced, creative and professional commercial photographer as part of your team, I’d love to hear from you. I’m camera-ready to step in and create something magical, authentic, unique and high impact to help businesses project the right image and start attracting the customers they need.