A picture says a thousand words – Is photography the addition your business needs?

In 2019 with social media taking over the world, insta-girls taking food pics until their food goes cold and literal selfie addicts (how is this a real thing), I know it can seem unnecessary to hire a professional photographer. But before doing a DIY job on your website and social channels give me a chance to explain why this could actually be make or break for your brand.

More than just a pretty picture

Remember when you used to go on school trips and the teachers would tell you ‘you’re in your uniform so you’re representing the school, be on your best behaviour … blah blah blah’, well not to bore you but quality photography on your website represents your brand. So if you have crappy photography then people will assume your services are just as crappy because your attention to detail isn’t there.

Apart from that, based on social media statistics, visual content performs better than text content since people are lazy and it’s much easier to take in an image than read an explanation of one. High quality images with proper lighting are imperative to attracting consumers if you want to compete with the big boys – you wouldn’t catch Tesco snapping their food with a cracked iphone 6 borrowed from Henry in marketing would you?

If you’re going to tell a story, tell it well

Brand images are taken to tell a story and establish your brand, so if you don’t have the ability to clearly convey who your brand is and what you do in a photo, should you really be taking charge of the shoot? By visually telling your brand story, the images will be instantly recognisable as yours and tell a story of quality and attention to detail about your brand. To put it simply photographers are wizards.

Technically technical

Here’s the nerdy bit, the thing about shooting on your phone is that the type of file your phone shoots on is a JPG, which is a compressed image file. This means that the photos will be smaller and of a lower resolution than photos taken on a DSLR camera which means that when the images are blown up on your website or social media they will look grainy. To avoid this, professional photographers use DSLR cameras with a range of lenses depending on the subject of the shoot. For the shoot itself, they shoot in RAW then after editing the images, convert these files to desktop compatible files resulting in high resolution images. Ok breath, the nerdy bit is over.

Instagram generation

As the old saying goes ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ and naturally, as a photographer, I would agree with this, but what you might not realise is that your audience will probably agree too. Think about it, we’re living in a world of the Instagram generation, where ‘do it for the ‘gram’ is constantly waved around and fellas literally go to the gym to take selfies in the oversized mirrors (yes we see you).

Social media means that people are seeing hundreds of high quality images every single day and if your images by comparison are poor quality, discoloured and wonky, well lets just say people will be less than impressed. Think about it, on your personal account if you follow someone on social media that you don’t know, it’s because their photography creates an aspiration, so your business account is no different and people will not follow it if the images aren’t up to scratch.

Keep calm and take a back seat

Running a business is stressful, that’s just a fact so take a backseat and leave this one for us to deal with. Professional photographers take the hassle out of content creation, organising everything to create a batch of clean and sleek photography for you to use on social media, websites and, basically, anywhere.

The average photography shoot lasts anywhere from half a day to several depends depending on the amount of content to shoot and photographers will bring all the equipment (lighting, cameras, backgrounds, extras, tripods etc). We will get on location, organise lighting, set up the cameras and bring extras so you can relax. Once we’ve wrapped up the shoot, we will then go back to our office and edit the shoot and send you all the finished edits to do with what you please. Super simple.

Here’s one we did earlier

In true Blue Peter fashion, we have an example of a shoot we did earlier in the year. This shoot was for a local Middle Eastern restaurant, where the pressure was on because we had two hours to complete a shoot of around 25 meals with 10 people. Yes we were stressed, but we pushed through to achieve some really impressive (if I do say so myself) photography. Rather than showing you the entire shoot, I thought I’d leave a few of the best shots from the shoot below – enjoy!

Facts and stats

Right nerds we need you back now for the facts and stats. Ok so, let’s do a little bit of everyone’s favourite subject economics *clicks off the blog immediately*. So the cost of a full photoshoot ranges from £500 upwards. Seems like a lot right? Now let’s whip out the calculators and work out the economic cost of a DIY job.

Implicit and explicit costs –

Lighting and other equipment – £60

Camera hire – £90 with one lense

SD card – £10

Photoshop software – £20 per month

Time organising the shoot – Two hours

Studio hire – £70

Time shooting – Three hours

Price of models/extras – £100 per person, plus expenses

Time learning photoshop – Four hours (it’s harder than you think)

Time editing – Three hours

Cost time out of running your business – £150 (estimate – don’t quote me)

Yes I’m bored too, just bear with me. So if we add up the explicit and implicit costs then we get £480. Combine this with the stress of organising your own shoot, learning Photoshop and this is all assuming the shoot works well first time and you don’t have to retake it, does it really seem worth it? We think not and and if you agree drop us an email to discuss photography to hello@jawdigital.co.uk or give us a call on: 0161 941 3469.