Why have your own images?
These days photography is a big part of our lives, especially as a business owner. It provides a visual representation of what we are about but also lets our clients into our world. Having your own images for your website and social media gives a professional view from the outside in. Your clients will see your own images and will be able to resonate with your business. If you use stock images to show what you are about, they don’t see the real business plus the fact you can guarantee that another business is using the same images for a different reason. Stock images have their place, but not to show off YOUR business website.
Images will change in time. You will no doubt want to change the images on your website as time moves on which is a good thing. Say for instance you have pictures of you and your team on the ‘About Us’ page which no longer represents you or team! Team members may have left, new ones joined and you now have short hair! Whatever the reason, you will want to refresh your images by capturing up to dates ones every now and then.
Professional vs Snaps
Now this is a subject close to my heart! Of course as a professional photographer I can see which photographs have been ‘snapped’ and added to a website. To be honest, it’s not a great look for various reasons. As the business owner you know your business and may not be a keen photographer that knows how to compose a great shot. Taking pictures of people in particular is a bit of a skill, such as knowing where the best light is, not being afraid to ask people to move into a position that flatters their body shape. Making sure people feel comfortable and not contrived is huge, how would they naturally stand. Moving hair out of their face, not squinting at the light, I could go on about this because it’s important.
As an ex wedding photographer, all the above and so much more, has become part of my life! I laugh about this but in all seriousness if you don’t get creative and think ahead, get to know the best ways to capture the images you really want, they become snaps, they become quick images that do the job for now but are not really what you wanted! Snaps might be a bit out of focus or they have an object in them that you didn’t want like a bottle or a randome person walking by, too dark or fuzzy and pixelated when uploaded.
Think about the purpose
Whether you are asking a professional photographer to capture some fresh photography for you or you’re doing them yourself, you need to figure out what you want. Are they for your front page and what orientation do they need to be, landscape or portrait. Are they product close ups. Do you want them to capture imagination or show your brand which by the way, they all should in some way! You might want a heavy depth of field which an object in the foreground pin sharp and the rest out of focus.
A professional will always ask you what you are looking for, what is the reason for the shoot. You’ll have some ideas to share but want them to get creative and show you and your team at their best. That’s their job to do this for you. Whilst you are paying for the service, you will still need participate, get involved and help them understand what you want to see, what you don’t like, and even where you want the pictures to be seen.
Don’t be shy, tell your photographer if you like or don’t like your photo being taken. Work with them, they might not know you very well.
If you capture your own images, then obviously you own them. Remember though that you will need to get permission from people and places to use images that may not be of your own venue or faces! For instance, you decide to take a few of your team out for the day and take some lovely photos with a stately home or similar in the background. You will need to get the permission of the people in the photo and the house to post these images on your website or social media, especially if you mention them. You could get into hot water if you don’t. It’s a good idea to find out these facts before you waste precious time.
If you use stock images, there is normally a cost. Ripping images off the internet without purchase of the copyright is a risky thing to do. You will be found out and they will ask you to remove them.
Never, ever copy someone else’s images from their website just because you like them. Its not a nice feeling to know that someone has copied or stolen your work. Don’t be that person!
If I was to capture fresh images for you and your business, you have the right to keep all the images I’ve provided to you for use anywhere. Yes, it’s a paid service but worth it.
Remember that photography should be fun and not forced. The photographer should know what they are doing. They should be helpful, smiley and reassuring. Let me know if I can help you out, just meeting up to capture fresh images is a great thing to do and lots of fun.
Header photography credit and description: