People make a decision on whether they trust your brand within seconds of landing on your website or social media. Research suggests their opinion has been formed within 50 milliseconds of someone landing on your page – that’s quicker than an F1 driver’s reactions.
We’re doing it all the time. We land on websites, Scroll through a social feed, we open a book, flick through a magazine. Our subconscious is picking up visual cues and deciding for us whether we should invest any more time in looking at this.
We are making judgement calls and forming opinions on everything. These opinions are coming from the colours we see, the headlines we read, the images and the layouts. These opinions tell us whether something can be trusted, whether something is interesting, whether something is cheap or expensive. All of these factors into our decision to purchase from, or to do business with someone.
One of the quickest ways to ensure that decision is positive is by ensuring your photography is on brand, aligns with your marketing message and is high quality and professional. Low quality images will always turn people away from your website.
So how can you get great photography?
Because we run a product photography studio we will always recommend businesses to work with professional photographers, to generate high-quality professional images for their marketing, but we understand that budgets can be tight and sometimes people just don’t value what a professional photographer will bring to their brand and will want to have a go themselves.
So here are a few quick tips to help you get better results.
The simplest thing, when doing your own photography, to help elevate your images is to think about the light first and foremost.
When it comes to lighting, it’s often the case that the more light the better.
If you’re taking photos of your products, ensure that they are evenly lit. If you’re taking pictures of behind-the-scenes – your team, your process, your facilities – try to take pictures in good light. Whether that means moving things around so they are near to a window, or just turning on more lights, light is the main thing when it comes to photography.
Another important thing to consider is the background. Clean backgrounds will help your subject standout and keep your message focused. For product photography we always favour simple white or coloured backgrounds to help the product stand out., but we’ve seen DIY product photos taken in people’s kitchens – with their washing up in the background! We’ve also seen a lot with other products (sometimes competitors!), unintentionally in the shot. Little things like this lower the quality of your image and the perception of your brand.
Think about the message you’re trying to convey with your image. If you’re trying to show that your team is approachable, then everyone in the photos should look happy, trustworthy and open. If you’re trying to show the quality of your products, consider putting them on an opulent surface, something like marble – the connotations of which may imply that your products are synonymous with spas and luxury hotels – this will help your clients attach a more expensive valuation on your brand.
One of the most valuable things when it comes to professional photography is styling. A good stylist is a very valuable asset. A stylist will look at how the objects in your photos come together and the message they convey.
A good exercise that you can practice when thinking about taking your own photographs is to look at high-end companies within your niche and see what their photography is like. Do they include props with their products or do they do their photos in a certain setting – What do those props or settings say about their product or service? Is this something your photography or brand can emulate?
If all else fails, call in the professionals! We’ve lost count of the amount of times we’ve worked with clients who have ‘had a go’ themselves and been less than enamoured with their results.
Sometimes it’s better just to invest and get a job done correctly – leaving you time to focus on the rest of your business.