Point and Click: When to Hire a Professional Photographer

It may seem that equipped with the wealth of technological tools at our fingertips today, that everyone can become a photographer – this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s widely known that brand photography and corporate portraits are best taken by a studio photographer. More surprisingly, with a constant increase in photo sharing platforms such as Instagram – many brands (and even individuals) are looking to professional photographers to capture the ideal lifestyle snaps.

While it may not take a lifetime to hone the skill, taking and applying the right images to a brand requires a balance of aesthetic and technique to get right. The application of the appropriate image on a web page or in print will capture the users attention, educate and inform, and may even persuade a user to engage further. Whats more is to apply the right tone to the platform whether website, social media, print or traditional media.

The right image can have the capability grab attention even faster than words can do alone. On the contrary, the wrong image will steer the user in a different direction than what the content messaging may imply, and convey a vision that is alternate to what the brand really stands for – confusing, and ultimately turning off the consumer. With the image of a brand hanging in the balance, the selection of images really is a crucial decision.

Hiring a professional photographer has many benefits, but foremost being that the the photos will be specified to the brand experience. Whether taking photos of a product or the people within the organization, this creates the most tailored and authentic outcome.

As discussed, everyone these days thinks they are a photographer. When looking to truly display a product or service in the best light possible, the smartphone method is not the ideal route. The do-it-yourself route can be deceptively costly both in time and financial resources. A photo shoot requires lighting, space, props and equipment to truly get right – particularly when shooting products.

With regard to stock photography, because these shots have been for the most part done by professional photographers or agencies – they will almost always be polished. Stock photos are widely available and pretty much any subject can be found. The key with stock photography is finding the right application. This is where the brand vision really comes into play. The options are so vast that it’s very easy to choose the wrong image. When used appropriately, stock photography can be a good resource for national campaigns and specific presentations.

When budgeting and preparing for a photo shoot – think about all the applications you can use the images for. From packaging to brochures to social media, the investment will more than likely pay off in spades building trust with the consumer and making the brand look polished.

Vanessa Petersen

As Executive Director of Brand Strategy based in ArtVersion’s Portland office, Vanessa manages both national and West Coast accounts. She brings with her a passion for strategy with extensive experience in creative marketing, brand growth and development. She is a true advocate of storytelling and brand building from the inside out, and her keen knowledge of the marketplace, trend patterns and usability lead her to identify opportunities that can inspire powerful design strategies.

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