As mentioned in our previous blog, one of our Facebook followers asked us to talk about Photography vs Stock Photography, so we looked to one of our office-suite tenants who is a professional photographer and social media expert for the answers.
In a world of convenience, it is far easier to turn to Stock Photography and Image Depositories to populate your website, blogs, social media and marketing materials with these off-the-rack images. It may look great, but when happens when your competitor or another similar company uses the same image? This would not be a problem if you owned your photos and had exclusive rights to them.
When it comes to giving your website and other marketing materials a more polished look, consider hiring a professional photographer. Seek out a photographer whose portfolio includes the types of images you are looking for, even a photographer who shoots stock images. Give them a shopping list of the types of photos you want and establish a budget with them.
A professional photographer can be as important to a marketing campaign as your designer and your content writer. Don’t be too quick to dismiss them as being expensive or creating extra work. They can save you work and money in the long run. This is especially true if you have a particular image you want and when you tried yourself, you spent too much time trying to get the lighting and angles correct. As a small business owner, your time is likely worth more money than a few hours of a professional photographer’s time.
Now let’s talk about some photography you can easily learn to do yourself without breaking the bank to do it. If you have smaller products that easily fit on a desk or a stool, you could pick up a lightbox (light tent) complete with lights from Amazon from $38 to $149. These table-top photo studios are fairly easy to use, especially after watching a few online tutorials.
Small businesses need to build their own library of images they have either taken themselves or have commissioned a photographer to capture. The photos you want in your library do not all have to be professional images, especially when the main purpose of the photos is for use on your blog and social media channels.
When and if you want to take more photos on your own, try attending a few basic photography classes that can really make an improvement in the images you capture. Henry’s School of Imaging offers a weekend course that will really help you to learn the fundamentals of taking good photos. Online tutorials and workshops can also help you improve on your photography and creative fundamentals .