Taking professional photos, whether you work for a company or have your own business, is crucial for establishing your credibility and having a polished appearance online. If you’ve never worked with a photographer before, follow these guidelines for five tips to keep in mind in order to ensure a smooth and seamless process.
You know you need to update photos on your website and marketing materials, but do you know where to start? Begin by making a list. A shot list is a great way to get organized and makes shopping for quotes simpler. Does your company need headshots? How many people? Do you also need candid and/or lifestyle images to add into the mix? Group photos? Close-up and or product shots? How and where do you plan to use the photos? Having a clear idea of your image needs and their usage is a must first step, which is helpful for ensuring your photographer will capture everything you need.
Next, think about how you want to be photographed or the perception of your brand you want to represent in photos. Have you been stuck with old photos for a while and are looking for a more modern portrait that shows your approachable side? Are you a creative firm wanting to do something artistic or fun? Maybe your clients are more conservative, and you need a sharp professional portrait that means business but still looks relevant to a younger generation. Whatever it may be, having a style in mind will guide your photographer in the right direction and make your search much easier.
To help you determine the styles you like or direction you want to take, check out other successful firms’ websites, social media, etc. Pinterest is a great resource as well to compile images for inspiration. Even comparing photos/sites you don’t like is helpful, as it will help your photographer to “get in your head” and see what you see. Especially if you don’t know where to start, taking a look at what other people have done can really help you to narrow things down!
This is a tough one with a lot of corporate firms, as they are the last ones accepting the reality of social media and image needs in the modern world. Photography was never a big priority before, and no budget is usually allocated to that part of marketing. That’s exactly how you need to think of it — great photographs are a huge part of your marketing and should be counted as such an expense, too. A simple way to put it: put aside anywhere between 10-25% of your marketing budget towards professional photography. Of course, it all depends on your business and is usually discussed case by case with each job. However, setting aside the money in general will ensure that you and your photographer make it a priority.
Now that you have your shot list, an idea of your style, and a rough budget in mind, it’s time to find a professional photographer that matches most of your criteria. Set up a consultation to get a feel for who you will be working with. Do your personalities mesh? For headshot photography especially, you want to hire someone who can “warm up” any subject and capture their true personality. Does the photographer sound knowledgeable and confident about their skills? Are they able to offer solutions and ideas? Will they travel to you or will you go to the photographer’s location? Does your project involve more of a production where you will need to hire hair/makeup, styling, and/or models for a shoot, and can your photographer handle that? Have you checked their website/reviews/references?
Ask questions — photographers love to explain their process and are always happy to answer!
These tips will help you get started in your photography search, but don’t worry if it takes you a little bit longer than expected to find the right person. The most important part is capturing photos that you love and feel excited to use throughout your marketing!
This is a contributed piece published by Dina Konovalov. For more than 20 years, Dina has been capturing bold photography with a red carpet touch. She works with a mix of entrepreneurs, brands, actors, models, musicians, celebrities, media, and publications, helping them all showcase their best side to the world. Dina feels passionately that photography is the first place you invest when it comes to projecting a powerful, memorable image.
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