Finding a commercial photographer

How do you find the right commercial photographer for you and your business?

We’ve all heard the numbers 65 and 85 percent of people describe themselves as visual learners*. This means they digest information more easily by viewing an image instead of reading text, so how do you get images that represent you and your business?

I’ll talk about how to take better images using smart phones and tablets that communicate your brand values on social media in later blogs, but for your website, print media and branding you should hire a professional. Your challenge is to find the right photographer for you.

Lets assume that you have asked around, got a few names of local photographers and looked at their websites, so you know they own cameras and can take a decent picture, but that’s not all you need to think about.

We all want images that talk to our prospective clients and communicate our USP to our target market. How do you find professional photographer who can do that?

You need to be able to answer 2 questions: WHAT and WHO?

WHAT is your USP? What skills, goods, features, people make your business what it is? Why should people come to you rather than someone else? You have a limited number of images. Make sure you get as much value as possible by focusing on what is unique to you. You are the best person to explain this to your photographer and if you don’t or can’t they will just be guessing and you are less likely to get the most from your money.

WHO is your target market? Age, gender, location, income and a range of other factors influence how we read images. By knowing who you want to influence a good commercial photographer should be able to get you images that connect with prospective clients.

You then sit down with your prospective photographer(s) and talk over your project. Go with your gut. Do you feel they understand the project? Do you like the suggestions they make? Can you see yourself working with them? These are the things you need to know first, because if the answer is no, then there is no point in working out the fine details.

If the answer is yes then get down to hard facts. Have a budget for what you can afford and an ideal number of images in your head before you start (e.g. 3 possible profile pictures, 10 images of key products, 5 stock images for banners on your website, 1 team picture etc.). The more information you can provide the better the quote you will get.

The photographer should be able to give you a rough idea of long it will take. Explain how they price their work (e.g. number of hours, images, days, etc.) and their policy on copyright and licensing. Any professional photographer should be completely comfortable explaining this to you, if they can’t then I would politely move on to another prospect unless you really believe they are the best person for the job.

Finally, when you have agreed terms, deliverables and set a time frame there are a few more things you can do to get the most out of your session. If you want a profile picture for LinkedIn and a 3/4 shot to go on a 3 fold leaflet, 9 square images of products to go in an online shop and 3 banners to sit at the top of your website homepage, Twitter and Facebook let the photographer know as they should be taking it into consideration when composing your images.

I’m probably forgetting some details, but hopefully that has given you a bit more confidence and knowledge about how to deal with hiring a commercial photographer and if you have any other questions ask them below and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Apologies for the lack of pictures I’ll add more on the next post 😉 C x

*Reference: http://sendible.com/insights/the-power-of-images-in-social-media-marketing/#ixzz3ca7ObCwh

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