For many businesses, I suggest that they create their own stock photography. It’s easier than it seems – you don’t necessarily need to hire an expensive photographer or spend thousands on fancy equipment. I’ve included a few tips below to get you started in the right direction!
- Have a plan & determine your style. Do you own a hair salon? Consider having photos that show off your stylists hard at work, having fun and being candid with clients. (It’s a good idea to use a photo release for employees and any participants, especially if kids are involved. Make sure to get written or emailed parent permissions!) Look at other businesses like your own and see what photos they use. Realtor? Try to keep home photos the same – similar shots for each home will create consistency.
- Figure out the most attractive elements of your business. If you’re taking photos of your employees or products, place them in front of bright walls with minimal distractions in the background. If you have a wall or desk that’s messy, dark or shows off peeling paint… try to avoid using that as a backdrop. If you’re showcasing products, make sure you use a bright, solid background (or something creative like a wooden wall, table, etc.) Practice different styles and keep it consistent.
- Take time to get the shots right. Many times, people are paying a photographer by the hour, so they’ll try to rush. I’m a believer that it takes several photos to get it right – unless you’re a professional in front of – and behind – the camera! Take the same photo from different angles, play around with lighting, etc. This will give you options!
- Ask around – you might have a professional in your midst! Cameras today are amazing. I always recommend trying to use an actual camera – smartphones are great, but especially for websites and print – digital cameras tend to give better results. Chances are, you might have a contact who does photography on the side, or the spouse of an employee might have their own business! Ask first; it’s a great way to potentially save money, build their portfolio and get the shots you really want. Check out their previous work to make sure the photos aren’t over-edited or too blurry.
- If push comes to shove, you can always use stock photos found online. Always make sure to credit photos back to the source. Don’t pull an image off Google without making sure you can use it! I usually include a caption, if I’m worried about the original source. I prefer using sites like Pexels, iStock, and Shutterstock, but I always recommend using original content. This way, you can use it however you’d like and you can really control how it looks!
Get out there and take some original stock photos! Take photos of everything and file it away by type, style and stay organized. You’ll be happy you took the time to help set your business above the rest! Questions? Need direction? Give us a call!
- Mainspring Communications