Do you run digital ads? Do you have a social media account? How about a Google My Business listing? Or a website? Do you have physical promotional materials or billboards or attend trade shows? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need professionally-shot candid photos of your business. Here’s why:

This is truly the age of transparency.

The public demands to see behind the scenes and into the real-lifeness of your company. They want to build a connection. According to a blog by SproutSocial, “when customers feel connected to brands, more than half of consumers (57%) will increase their spending with that brand and 76% will buy from them over a competitor.” While you want your customers to know the real you, you also want to make sure that you’re always putting your best face forward, and there’s no better window to let your customers look through than one that has been filtered by the eye of a professional image creator.

Professional photographers have the knowledge, experience and equipment to create beautiful and interesting images in almost any situation. They way they see your workshop and the images they capture of it will be drastically different from what you or your team may snap with a cell phone. Professional photographers use framing, lines, angles, light and dept of field to create focal points  which guide viewers’ eyes across an image resulting in a more pleasing viewing experience. The more pleasing an image is to look at, the longer a viewer will look at it and the stronger the connection they will make with the image and, in turn, with your company.

Focus and Lighting
Focus and Angles

In addition to visually higher quality, the images you receive from a professional photographer will also be of superior data quality. This means that they will not only be beautiful on your website and GMB page and print fantastically on flyers and brochures, but will be high enough resolution to be used for extremely large printed items like billboards and trade show booths with no worry of pixilation. This kind of consistency in brand appearance reinforces the perception of value and trustworthiness that quality photography generates, reminding your potential clients just how great your business is with every encounter.

What about stock images?

Stock images certainly have their place and are perfect for a whole array of uses within your marketing strategy. They are generally both pleasing to the eye and of sufficient quality to use anywhere you like. However, they are usually also generic and pretty identifiable as a stock image, which completely defeats the purpose if your goal is to be transparent and to build a connection with your audience. It boils down to the simple fact that you can’t demonstrate how real and relatable you are with fake photos.

Stock Photo
Actual Candid Photo

Where to Start:

Find a professional photographer. Review their past work to make sure you understand their style of both shooting and editing and that the type of finished work they produce aligns with the vibe of your business.

Schedule your shoot and get prepared. Your candid photo shoot should be scheduled at least a few weeks out, so your team has time to prepare. You’ll want to decide exactly what areas of your business you want to cover, for example, your studio, your warehouse, your machine shop, the front desk and the employees that potential customers will be interacting with, etc. Take some time to clean up clutter in these areas. Invite your photographer to stop by ahead of time to tour your facility or send them photos of the areas where they’ll be shooting so they know what to expect, and discuss with them what you want the images to portray about your business. (Are you a young and energetic startup or a long standing, locally owned staple of the community?)

Get your employees on board. Make sure that all your employees are aware of the shoot and when it will take place. Have them clean up their work areas as well and remove anything that they may not want to be shown. They also may want to plan ahead for what they will wear that day. If any of your employees are going to be specifically featured in the photos, make sure they know and are ready to cooperate. Your photographer should not have to beg anyone to look like they are enjoying their job.

Recruit your talent. You may want to show customers shopping or interacting with your employees. In this case, you will want to recruit some talented people to act as customers (never expect actual customers who may happen to be there to be in your photos). These people can be friends or family of employees or actual loyal customers who want to help support your business. You may want to schedule the shoot for non-business hours or a less busy time of the day so none of your actual customers unknowingly end up in your shots. If you do have customers during the shoot, make sure they are aware of what’s happening and have given their permission to be photographed.

Hand over the reins. On shoot day, your photographer may need your help staging scenes or they may prefer to just wonder around your facility and grab shots as real life happens. Either way, allow your photographer the freedom to move around, adjust lighting, direct employees, etc. as they see fit so that they can get the best shots possible. You’ll be glad you did.

Show the world how amazing you are.

If you are a business with a social media account, a website or Google My Business Page, if you run digital ads, have printed promotional materials or billboards or attend trade shows, then you really need a stockpile of high-quality professionally-shot candid photos that accurately and beautifully portray who you are and what you do; that show the world just how amazing you are! And we can help. Take a look at some of the commercial photography options we offer here.

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