The most challenging part of creating websites and print materials is often selecting imagery. Like logos, graphics, color palettes and font choices, imagery is an extension of your brand, and it can say A LOT about your business. Most business owners have not sought the help of a professional, and in lieu of professional photography they typically resort to one of the following:
- Stock photography – Stock imagery can be effective when used strategically, but generally speaking, your customers and prospective customers will know stock photography when they see it. High quality images are available, but they tend to lack authenticity.
- DIY photography – Do-It-Yourselfers typically lack the proper skills and equipment necessary to produce quality images. As a general rule, these images are more authentic than stock photography, but the quality is significantly lower.
- “Free” images from the internet – Like stock photography, generic images found on the internet are not an authentic representation of your brand. Even worse, using images without the license to do so can result in legal action.
If and when possible, hire a professional. A talented photographer can provide you with beautiful, high quality images. And to ensure that those images are a true reflection of your brand, seek the guidance of a marketing professional prior to your shoot. A successful photo shoot starts with an open dialogue between you, your photographer and your marketing team about the following:
- Intended brand message
- Photo shoot location (indoors/outdoors and specific locale)
- Props (if applicable)
- Poses (body language and facial expressions)
- General photography style
Professionals will also bring a lot to the table when it comes to cropping and editing images. Sometimes it’s these subtleties that can make all the difference.
Last year, the Rooted ID team embarked upon the company photo journey for ourselves. We wanted understated photos that sent a “candid but capable” message. The outdoor location was a no-brainer… We’re a casual group that isn’t afraid of rolling up our sleeves. Our brand message is “put down some roots,” and our marketing motto is “strengthen your brand and grow your business.” Plant and growth metaphors are a consistent theme in our marketing materials, so incorporating trees into the shoot was a natural choice.
The results (courtesy of Tanya Boggs Photography) were great!
At Rooted ID, we’re all about staying true to your brand, and we have found a photographer who shares our to-thine-own-self-be-true sentiment.
For more information about head shots and company photo tips, check out Tanya’s blog... and if you need help crafting a brand message, please email Kendall@RootedID.com to schedule a complimentary call.