In our highly visual, modern and very competitive business world, will generic stock photography individualise and most importantly, personalise your company’s image enough to outclass your competition and impress your prospects?
The debate is whether to make use of generic stock photos purchased from global online image banks or rather, have a customised portfolio of corporate and commercial photography of your actual business, staff and products, professionally produced through a commercial photography studio.
Successful companies have known the answer for some time now. When prospects are introduced to a business through marketing and advertising, be it through a web site or printed material, consumers expect to see an accurate and realistic representation of the business. A picture does tell a thousand words. Just how that picture is created and who or what is the subject is vital to establishing the right first impression to do the business justice.
Investing in a personalised collection of photographs for the business will give the business owner creative direction to determine how the company is presented to the public. It also introduces real and actual people, rather than models who have little personal connection with the company.
A common objection to this however, is the misconception that people are not photogenic. This misconception is often due to the less than impressive images people sometimes see of themselves when photographed with an average snap shot camera, or nowadays, a smart phone or tablet. These cameras have limited lighting capabilities, a key element of professional photography.
Another important element is posing and this is an essential skill which contributes immensely to the final result. An inexperienced amateur may not be aware of certain angles and poses that suit a subject best.
This is where the skills of a professional photographer come into play, initially by being able to make people feel at ease by forgetting that they are being photographed. This results in a much more relaxed atmosphere and much more comfortable subject. Secondly, the professional studios are equipped with the correct specialised lighting equipment. Coupled with the photographer’s skill and knowledge of photographic posing techniques, the subject’s aesthetic features may be enhanced and flaws may even be disguised. So trust that the professional studios know what they are doing and the ‘photogenic’ misconception will be eliminated.
What is the benefit in photographing a business’s actual staff and employees over choosing a stock image of models crowded around a computer monitor or laughing while in deep conversation on a conference call? (How many times have you seen those shots?)
The great benefit is that prospects can already begin to relate with the business and when they meet these people in the flesh at their appointment, they feel like they know the people representing this business already. The friendly, familiar faces (not the generic models) can also begin to instil trust in the prospect that the business is fair dinkum.
Using photographs of the company’s actual people, products and premises also contributes to the company’s branding. Again, prospective customers can identify the people or products as belonging to a unique organisation. Use of personalised imagery also guarantees that no two businesses are using the same stock images in their advertising, therefore confusing branding.
Taking the time to plan a brief and organise a photographic shoot with a professional studio may be a worthwhile investment for a business to boost the first impression and personalise the company’s image.