3 ways to nail your business’s photography
Images and videos are fast becoming the most effective way to communicate online and drive social traffic. Therefore it has never been more important to get the visuals right for your business. In this piece we take a look at small businesses marketing their brands well with strong photography, and the apps and online resources you can use to take your brand’s marketing to the next level.
Created by two friends with a love for flowers and collecting unusual trinkets, this quirky florist knows how to work their assets to their advantage. Achillea’s website gallery and Instagram feed captures the creative heart of brides-to-be and design friends alike.
Top tip: Get creative.
Your marketing photography doesn’t need to feature generic images of your products, it’s a great opportunity to showcase your personality to your audience. Achillea have a quirky vintage style running through the professional gallery shots on their website and the playful shots on their Instagram page. To achieve a similar style, or to experiment with different photographic finishes yourself it really is as easy as downloading different apps on your phone. VSCO is a favourite with professionals, and you can also use the filters over videos for refined finishes that add complementary touches to your brand. Snapseed and Fotor (which uses SLR technology) are two other great apps you can try that also offer easy in-app editing and a range of frames to choose from.
Nubian Skin was one of the break-out internet sensations of the past year, with the strap-line ‘Empowering Women, Embracing our Colour’. The range of nude underwear and hosiery for women with black and brown skin tones provided a much-needed solution but success was also driven by the use of striking imagery.
Top tip: Draft in a professional.
To achieve the stunning shots that took the internet by storm, entrepreneur Ade Hassan drafted in professional photographer Julia Underwood. It’s a worthwhile investment to make as professional shots can be used for press, communications and on social platforms too. There are plenty of resources online to help you find the right photographer for your business, for example Freelance Alliance or People Per Hour.
Bee Berrie is the maestro behind Bee’s Bakery. An ex-microbiologist, she ditched petri dishes for baking trays back in 2012 and now counts Jamie Oliver, Harrods, Topshop and Marc Jacobs as her clients.
Top tip: Be playful, and personable.
Bee’s fun shots across her Etsy, Not on the Highstreet and social pages are brimming with her brand’s tongue in cheek personality. There are shots of her in action, some of her gorgeous creations and lots of happy customers – all great adverts for new clients.
Try our tips below to help with finessing your images:
1) Finding free images
Disclaimer: we actually think you should avoid stock imagery at all costs. Photography (whether it’s for a product shot, your blog or social media page) should be about you, your wares and giving your punters a glimpse into your world. If it’s a case of time, plan ahead and put aside a day to get images that you can reuse in bulk. But, if after that stern word, you still feel the need to, there are a range of websites that offer access to free images – Pixabay, IM Free, Gratisography, and Morgue File all have free stock images ranging from the generic to the downright kitsch.
2) Free software for good snaps and great editing
It’s the 21st century folks. This means your phone isn’t just a camera, it’s a portable studio kit too. If you don’t have access to high-end DSLR cameras, then you can download lighting apps such as Soft Box Pro that can help to improve the quality of your shots. If you do have a camera (even if it’s not a high-tech one), Pocket Light Meter is a great little tool to help you make sure you have the right balance before you get snapping. To help with the refining, try editing tools like Adobe Photoshop Express and Snapseed to get those pictures looking just so.
3) Getting your rights, right.
Disclaimer number two: even if an image is on a website that says it’s free you may not have the rights to use it. So here a few basic rules to help you steer clear of falling into any legal trouble:
- If in doubt, ask – In fact, if it’s not yours, you should definitely ask, just to be on the safe side, as simply attributing an image to someone who hasn’t given you permission won’t necessarily cover you.
- Public domain images are your easiest bet – Morgue files for example, offers these images, which will be free to use. Often they won’t require attribution either, but will specify whether they do.
- Check your usage requirements – …and what you are allowed to do with the image. This page has a brilliant dos and don’ts guide to help you use images correctly.
- Creative commons – This programme helps creators of all sizes secure copyright for their assets, alongside providing a resource for images that are available for use, usually with the proviso of attribution.
Have some great tips for us? Let us know at @O2BusinessUK