Presenting a cohesive set of images, consistent with your brand, will give your marketing a really professional polish.
But when you’re just starting out, money can be tight.
Not all photographers will choose to tell you this, but there are simple ways to keep the costs down, and keep control of your budget. In many cases, someone has already taken a picture that will work for you, and you can get hold of it for just a few dollars, or maybe even get it for free!
Yes, that’s right, I offer corporate photography services and I’m telling you how to get pictures for free! I’m not saying you won’t ever need me, or another photographer of your choice; but if you’re smart you can supplement unique professional images of your business with a selection of other high quality photos, known as stock images.
When you’re developing your website, particuarly if you’re doing it yourself, don’t get too hung on up getting the perfect photo. Find an image that says what you want for now and put it up as a placeholder until you’re in a position to give it a bit more attention.
Equally, if you just have a basic site, or you need a few simple images for your social media or blog posts, then perhaps something generic would be all you need to help tell your story. The image below with the stones can be used to convey many things, such as balance, wellness, calm, and as it has that nice clean area on the right, you could also use it as a background for wording and quotes.
So why use a photographer if I can get images for free?
The smart part is knowing when you should employ a photographer and when you can use stock images. When you’re marketing your businesss, you’re trying to make a connection with your customer, and if stock images are all you present, then it can appear impersonal and less than professional.
A simple way to make that personal connection is to have a photo of yourself on your website. If you include headshots of you and your team, then your customer has a face to relate to, and a connection is made. If you have premises, show them, it demonstrates longevity and commitment, and will help people find you if they’re visiting!
Clearly, if you make your own products, you need to have good quality images of your creations. But if you’re a reseller your suppliers will usually provide you with professional photos of their range, so again, there’s a quick win for you.
If you’re a cafe or restaurant, you should show your own table, with your own food and drink, to set the scene and create the desire in your potential customers.
A good photographer will consider your branding and tie all these elements together, to create a professional set of images, unique to your business. Stock images will never replace that personal touch.
So be smart, and if you do choose to supplement with stock photos, read on to part 2 where I’ll explain how to go about sourcing and using stock images, and explain what you need to know about licensing.
(All images in this post were sourced from Pixabay.)