Why professional photography matters for businesses

Professional photographer educating young people in the studio.

Creating a distinct and professional visual brand identity is critical to success in today’s digital-first environment, with its focus on social media platforms and image-heavy sites. Add to that the fact that many buyers today are making big purchases just by the photos they see on the web, and it’s easy to see why commercial photography has resurrected in recent years.

Across industries, forward-thinking companies are upping their photography game, starting to take advantage of the increasing quality of stock photos. Meanwhile, ever-evolving cameras and photo editing software mean that brand owners who have the time and interest are well placed to try their hand at taking their own photos.

However, in most cases, investing in professional and personal business images is one that is sure to provide lasting profits in both business growth and customer satisfaction. Here’s how.

Make a great first impression

Whether viewed online or offline, images are often part of a customer’s first interaction with the company. Professional photos help your business make a good impression and can help convert people into customers.

Melissa Grant, independent consultant and former principal at Deloitte, explains that keeping everything about the client is the real goal. “Because everything is media-rich, consumer expectations are quality,” she says. “This means that a high level of quality is also mandatory to be competitive.”

In other words, putting your best foot forward with something like an eye-catching photo isn’t just about what it takes to attract potential customers. In today’s market, it comes down to clearing the top bar required to hold it. “You want to identify with your audience in a way that motivates them with the same message you’re trying to deliver with your brand,” says Grant.

sale experience

No matter what your business sells, images present your products and services in a way that words cannot.

In a business environment, commercial photography allows you to indicate attention to detail, level of flair, and professionalism – elements that amateur or low-quality photography quickly gives up.

And when it comes to considering whether or not to make a purchase, customers need these items to help make their decision. Being able to zoom in and see product details, for example, is one way a customer can skip browsing and click “add to cart”.

On the other hand, low-quality photos can mean that all the meticulous handcrafted pillow stitching or painstaking detail in your painting degrades into blurry pixels upon a closer look, reducing the value of your product and costing you lost sales opportunities.

Build your brand

Creating a business is not just about selling a service or product to customers. It is about building a brand identity that is able to develop and maintain relationships with its target audience.

Factors in creating a brand include well-made elements such as your mission statement, name, tagline, slogan, clear identification of your products as well as your target audience of customers. The goal: to create a brand that the audience will recognize anywhere.

However, this only works when presenting consistent visual elements and patterns to people across digital and print devices. By working with a professional photographer who can help build your brand’s style and mood, you’re not just building a portfolio of branded images that are sure to leave good impressions and improve the customer experience. You are also taking an important step towards maintaining your brand identity. Relying heavily on amateur photos, in turn, you risk exposing an incoherent visual brand story.

Step into a digital world

Once upon a time, a customer had to get in his car and drive to your store and see the cashier in order to make a purchase. Now all that stands between the potential customer and the end result is a few clicks of a button. Unfortunately, the same applies to the growing list of competitors.

To stand out in today’s crowded market, your digital marketing strategy has to be as diverse as it is data-driven. Email campaigns, smart search engine optimization, blog affiliate relationships, ads, and active social media accounts are all essential tools for connecting and converting customers. They are also all very visual.

This is especially true of social media, perhaps the best and most cost-effective way for you to develop closer relationships with customers and reach more members of your target audience. This is the good news. The bad news is that social media is voracious, and requires a constant flow of new visual content. Here again, having a deep set of professional, branded images is critical to keeping up with customers’ expectations without compromising your branding authority.

Be the jack of all professions

Look at ways to use digital and print tools to boost your business growth and improve your profits.

Maintaining your website and general digital presence is crucial, even though it takes time. Remember that printing is still a convenient and useful tool for many businesses.

Just like with your online channels, there are countless ways commercial photography can provide your brand with a robust and reliable print platform. Your customers expect that you will include high-quality images in brochures. You can also create well-designed catalogs where commercial images highlight your products and services. Plus, print ads still appear in our mailboxes and on store counters all over the world.

Express Yourself

Your business is not just a product or service provider. It is also a living entity with a unique personality.

Creating opportunities for customers to see your brand as something more than utilitarian makes them feel part of an experience, even a community, and that makes them come back for more — perhaps with their friends. Whether you want to create your own images or are convinced that hiring a commercial photographer is the way to go, give your business the upper hand with the images that make up your brand to success.

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