Professional Photographer For Your Business

In today’s world, everyone and their grandfather have a digital camera and with this prevalence of amateur photographers you may be wondering, “Why would I bother paying a professional money for something I could do myself?”. That’s a very valid question…

I probably know better than most people what a great professional image can do for receiving all these important phone calls. I see many new companies making the mistake of saving a few pounds on overall branding and the appearance of their business. Your business is made from the ads that you take out or the brochures that people pick up and that’s how you get new customers, new businesses. You have to persuade someone who has never met you before to stop, look and make a note to come and see all of you from a folded piece of A4 paper. The amateur photographs are out a mile away and because they look like the photographs of everyone else are easily ignored.

A large photograph at the front of your brochure/advert/poster will grab the attention and interest of the person, holding it for a long time to encourage them to read more and actually observe what you are selling.

We are constantly bombarded with advertising messages and with this over saturation we simply switch off. A good businesswoman knows that you need to change potential customers back; just getting them to notice is a huge step towards a sale. If you can make an impact in two seconds you are 75% of the way there.

We’re visual. We see colors first, patterns second and third, content. If something we see arouses our interest or attracts our emotions, it’s our natural instinct to check… we’re a very curious species.

Using this knowledge, professional photographers create very emotional images with visual impact that will capture and maintain the attention of their subjects for more than a second. It takes years to learn how to organize and compose a well-lit photograph, full of emotion of the most mundane objects; professional photographers have spent thousands learning their art with the best and also have the best equipment needed for any particular type of work.

Accurate ratios, visual impact, leadership lines, sharpness, color contrast, dark/light field, emotional content, lighting ratios, zone markers, depth of field and much more are passing through the mind of a professional photographer during a photo session. A professional photographer will consider everything subconsciously and get exactly what his client is looking for.

Before hiring a professional photographer you need to ask yourself, “What should my business make others feel?” is nostalgia, excitement, uniqueness? Finding your overall ‘feel’ is important because you need to match the images and text of your advertising and marketing materials to create your company’s brand.

Then you need to prepare your budget, the cash flow is important. As a new business you need to keep track of what you are spending and work within that budget. If you find a photographer who is perfect for you but is out of your price range, write them down for future reference and find someone cheaper. Asking for a discount can give you a cheaper price, but it’s rude, wouldn’t you like to be asked for a discount now, would you?

You may be able to negotiate or swap with a photographer on the cost side; this is not rude. However, be prepared for a “no” and accept it gracefully.

If the photographer you really want is unavailable (either totally reserved or very expensive), then ask them for recommendations, she may know others who are cheaper or who have the style you are going for. Remember that you get what you pay to hire the best photographer you can afford, do not go for the cheapest you can find.

The payment for photographers is in advance.

If you don’t pay when you say you will, then your photographer may refuse to take the photographs until the payment is made in full, this is the standard policy. They are running a business as well and need money to operate. Professional photographers rarely accept cash after the completion of the photo shoot.

Be aware that photographers who take the payment after the photo shoot are not bound by law to give you the photos until they are paid, this means that you may end up waiting a very long time for the photos or even never receive them at all.

Your photographer should ask you for the name and contact details of your printers, this is to ensure that everything goes as well as possible and that the photos will be printed in the right size and with the right colors.

A pre-shooting consultation with your photographer is a must. You both need to talk about the kind of images you need and also to organize a time and place to make them. During the consultation you can ask as many questions as you like and be prepared to answer some of yourself! Gather all the past marketing materials you have and try to find some portraits of the styles you like. If you have a proof of layout of your printers, show that to the photographer as well, they need to know if they should take pictures landscape or portrait format. If you don’t have a proof of layout, then ask the photographer to take both portrait and landscape format images, they should do it anyway, but always ask, just in case.

On the day of shooting try to get everything ready before the photographer arrives, if you are running a hotel, then make sure you have cleaned up and tidied up everything that will be photographed. Do not trust the photographer to see that dirty glass on the window sill. Make sure he’s gone before she gets there.

If you are selling products, then choosing the best of the group, clean and tidy is the way to go here. Just allow the photos to be from your best stock!

Professional photography takes time.

Product shots take most of the time, allow at least a full 8-hour day for this and have a checklist ready to make sure that nothing is missing. Portraits and photos shouldn’t take more than half a day, although that depends on how many people are to be photographed. Allow an hour’s time to assemble and disassemble.

Architectural photos can take up to a day and a professional photographer will take his or her time. Inside, room photos have to be lit with separate lights; these take most of the time to adjust up and test.

She may also have to wait for a decent light for external/exterior photographs that may even mean she has to come back another day. Ask your photographer about this, she will let you know how she works.

After the photographer has finished, she will tell you how long to wait before you see her proofs/images of contact. A professional will only show you post-processed images, so wait up to four weeks to see them. If you are in a hurry to make them, you can request an emergency service. This will cost more, so expect to be charged about half of what you initially paid for again. An emergency service means that you will receive your evidence/contact images within two weeks. I would recommend that you reserve your photo for at least three months before the publication date. This means that you are not paying extra for an emergency service and you have enough time to look at and request any changes to your photos.