Making the Best First Impression with the Right Photos

Have you thought about using stock photography? There’s a big range of images out there for generic corporate photography, food photography and other images that help set the mood for what you are trying to communicate with your business. However, this doesn’t come without its risks as you can see in the image below.

How to create the best first impression with good photography

Now, it’s a bit of an exaggerated example, but stock photography often has a certain look to it and it can stand out like a sore thumb when you’re trying to make your business become head and shoulders above the rest.

Here are 5 things to look out for when considering photography for your business.

  1. Do you want to look like your competitors?

Have you had a leaflet through your door about a new care home opening in your area? If so, you’ll no doubt have seen photography of smiling elderly couples. But what happens when you see the exact same photograph of an elderly couple on another leaflet for a completely different company? Surely the same couple can’t be living in both places!?

If you want to stand out from your competitors, have photography that takes place with your customers and staff. This way you avoid people asking to talk to the happy couple (who might actually live in America, and their real names are Hank and Mavis!), or start asking questions about if they can see the non-existent location where the photo was taken!

2) Meet the real team

In particularly customer facing industries where building trust is essential, being able to see the team before paying them a visit can make a big difference. Depending on your business an approachable and professional appearance helps set the right tone… Or maybe you want an imposing corporate headshot if you work in security!

Below you can see how having your staff visible on your website with corporate headshot photography makes a huge difference and builds trust in your brand. As the team grows, it’s important to keep having regular headshot photography sessions to update your roster – the temptation may be to grab your smartphone and grab a quick snap but consistency is key! People want to know your service is consistent so don’t let them think otherwise with your staff headshots!

3) Make your business authentic

In the same way that you want everyone to recognise your staff, if customers or clients are coming to your location, they will be confused if you use a stock image of a location in New York city.

When you’ve got a business you want to shout about, fill it with people and bring it to life. This way when someone walks in it will already be familiar with what it looks like, they will already know what to expect and you can communicate the quality of the work you do or service you provide.

Below is an example where event photography can also be used to show off a location, it’s from the opening of Wycombe Heights’ new driving range. You can see it in action, see that everyone is welcome and get an idea of the Top Tracer technology that helps to improve your golf game!

4) In House doesn’t always mean good quality

Product photography isn’t something that can be solved using stock photography alone, and when the photograph is being taken by someone who is not an expert in the field it can cause more problems. Some companies will take photographs of the products they sell, but this can lead to a huge amount of variation in how a product appears online. If you are selling a product you’ve got enough to compete with (e.g. price, customer reviews, etc.) without having to worry about low quality images that may put off a customer from clicking through to your website.

Here is an example, there are 3 things highlighted here that are distracting with this image:

  1. You can see the actual lights used to illuminate the object with unpleasant ‘hot spots’
  2. The ceiling and a cable/stand is visible at the top of the bottle
  3. A ‘drop-shadow’ has been added in photoshop that does not actually reflect where a shadow should even be

Product photography takes careful set-up and consideration for each product. When this is done in-house that process might be sped up and a simple ‘rinse and repeat’ approach can cause issues (especially when it comes to reflective objects).

Hiring a professional photographer for your products makes them stand out and can give them the clarity and character that makes someone click that buy button.

5) Show off your best self

How much time have you spent on LinkedIn? Regular users will have seen their fair share of holiday snaps or other photos that don’t quite give off a professional first impression. Perhaps you had a great time taking in the culture of your favorite city, have taken a fun holiday snap and it will get people’s attention. Take a look at the comparison below and see which image puts across the more professional first impression.

Now, the Prague beer museum is a place where you can absorb some ‘culture’ and have a bit of fun, but it’s not the right place for your professional headshot (unless you’re a brewer perhaps!). Whether it’s a plain background or set in the location where you work, getting a professional photographer to capture the image makes a huge difference and creates that crucial first and lasting impression.

So in summary, look out for images that will make you blend in with your competitors. Give your business a more personal touch and let people see what you do, where you do it and the people who make it happen.

Nick Bright of Photos by Bright has a wealth of experience capturing the profile of businesses to showcase what makes them tick and to help tell their story. If you are looking to stand out with stunning photography get in touch with him.

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