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10 Ways To Use Photography For Your Business

March 23, 2021.
Close up photo of a camera which has taken a picture of a butterfly

The photos you choose to share say a lot about your brand. Growing your brand’s portfolio of photography for your website and social media can help to improve the perception of your business. For example, if you are using high quality, creative, and brand representative visuals, customers will be more likely to engage with the content than if they are grainy, blurry, or repetitive.

As phone cameras have increased in quality, the ability for anybody to take a professional looking photograph has increased. Images are a pivotal part of your business's brand, and contribute towards the retention of information. In fact, data by MDG Advertising shows that people only remember 10% of information three days after hearing it. However, simply adding an image can improve recollection by 65%.

Today we will be sharing some tips and ideas on how to use photography effectively for your business, both on your website and on social media.

1. Rule of thirds

The rule of thirds is a guideline that applies to various types of visual content including photography, painting, filming, and drawing. It is essentially about dividing up the scene into three even sections both horizontally and vertically. You can select a gridlines option on your camera or phone's settings to help you. The purpose of the rule of thirds is to catch the audience’s attention and draw their eye to the product or subject of the photo. It makes for an aesthetically pleasing composition and helps the purpose of the photo become clearer. There are always exceptions to rules, but the rule of thirds is a good guideline to bear in mind when lining up your shots.

Person taking photo of food using the rule of thirds

2. Get headshots of staff

Taking professional headshots of your staff helps humanise and put a face to your business, rather than just being a company without a personality to go with it. Having headshots will also add a touch of professionalism and authenticity to your business page. They do not need to be over the top - in fact, stripping the photos back to natural lighting and a clean simple background often strikes the most professionalism. Where you can, draw a connection between the photos and your branding, and ensure your staff are dressed appropriately to represent your business. At Mackman, for example, our leadership team headshots are very simple and are taken against a white background but they help to convey our professionalism as well as showing some friendly faces.

3. Be creative with your social posts

Trying to keep social posts exciting and creative may feel like a challenge. But there are easy tricks you can experiment with, whether your subject is a person or a product. You could try to mix up the photo angles where you can. Straight on photos may seem like the easiest option, but angling your photos up or down can be more interesting to look at, especially if you are looking for a modern tone. You can also experiment with your closeness to the subject, various lighting angles, and locations to change up your content.

4. Symmetry is aesthetically pleasing

This is where the rule of thirds can apply, as symmetrical photos are appealing to look at. Naturally, this won’t be applicable to every business, but if you own a venue for instance, symmetry could be very effective. Symmetry shows creativity and attention to detail. By taking symmetrical photos and sharing them with prospective customers, you are showing that you are conscious of precision.

Someone taking a photograph of a symmetrical road using rule of thirds

5. Make the most of natural light sources and reflections

You don’t need to use big expensive light boxes or studio lights to take an effective photograph. In fact, light coloured walls can reflect light back at the subject. This is a good technique particularly if you have a person in your image. By doing this, your images take on a professional quality by having the light reflected back into facial features such as the eyes.

6. Avoid zooming

It can be easy to simply opt for zooming into the subject to get the ideal snap. However, this can sometimes decrease the quality of your photo, so where you can, you should simply crop the image in post-production to avoid your image looking grainy. Ensuring that you have good quality photography for your business will help your brand appear more polished.

7. Make sure the images are clear

There is nothing worse than taking some photos you thought to be perfect, only to realise your images are blurry or not focused correctly. If you are using an auto-focus, make sure your camera or phone has correctly identified the subject before taking the photo. If you are using a manual focus, ensure that you focus in on the subject correctly and take some practice shots.

Photography with camera focusing on pile of stones with blurred background

8. Capture a natural shot

Staged photos offer full control of the shot and how it is structured, which can be perfect for professional firms with a more formal tone of imagery. However, curating every small aspect of a shot runs the risk of taking away an element of spontaneity that can add personality to small businesses and differentiate your imagery from stock imagery. The best way to capture a ‘caught in the moment’ style of photography is to take the photos while the subject is carrying out a relevant task. If you are taking photographs of individuals, this will also allow your subjects some freedom to act in a more authentic way. This can reduce stress, particularly for those people who are camera-shy, and this natural ease will ultimately come through in the final product.

9. Show products or services in use

Relating to the previous point, if your business has a product range, showing your products in use is an informative way of letting your customers see the product as close to in-person as possible. Think of it this way: if you are shopping for clothes online, you would generally prefer to see the clothes you are looking to buy on a model to grasp an idea of how they will look in person. The same principle applies in service orientated businesses, as a picture can convey an impression of the style of service offered, the premises, and can even allow potential clients to visualise themselves in the position of the image's subject in order to create trust in your brand.

10. Think about photo orientation

Lastly, you should consider the orientation of the photo and what its purpose will be. For example, if it is going on an Instagram Story, you will want the image to be taken vertically. However, in almost every other situation, you are likely to want to photo to be taken horizontally. Considering this before you line up your shot will save editing later on.

Summary

Photography not seem like a high priority in the grand scheme of your business, but remember that the visuals are what potential customers will see first. If in doubt, you can always work with a professional. Simply boosting the quality of your photos can help your business get across its messages in a more modern and professional way.

Did you know that we offer bespoke photography as an element of our brand development packages? If you are looking for support with the tone of your photography or brand, please take a look at our Brand Development page or email our customer service team at customerservice@mackman.co.uk for more information.

Bruce Burgoyne

Bruce Burgoyne

Creative Director

Bruce is a multi-disciplinary designer and bridges both brand, print and digital design. With over 20 years’ experience in the creative industries as a practising photographer and former degree lecturer, and over 14 years at Mackman, Bruce has developed the strategic brand identity and brand architecture strategies that are so intrinsic to Mackman’s offering today.

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