A picture is worth a thousand words. In many ways, that adage has never been truer than it is today. In the age of social media, we are constantly bombarded with images—some carefully curated, others impromptu snapshots. And whether we realize it or not, the photos we take and share can tell a story about who we are and what we value.
The same is true for businesses. The photographs you use on your website, social media, or print marketing materials can say a lot about your company—even if there is no accompanying text. The right photos can convey your brand identity, highlight your products or services, and build trust with your audience.
But how do you ensure your photos say the right things about your business?
Choose the Right Subject
When deciding which photos to use for your business, it’s important to consider the subject. What do you want to highlight? Are you trying to show off a new product? Introduce potential customers to your team? Convey the experience of using your service? Once you’ve decided on the message you want to send, choosing the right photo becomes much easier.
For example, let’s say you run a home-cleaning service, and you’re looking to show potential customers what they can expect when they book an appointment. In this case, candid shots of your team hard at work (but still smiling!) would be ideal. These photos would give potential customers confidence that they’re hiring competent professionals who will do a great job–exactly what they’re looking for when booking a cleaning service.
On the other hand, let’s say you’re trying to promote a new line of luxury skincare products. In this case, close-ups of the product would be most effective in conveying its high quality and luxury appeal.
Hire a Professional Photographer
While anyone with a smartphone can technically take marketing photos, it’s always best to hire a professional photographer when possible. A professional photographer will have the skills and equipment necessary to capture high-quality images that accurately represent your business. They will also be able to provide helpful guidance and feedback throughout the process.
Discuss with them your ideas and the products or service you are providing. For example, if you are promoting a new cosmetics line, you may want the photographer to do a photoshoot with a model wearing the makeup. This will help you get a variety of photos that you can use for marketing purposes.
If you are selling a physical product, hiring a lifestyle photographer to have the product and lifestyle shots (people using it in their everyday lives) is wise. This helps potential customers envision themselves using your product and see how it would fit into their lifestyle.
Think About Composition
Once you’ve decided on the subject matter of your photo, it’s time to start thinking about composition. How should the objects in the photo be arranged? For instance, should they be symmetrical or asymmetrical? Are they centralized or off-center? Use leading lines or keep them straight? All of these choices will affect how viewers perceive the photo—and by extension, how they perceive your business.
Similar to choosing the right subject matter, considering composition will depend on the message you’re trying to send with your photo. A neat arrangement with everything in its place will be ideal if you want to convey professionalism and competence. On the other hand, if you’re going for creative or innovative vibes, an asymmetrical composition with plenty of negative space could be just what you need.
How light hits an object can completely change how it looks–and again, this will affect how viewers perceive the photo and your business. So when choosing or taking photos for your business, pay attention to lighting conditions and take advantage of natural light whenever possible.
Light and shadow can be used deliberately to create emotion in your images. Using lots of light will generally create a happy, optimistic feeling, while using darker tones will typically result in images that feel more moody and introspective. Again, there are no hard-and-fast rules here—it all depends on what feeling you’re hoping to create with your image so people purchase or avail of your products and services.
Paying attention to how you use light and shadow will give you yet another tool for crafting the perfect harmony for your photograph. If you are in the food business, take pictures of your dishes in well-lit areas. This will help make the food look more appetizing and encourage people to visit your restaurant.
Choose the Colors Carefully
The colors you use in your photos will also affect how viewers perceive the image—and by extension, your business. Different colors can create different effects and convey different messages. For example, blue conveys trustworthiness and stability, while yellow is associated with happiness and energy.
Of course, you’ll want to use colors consistent with your brand identity. If your logo is mostly green and blue, then you’ll probably want to stay in that color family for your marketing photos. This will help create a cohesive look for your branding materials. That said, don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors.
Adding a pop of color can make your photos stand out if you usually stick to a muted color palette. Just make sure that the colors you choose support the message you’re trying to convey with your image.
To Wrap it Up
Photos are a powerful tool that businesses can use to their advantage. By carefully selecting both the subject matter and composition of their photos, businesses can send subtle—but effective—messages about their brand identity, values, and more. So next time you choose photos for your website, social media, or marketing materials, keep these tips in mind! You might be surprised at how much impact they can have.