Picture is worth a thousand words

editorial image

When potential customers look at your company website, advert, brochure or banner, usually the first thing their eyes are drawn to is an image.

Those first seconds are crucial – they will create an instant impression of your company.

Strong creative photography can promote a confident and distinctive image of brand quality. Conversely, poor quality images can deliver a negative and potentially damaging impact to clients, even on a subliminal level. So it’s vital that you get your corporate photography right, whether in promoting products and services, or developing your company’s identity. It’s not just a powerful marketing tool – your business success depends on it.

But these days, we are all inclined to have a go at our own photography, whether it is to document our family and social lives, or try a bit of close up wildlife or landscape photography on the weekends. So why should a business go to the expense of commissioning a professional photographer?

Sadly, not everybody is a budding David Bailey or Ansel Adams. No matter how good your camera is, if you don’t know how to use it properly and have an untrained eye, you could still take a photo of Scarlett Johansson and make her look like Hilda Ogden.

Well, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but time and again designers and marketing companies complain of clients supplying them with amateur low-resolution images that a keen employee has taken with his own SLR.

Whether product shots for an online retailer or images at corporate events such as trade shows, annual meetings and conferences – quality corporate photography is not an easy task. It requires highly specialised skills, experience and professionalism – from complex studio lighting situations to dealing with crowds of people in fluid environments such as large conferences or publicity events, where there are no retakes and important photo opportunities may be lost forever. Well-executed, creative photography is a talent requiring years of training and experience.

Another common route that many businesses follow is the use of cheap stock images from online photo banks, which are easy to spot and often clichéd, as they are used time and again by hundreds of other companies.

By commissioning your own company images, you set yourself apart from the competition. It defines your brand with a distinctive and bold look – exclusive to your company. The images can be reused across different media, and the investment will repay itself many times over.

So when choosing a photographer, pick someone who has the necessary experience, is familiar with the corporate environment, has the technical know-how of light settings for different types of events and studio setups and, most importantly, ask to see recent examples of the photographer’s work.

For more on professional photographers and other professional creative services based in the Scottish Borders, visit www. borderscreative.com.

Alex Aikman Smith is a director of Borders Creative