The Importance of Using Professional Photography to Represent your Business

Always, always use professional photography (stock photos are allowed too).

To illustrate my point, I am going to use a subject that everyone can relate to (and one of my favorite): food photography. We’ve all seen it, the menu you open up to find hundreds of poorly lit, fuzzy pictures meant to entice you, when they in fact make you question the reason you walked through the door. Or the photos taped to the window in an attempt to inform the customer of a new and exciting deal or dish, which is printed on a piece of white paper, fresh off the inkjet printer in the back office, and seems to be running out of Cyan. These are the desperate attempts of the business owner who frantically snaps a photo in the heat of the moment. Trying to save money and time or gain business as fast as possible has huge downfalls: it looks bad on you; it’s obvious that it wasn’t planned and it’s the cheapest option. Low quality photos translate to low quality ingredients. I don’t expect value from these places; therefore I don’t want to pay more than $5 for an entrée.

Take McDonald’s as a good example. Obviously it’s fast food, it’s fried, it’s unhealthy, and most of the time I regret eating it afterwards. But when I’m driving down the road and see a truck with a hot, steamy, juicy, very well lit and styled hamburger, my mouth waters. The visually stimulating, thoughtful pops of color, and every ingredient shown in a flattering way makes it acceptable to me to pay upwards of $8 for fast food, even crave it from time to time. Because I have seen a beautiful photograph, I will pay for that product. (View an informative video of McDonald’s food styling process here).

This same idea is true when it comes to your business. Whatever product or service you sell, think about how you are coming across to your customers. If you look cheap, expect people to start with letting out a sigh and asking, “how much?” If you communicate quality you will attract customers who value quality and will be willing to pay for it. After all, you’re worth it!

Am I saying that you need to pay thousands of dollars to style a hamburger? No. I am saying that a photograph can help or hurt you. Take a simple step by investing in professional quality photos. Hire a local photographer who can display your product in the best way possible, or purchase a few stock photos with a positive message. After that first wonderful impression, customers will be more intrigued to know your story, browse your products and make that purchase. You spend your precious time, money, blood, sweat and tears on your business. Show it.

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