Pennie Withers, professional photographer at Photos by Pennie, answers the question ‘How do you get great website images for your business?’
‘If you are marketing your client’s business or your own business, it’s more than likely that at some point, you will need to use photographs to tell the ‘business story’. You might be needing website images, photos for social media or both.
Obviously you can use stock images, but remember that these can be used by any of your competitors and also do not differentiate your business from any others.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you will need your own set of custom photos. But don’t be scared……this doesn’t always mean a mega bucks budget. Having a photo shoot tailored to the business you are working on will set you up with a library of photos that you can use all the way across the marketing mix.
But……if you are looking to get some marketing images for either your client or your business, there is one CRUCIAL thing that you must do….and that is to prepare a detailed brief for the photographer. The best briefs enable your photographer to understand the brand and your target markets. It will also detail how/where the photographs are going to be used and clearly state budget too.
Here are some tips as to what you should include in your photography brief to get really effective website images for your business:
Tip 1: Outline clear goals – what are the objectives of the shoot. What do you need photos for and when do you need them. This is an overview of what you are looking to achieve.
Tip 2: Assume the photographer knows nothing about your business – give some background to the business – what products/services do you offer? Who is your target market? Do you have any branding guidelines? What photos have worked for you in the past – or (just as important) what photos have not worked?
Tip 3: Where are the images going to be used? It’s important your photographer knows where the final image(s) will end up so they can shoot in the correct format and resolution. Does the photographer need to consider a specific website design? If so, it maybe helpful for them to discuss any technical requirements with the web designer. Eg: shape/orientation of photos. Or, if the images are going to be used on Instagram, the photographer will need to consider a square format.
Also, check if your images with be provided with any usage limitations? Does the cost vary according to where you will use them? Or are they provided with a full and unrestricted licence?
Tip 4: Photoshoot Location: do you have a location in mind for the photo shoot? Also, will models be required? Or will employees be involved. Are there any health and safety issues to consider?
Tip 5: Agree a delivery date, format and method of delivery. Some photographers will book more than one shoot in a day, so if you need the images quickly, it is advisable to let the photographer know so they can build in the necessary editing time. Do the images need to be supplied in a specific format? Also, let the photographer know if you need the final images delivered in a particular way – eg: via gallery link/Dropbox/Wetransfer or USB stick?
Tip 6: Budget – always discuss this early on so that both you and the photographer can gauge how long the photoshoot will take.
Hopefully these tips are helpful in enabling you to put together a detailed brief for your commercial photographer.
With a bit of preparation and advance planning you will end up with well commissioned photography that helps your business stand out from the crowd.’