I can’t stress enough the importance of imagery when trying to convey the appeal of a product or service in this age of the internet and web-based advertising. In order to learn about the basics of any business, you should read about the sales leads that are going to give you a fair idea of how well the business is going on and how well they are doing with their sales. Moreover, business owners should learn how they can improve and develop their businesses as well.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again – this is not something a business owner should skimp on, such as trying to do the photography on the cheap by bringing in a friend of the family who is an amateur shutterbug.
Or not much better, leaving the hiring of the photographer up to your local ad agency. An important point to keep in mind that nine out of 10 agencies shop photography for their clients solely on price so as to allow for their own mark-up, and then they’ll want to retain ownership rights to all the images for resale down the road when the client needs to use the photographs again for a print ad or a press release.
The advantages of hiring an independent, professional photographer are too many to count. The one I want to emphasize in this post is the photographer’s unique ability and talent in visually capturing the true “feel” of the client’s business.
A professional photographer is a visual artist who applies the alchemy of the art form, skills of the sensitive observer and technical knowledge of camera and equipment to create photographic images that graphically illustrate the core essence of the subject. What results is something that is often not readily apparent to the casual observer until taken-in through the lens and presented as a finished photograph with the experienced hands and artistic vision of the master.
Hence why someone who is widely considered to be “just a nature photographer” can often be quite successful in creating photographs of commercial subjects (i.e. products, employees and staff, facilities, etc.) that when viewed on a web site or in a printed piece elicit a positive, emotional response from web site visitors and potential customers.
I like to call this my ability to capture the “feel” of a place, or product, business owner, business and so forth. In addition, it probably doesn’t hurt when the “nature photographer” has many years of experience working as a business owner and within other for-profit enterprises and fully understands and appreciates the spirit and drive of the entrepreneur.
A unique combination indeed, but hey, I never said I was like everyone else.
To illustrate the point of this post are several sample images of a location photoshoot I completed last week for the Inn at Cedar Falls, located in Southeastern Ohio. The owners are in the middle of making several, positive changes related to expanding the Inn’s accommodations and facilities and were in need of updated imagery for a soon-to-be-released publicity and marketing campaign.
I know and appreciate the “feel” of the Inn so well not only due to the fact that I’m a frequent guest, but also because I feel as if I’ve become a part of the Inn’s “family.” I pick-up easily on every little detail and how all those items combine to reflect the creative vision and long-term goals of the owners, Ellen and Terry.
I’m not saying it is necessary for me to carefully observe a place of business for several years to be able to visually interpret the unique “feel” through my photographs. What I am saying is that I approach all of my photographic subjects – nature, wildlife, cityscapes, portrait, products, facilities – with the same keen skills of observation, love of the good light and passion for sharing the fruits of my labor for the benefit of others, business owners and lovers of art alike.