Why should a small business invest in professional photos? I asked myself this question when I arrived in Edmonton a few months ago. This is when I started looking for brands and companies that I wanted to follow and buy from. With the holidays coming, and the popular hashtags such as “shoplocal” or #smallbusinesssaturday”, I thought it was the perfect time to give some tips to my fellow small business owners. And as an Edmonton commercial photographer, and a small business owner, I am in both camps.
So you are a small business, you just started and you think you don’t need any professional photos.
You have a website, an Instagram page and a Facebook page. You are busy doing your thing, working on your products, developing your clientele. But the last thing you want to invest in is photography. Photography is expensive, you don’t have the budget for it, you’d rather put the money in advertising, or Facebook ads. You believe in your products, your restaurant, your shop. You think that your advertising will come from word of mouth after a few months.
I hear you, this is what every small business thinks but let me tell you something: we now live in a visual world. Everything is curated, people only post the best selfies of themselves on social media, everyone wants to see beautiful and clean photos when they access your super fast website on their phone or their tablet. Actually, do you know that most people shop from their phone now? So, think of all the possibilities you are missing because you did not invest in some really good professional photos. Also, don’t forget that word of mouth now starts with social media. Someone talks about that new place they like, their friends go there, take a photo on Instagram, share it with their followers, and so on and on. Remember that your window display is now your social media channels. So, if you have to invest in it as much as you take time arranging products in your window shop.
People will find you on social media, if they like what they see, they will come visit your shop or your website. It’s not the other way around anymore.
A small business should invest in professional photos with no doubt. Because without good visual content, your customers won’t adhere to your brand.
So, here are the reasons why a small business owner should invest in professional photos.
- professionalism: you need professional images taken by a professional photographers because they have the gear to make your products look legit and professional. Did I say “professional”? The issue with pictures that you take yourself is that it looks “amateur” and you don’t want your clients to think you are an “amateur” or not a serious business.
- consistency: you need images, visuals which are consistent. This means that your images are a reflection of your brand, your logo, your style. Everything has to be consistent. You can not post a blurry picture one day, and then a professional picture the other day. Your customers will get lost. Be consistent.
- time saving: your photographer will deliver a finished products, he/she will give you images that are ready to post. When you are a business owner, the time that you save focusing on what you are supposed to do and not doing something else is very important. You are not a photographer, so why would you spend all these hours trying to take pictures of your products/shop/restaurant? Unless you are a passionate photographer and this is your hobby, there is no point wasting your time with that.
- organization: sure it takes time to organize a photoshoot, but after the photoshoot, all you have to do is pick one picture from all the images which were delivered and post on social media.
And if you are still hesitant, here are a few more of the advantages of taking professional photos for your small business:
- you will have lots of pictures that will last a few months: no need to organize a photoshoot every week, just plan a big photoshoot and you will have images for your social media channels for a few weeks
- you will have beautiful edited pictures of your products, shop, brand, restaurant…
- no more time spent trying to understand how to use that fancy complicated camera you got for your birthday, who got time for that? Well, a professional photographer has time for that because it’s his/her job!!!! Don’t try to be Superman or Superwoman trying to do everything and anything in your business.
- your customers will appreciate the effort you put in developing your brand and sharing these images with them. Have you seen the Instagram of big companies like J Crew or Gap? The images used are always impeccable. And yes, photography is accessible to every type of businesses. Just reach out to your local photographer!
If you need some help with Instagram, I have a special course for you. Check it out here!