Small business owners often neglect the value of good photographs in marketing their goods and services.
When publications or sales agents ask for pictures, many send those produced in-house or by friends. This can actually hurt sales.
Over the years, this newsletter’s editors have put together what they believe are the basic rules for good photos that can help a business best market their goods and services.
These rules include:
- Always have a professionally taken head-and-shoulder picture of the key managers available. These pictures should be taken individually with a white background and the subject(s) should be smiling. Use a professional photographer because they can get the best out of the subject. Poses should be professional and not include products or props.
- Create product shots that are individually staged or in no more than three products to a picture. Again, light the shot so that the labels and products are clearly visible and distinct from the background.
- Have all pictures available in both print and electronic format. The print version should have the names of the people and products typed on the back. The electronic version should have this information clearly stated in the file name.
- If the product or service is used outdoors, take pictures that clearly show their use in a specific situation. Have an individual using the product close to the camera with the environment behind the subject.
- Never send out photos taken during a trade show or other crowd scene, as they tend to obscure the product or service.
- If the company has a celebrity endorser, use pictures that show him or her actually using the product, not just smiling into the camera.
- Have a variety of pictures available that show the product and offer one or two at a time. If the publication asks for a specific shot or situation, have a professional photographer do it. Don’t rely on an in-house shutterbug.
- If you do not have good pictures and cannot get them done in time, do not send poor quality shots. It will only hurt the company’s image.
- Always have the company’s logo ready in an electronic format for use by publications.
- If a photo or logo is requested by an online publication, it should be submitted in JPG or GIF format for the highest quality image.