Merchant Advance Blog

Blog Article: Small Business Photo Tips

Someone far wiser than me once made a very convincing point about the worth of a picture.

It’s true: whether displayed on your website, social media portals, online review indices, in advertisements, or anywhere else you hope to attract the attention of customers, a great photograph can make a difference when it comes to representing the best possible public image of your business. One survey reported that 60% of consumers were more likely to contact or consider buying from a business whose website had images. Conversely, a sketchy-looking snap might deter interest or cast you in a less-than-favourable light.

Read on to learn some great ideas and business photo tips that will help you show off your business like a pro.

 

Stabilize and Level Out

Whether you’re taking photos of your storefront, your products, or even portraits of your employees, use of a tripod can make an impact on image quality by reducing camera shake, allowing you to set up and hold a perfectly straight or ideally positioned shot, or even let you be in two places at once and trigger the camera remotely. You needn’t invest in a heavy-duty or expensively feature-laden model unless you plan to be using it a great deal for other photographic work, but look for one with an adjustable ball-type head, a built in level (key to making sure your storefront doesn’t look weirdly askew in the final shot!) and legs that lock securely. As a corollary to this suggestion: almost every digital camera on the market these days comes with a built in digital level function. Once you’ve got your tripod level with the ground, make sure you check this indicator as well! If you’re shooting freehand, it can also be an invaluable tool for lining a photo up just right.

 

Save Space to Save Time

Digital camera manufacturers love to push the pixel envelope. Remember when just a couple of Megapixels, enough to print a 5×7, perhaps, was considered mind-blowing quality? The market is currently saturated with camera upon camera boasting resolution in the tens of millions of pixels or even more in the hopes of drawing market share with an appeal to ever-greater quality. This can indeed offer some great creative flexibility, allowing for image capture that looks great when printing out even at large sizes. However, high-resolution images have a big caveat: equally big file sizes. We would advise starting by taking photos in the best quality setting that your camera offers. Once you’ve downloaded them off the card, consider where they might end up – most likely, on your website! On the web, large or uncompressed photos will bog down your site’s loading time – this is a big turn-off that puts up obstacles in front of a important connection that needs to be made between your business and its customers.  Use your image-editing software of choice (iPhoto, Aperture, Lightroom, Photoshop, etc…) and “Save For Web” at a reduced size and/or quality. Make sure to use the JPG format as well -its built-in compression can reduce the file size of your images by a great deal without a noticeable drop in quality.

 

Create New Perspectives

The beauty of photography is that it can show us familiar things in unfamiliar or interesting ways. Use this principle to your advantage when it comes to creating innovative and eye-catching photographs of your business. A photo of your storefront is a great idea – but try aiming your focus at individual products or shelves, placing your shot from exaggerated angles (low or high), or even taking the perspective of what a customer might experience when they visit your business. Don’t rely too heavily on tightly cropped images – make sure to let some space breathe at the edges of your subject. One good reason to go in for a closer look is to feature people – make the expression of the face and especially the eyes a key focal point. Still, keep enough space around the subject to avoid the feeling that they loom out of the frame. For photos of people (such as official portraits) either keep the surroundings and background fairly plain and unadorned (so as to draw attention to the subject) or try to situate them creatively in a setting that supports their role in the business.

 

If In Doubt, Go Pro

If your house has sprung a dripping faucet, you can probably take charge and fix it yourself. If the basement’s flooded, you probably ought to call a plumber. So too for photography: if it’s absolutely mission critical that your audience be captivated by high quality photos, look around at the many options available as far as hiring a professional photographer. The benefit to doing so comes not only from access to equipment, but also their accrued experience and sharply honed eye for composition, posing, selection and lighting. In doing so, you would likely be helping to support a fellow small, solely operated or otherwise independent business.

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