As marketers, it’s important to have multiple skillsets that help you stand out. One of my favorite things to do is to take photos, and it’s come in very handy for creating unique, connective marketing campaigns. Taking original photos adds truth and meaning to your work. Stock photos can be nice in a pinch but if you can develop your own set of stock photos for your clients, the authenticity will shine through and people will notice, making it that much easier to stand out (for all the right reasons).
Plus, you can use them to run a multi-channel campaign, spreading the photos through printed publications, to your website, to your newsletter, to social media, keeping the look consistent.
If you’re like me and you enjoy amateur photography, here are five quick tips to help you successfully start to capture original images for you and your clients.
5 Tips for Photos
· Get to know your subject(s) – when you schedule a photoshoot get to know the people you are photographing. You can do this ahead of time via email, chat, a phone call, or even an online survey. Learn who they are, what their personal interests are, if they’ve been in photoshoots before, what makes them laugh and smile…etc. The more you know about them, the more at ease you both will be during the shoot. Make it fun! It’s easier to direct people who are feeling comfortable and can tell you if something feels too staged. You can also incorporate some of their interests or bring something that will make them smile so that you’ll get more authentic laughs and smiles.
· Understand the story you’re telling – this sounds pretty obvious but be sure to be well versed in the purpose behind your shoot. Even if you are getting stock photos for the client or organization, know the purpose behind the brand. Capture that attitude, lifestyle, or experience. If it’s for a specific campaign, know the story inside and out that you are telling and come up with a list of shots you MUST get and a list of shots you’d like to get. Have a plan or the shoot can get a little too chaotic.
· Frame your subject purposefully – make sure you leave space for copy or branding. Many times, you’ll want to be sure to not only frame the subject in a way that is interesting to look at (not directly in the center with a bunch of open space all around them) but to frame it so that you can have a bit of copy to one side or the other, or to add a logo to the frame without covering up the story you are trying to tell. Framing can make a huge difference in the perception of your photo and ad.
· Depth – add dimension to your shot. If you’re shooting with a product, play around with placement. Try some shots with the placement of the product out in front, in the hand or on the person of a model, or in the background. Get lots of options to choose from but don’t take all the photos with the product in one spot. Variety is the spice of life and you should be sure to offer your company or client a lot of choices. Different depth works great for different purposes.
· Interest – details are everything. My best advice is to start big and then go small. Know what the overall look and feel should be then plan out the location, the wardrobe for the models, the hair, the makeup, the accessories down to the jewelry, nail polish, and belt buckles. Add things like animals, sunglasses, home goods, umbrellas, furniture, snacks…anything that might help you tell the story. BUT! Don’t add detail just to add detail – make sure it makes sense and adds to your story. It can be just as powerful to deliberately keep the shot simple and clean. When a few extra details are helpful to telling your story, it can add realism to your photo and help people relate.
Practice makes perfect – get out there, bring your camera, shoot and edit as often as possible. The more you experiment, the better you’ll become!
If you’re itching for some more photography tips, you can check out my previous post: Photo Basics for Beginner Bloggers. It’s a quick and dirty overview that goes over cameras, lighting, editing and directing.
Bonus tip: I recently discovered GooglePhotos. It’s an app that allows you tons of free space to upload and organize your photos.
Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed. Leave me a comment and let me know if you have questions, I’d love to discuss this further!