When is stock photography a good idea for small business? Maybe on a temporary basis if you’re working from a home office and don’t have a team in place, in which case all you may need is a headshot. But a key part of successful branding is promoting what sets you apart. If you’re a small business looking to grow, what you’re really selling is YOU and your team. And we can help.
When you’re knocking on the door at IBM you don’t expect to meet the CEO, but if you’re interested in a more personal business relationship –say you’re looking for a local printing company or bakery — don’t you want to see their working environment on their website? Every small business needs to make that personal connection with their clients and images are key. And the smart people at Entrepreneur.com agree with me.
Lots of BIG businesses spend a lot of money trying to look like small businesses, just to give people the feeling that they’re dealing with a neighbor and not a big, impersonal corporation. Showing your people serving your community builds a sense of trust and encourages those all-important personal referrals that every young business needs –and the cost might be less than you expect.
Combining a few headshots created on site, with some workplace action shots will make you look like a professionally run organization with some big business smarts. Call our studio for a quote and find out how we can help. 972-250-2415
Often hiring a headshot photographer falls to a team member who has never hired a photographer before and may not know what questions to ask. Where to begin? Here’s a list of questions to start the conversation.
- Can you send me a sample?
Photographers should have a variety of samples they can attach to an email to demonstrate a certain type of lighting or background color. Directing you to a website is not the same thing. You need a sample image you can inspect, or that can be circulated to the people making the decisions about the work. Need a few shots of the products you sell? Not all photographers know how to shoot products. The same goes for event photos vs. portraits vs. sports — many of us specialize, so be sure to ask.
- What type of equipment do you use?
Not that everyone needs to know which camera does what — but your photographer should have a quick fluid answer re: cameras, lenses and lighting equipment. It should be written into the quote. And yes, you need a written quote. Nobody wants to think about this, but make sure that your photographer has back-up equipment and liability insurance in case things go wrong.
- How long do you keep images on file?
Again, make sure you hire them for what you really need. If you only need two headshots and you’re never going to need more, then file storage is really not an issue. We store images for a period of months and always check with our clients before deleting them. Also ask who chooses the images — do you need an online gallery (most executives want a selection so they can choose their photos) or does the photographer choose?
- Is digital re-touching included ?
This is a big one, because not every photographer puts a lot of time and effort in to the finished product. The cheap shoot-and-burn guys may just be cropping them and sending them over. You want someone who touches up skin and hair at the very least. For many of our clients we can easily skim off a few pounds (and a few years!) during the editing process. If your team is aging or unattractive? You need a photographer with good skills in this area.
- What are your studio hours?
There are a lot of part-time photographers. Do you need a quick answer? Does your group tend to move their dates around a lot? Sometimes for budgetary reasons, a part time photographer may be all you can afford. Just be very specific about deliverables and make sure your emails get prompt replies.
View our portfolio at our website: here or call the studio at 972-250-2415
Your headshot is your virtual handshake — don’t shortchange yourself
Join us as we explore new concepts and ideas for business photography for 2017. We understand our corporate clients and also small business owners and entrepreneurs. Their photography needs vary with their marketing and communications needs. We work hard for our clients.
It may start with a mission to upgrade their personal branding — like a simple business headshot. But often our clients our clients are members of a new team or new leadership for the entire corporation. There is so much we can do to get you and your business front and center.
We’ve spent years studying all the components of a compelling business portrait. As a small business, why settle for a simple ID photo when you can sell yourself ? And as a corporate HR or Communications specialist, doesn’t you group need consistency and a professional touch? Wouldn’t you enjoy having your people coached and presented properly? Call us and let’s talk about it!