As a child, you may have snapped photos with a box camera or a Polaroid. Perhaps you photographed important moments using your cell phone or mobile device. Most people know what a photograph is and how to take one, but few understand the importance of photography to marketing.
As the old saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Facebook takes that literally in the advertising it allows on its website and app. When you purchase an ad on Facebook for a post you want to boost, the social media platform only allows photos with no text. The post cannot have a long caption either. Essentially, your photo needs to tell the entire story and communicate your product effectively.
How do you come up with a photo that does that?
You rarely do it yourself. You hire a professional photographer.
The Professional Photographer
A pro photographer specializes in more than simply snapping a picture. These professional artists understand lighting, composition, balance, color combinations, color theory, and camera angles. They can effectively communicate your product or service without words.
Professional photographers use high-end equipment such as 35mm cameras and high-resolution digital cameras to capture the images for advertising and other marketing ventures. While some pros experimented with taking photos with their camera phones when digital photography first began, these experts owned the pinnacle of available technology in those phones as well and combined their talents and expertise with that equipment.
Most professional photographers today use cameras crafted by Canon or Nikon. These devices range in cost from about $1,000 to $5,500. They also own a wide array of lenses that attach to the camera. This allows them to take photos at a wide-angle, using a fish-eye effect or at extreme zoom. The lens range in cost from $150 to $1,700.
Beyond the essential camera and lens, professionals also use high-speed film or SD cards for storing the images. Other necessary equipment includes professional lights, backdrops, props, clothing for models, as well as accessories such as purses, shoes, scarves, jewelry, etc. This equipment is stored inside their studio, a roomy office with a large open space that allows them to move around the set they photography. This space includes ample room for lighting, changing gels on the lights, product set up, models to move around on the set, and other staff such as the hairstylist, makeup artist, wardrobe stylist, product stylist, and publicist or marketing staff to do their jobs.
How Photography Communicates
The words of an advertisement may not resonate. The ad viewer may not speak the language in which the ad copy was written. Perhaps you need an ad that communicates in seconds such as a billboard. You would have no time to read a billboard since you pass by it at about 50 to 65 mph.
A photograph requires only seconds to view. At a glance, it communicates emotion, information, details, and an overall message.
You may have an existing product you improved. A photo can quickly communicate the detail of the improvement. A well-composed close-up picture can show that one improvement and feature it. Conversely, when introducing a new product, you can effectively show it in the setting in which it would be used. You can show the product by itself or in use by models representative of your target audience.
Why Most Marketing Uses Digital Photography
Before the advent of digital photography, marketing photos cost even more. All photography used film and at a cost of $ to $20 per roll plus developing costs, which added significantly to the cost of shooting advertising and marketing collateral.
By shooting with digital equipment, the photographer can delete any photos that look bad for any reason. This conserves SD card space and ensures that the only photos available to the photographer for consideration for the advertising or marketing products show the product viably.
In photography, less is more. Showing only the potentially viable shots results in less time spent choosing five or ten photos to edit. Only these select few get shown to the client.
Digital Photography vs. Film Photography in Marketing
Film photography requires editing after development that uses complex chemicals and variations in the development process. Digital photography uses computer software such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom to edit the photos. This editing might include small tweaks to the lighting, such as removal of a tiny shadow, or brightening the sky if the shoot occurred outdoors.
These software programs also require a significant investment. While you can find simplified versions of them for free for Android, iPhone, and Windows devices, the professional versions cost $500 to $1,000. Most professional photographers own more than one of these programs. For example, a pro photographer would own both Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.
If the photographer also shoots video, they will own a separate set of cameras for shooting motion pictures as well as software programs for editing them such as AVID produces. These video cameras and editing software add to their equipment investment and typically cost about $5,000. The video setup also requires items like a truck dolly. This device lets the photographer or videographer mount the camera to the truck for movement forward and backward as well as side-to-side.
Using digital options for shooting still or motion pictures reduces the costs significantly. It also allows the photographer to reduce the time required to shoot and edit the photos.
Digital editing also increases the number of effects available to enhance or alter the photo. Your photographer might shoot the product in front of a green screen, a backdrop that lets the photographer superimpose an image on the backdrop in a realistic manner. This lets you shoot your product in a Florida studio such as our BMP.Studio but use the background of Paris, Milan, or another sophisticated European city. Many feature films use green screenshots to make it look like a monster chases the actors or attacks a city. This method lets the photographer merge fiction with reality.
How Bake More Pies Can Help
At Bake More Pies, we offer a professional studio with both still and motion picture capabilities. Our photographers and videographers on staff can shoot any product concept our marketing team devises. Contact Bake More Pies today to learn more about how professional photography can help you grow your business!