The Importance of Photography and Your Brand

Are you suffering from a rare combination of headshot shame with a fear of taking pictures? Oh, you know who you are Mr. iPhone-selfie-webcam-lover.

Hi, I am Sarah, owner of Portraits To The People, a photography business that specializes in not-so-corporate headshots and I’m collaborating on this blog post with the fabulous, Nicole Delger, who helps growing businesses with their branding and marketing. Today, we are here to talk to you about the importance of having fabulous photography on your website and we have some examples to show you as well.

Nicole on why you need great photography to help build your brand:

If you are a small business owner, YOU are the face of your business. And because most of us are incredibly Googleable (sorry to the Smiths of the world), it is important to have a stunning photo (or photos) that reflects who you are as a person, your gorgeous products, or your brand.

You might think that the photo your friend took of you at that bar the other night or the self-portrait you took with your iPhone in the mirror will do a great job as the “about me” photo on your website. And it will…. if you’re promoting a hobby. But, I know you’re not a hobby. You’re smart, talented and looking to build your business and make a name for yourself.

Here’s why this is hard: photography that represents your products clearly and effectively isn’t so easy to pull off on your own. But hiring someone can feel like a big investment among the thousands of other things on your plate. But I believe beyond your website, great photography is the next most important aspect of your brand. I know from experience. My client, artist Todd Sanders, works with neon. Neon is gorgeous in person, but incredibly difficult to shoot. And for my own brand, my company is my name.

But it’s not just about a getting a gorgeous photo. Using a great photographer in all aspects of your business creates consistency in your brand, too. Just like your logo, font, and colors help establish your brand, professional and stylized photos of both you and your product can amplify your brand’s presence.

Sold on why you need it?

Here are Sarah’s expert tips on working with photographers, and how you can get the most out of your photography:

The gift of a great eye, fantastic cameras/lenses, and Photoshop prowess are reserved for a select few. So be savvy when hiring a photographer for your business and make sure you look through their portfolio and see consistency in their work.

Once you land on the right person, you can negotiate usage upfront. Images can then be used beyond the website in press materials, on business cards, and for archival purposes. They can also go to work online – on your website, LinkedIn, Facebook business page, as your Twitter profile, added to business cards, or speaking engagements and press. Heck, I have clients send hard copy prints to their moms & grandmothers!

When is the last time you Googled yourself and checked out the images that are linked to your name? You should be among the top results. I make sure to embed metadata in my client’s images, so that when they are posted online, they will immediately appear in Google. If you post your photo on your site and use that link when you post online – both to your blog or on others – you’re lovely new photos will rise to the top of those search results in no time. Cool, huh?

And I will let you in on a secret, a good professional photographer will make sure to really get to know you before meeting up for the shoot. I send an extensive questionnaire to my clients, so that I can fully understand what they need in terms of photography and get a sense of their personal style. I’ve taken photos of individuals, entire offices, jewelry, products, office spaces and lately I’ve been doing a lot of personalized photos that small companies are using for stock photos on their websites.

My clients are small business owners, dancers, musicians, lawyers, owners of a PR companies, non-profit consultants, therapists, massage therapist, start-up founders – the list goes on and on. But the thing that is consistent? When you’re the face of your business, it’s important to step up how your present yourself to potential customers.

So that’s the cure for your headshot-idis. It’s treatable, and we’re here to help.

Sarah + Nicole