Choosing a Commercial photographer: Things to consider.
- Need some commercial photography but not sure where to start?
- Is no image is better than the wrong image?
- Don’t trick yourself into thinking that any image will do, cheap images will cost you a fortune in the long run and the worst part is, you probably won’t even know it.
Choosing a Commercial Photographer
There is a lot to consider when it comes to choosing a commercial photographer, with so many to choose from these days, how do you narrow down your search? Recommendations are always handy but there are plenty of things to consider before making that choice. Here are a few tips to help you select the right commercial photographer:
Commercial images are images that make you money. Quality images on your website, promotional literature and advertisements that display your products and services to potential customers in the best possible light. Choosing a Commercial photographer is an important task.
Prospective clients will look at your companies images and make a judgment within seconds, isn’t that what you do, straight away, you form an opinion and then look for more information (logos, design, paper quality, load time, written content etc.) to confirm or disprove your opinion. All these components add up but the images are first by far and they set the stage for everything else.
In my opinion no image is better than the wrong image because people then have to look further for their first impression (if they can be bothered that is).
An eye-tracking survey found that “big feel-good images that are purely decorative” are mostly ignored online, while stock photos or generic people images are also intentionally disregarded. In contrast, when users know that a picture of a person is real they will engage with the image for extended periods of time.
The study becomes extremely interesting when its findings are applied to products. Read the study here (Source)
An experienced, creative commercial photographer can do wonders for your business and will ensure your company has the best images to enhance your brand and increase your sales.
Firstly, make sure you get a Professional Photographer!
Seriously, it seems every man and their dog is a photographer these days, everyone seems to have a family member or friend who has a fancy camera, I even had clients tell me they had a high school student carry out commercial photography for them because he had a good camera? They soon found out choosing a Commercial photographer is more than a fancy camera.
Get a Professional “Commercial” Photographer
Lots of Wedding and Portrait Photographers have Commercial Photography listed on their web sites, some Commercial Photographers do family portraits, not many I know or can find on the web do weddings. You can tell, just by looking at what’s emphasised on their web site what their main business is. Does it make a difference? I think so..
I did 45 weddings a year for the first 10 years of my photographic career (+ 200 portrait sittings every year). For the past 15 years I have focused on commercial photography so I think I am qualified to comment. Commercial photography is a totally different process, the planning, the organising of assistants, stylists, talent and scouting locations. The equipment we use is different, we use lots of lighting most of the time and we always have complete control. We shoot to a brief and it has to be spot on. I loved doing wedding photography it’s truly an art and a talent and I love doing commercial photography but they are a totally different mind sets.
Get the right Professional Commercial Photographer
Experience:The benefit of an experienced professional in any field is peace of mind, would you hire a newbie to do the company tax because they had a flash pen and calculator, I think not. With experience and competence comes relaxation, when I’m relaxed and in control I can think way outside the box and am much more creative. When I’m stressed, well, not so much.
One for the job
Choosing a Commercial photographer that has experience in your field is preffered, just because someone shot a cover for Cleo, doesn’t mean they can shoot a coal miner operating an underground long wall miner or a driving 240 tonne truck. There are lots of different fields in commercial photography and plenty of photographers with experience in each field, why have one who’s inexperienced in your field. Most experienced commercial photographers specialise in more than one area but it’s hard to be great in all of them. Make a list of the ones whose style you like.
Who are their clients
Large companies seem to have the best images don’t you think? Commercial photographers tend to start out with small clients and work up to larger and larger companies as their confidence and abilities grow. You can tell a lot by a photographer’s client list.
Every photographer has a different style, it’s often not something you can pick, often you just like it or you don’t. Look at their portfolio to ensure that you like the images they produce as yours will look similar.
If they don’t have testimonials this day and age you have to wonder why, all you have to do to find testimonials is Google them.
You have your short list, what next?
What’s their turnaround time?
How long from the end of the shoot to the time you have a link to a preview of the image in your inbox?
What usage rights do they include?
This is a big one, some photographers will have the opinion you only need the usage that you need initially so why pay for more, some will feel you should buy more up front as it’s more economical, others will include it in the photographic fee.
What’s their guarantee?
Obviously if it’s planned properly nothing will go wrong, the thing a money back guarantee means is the photographer is confident enough to offer it, confident enough to take on your project, organise it, shoot it and deliver it to your specifications, on time.
How are the images delivered
I am not talking about the postman here. I am talking about camera files, batch corrected jpegs, TIFFs or individually corrected and enhanced master files. Different levels of processing are necessary for different usages and media. If you don’t know what level of processing you need they should be able to advise you.
Important but notice not at the top of the list, remember low cost often comes with lack of experience, confidence or both. If you find someone with experience in your industry, and they can shoots the style you like, can you afford not to hire them? Send them your brief and get a project estimate. Remember, cheap photos can cost you a fortune in the long run.
If you follow this you should have a pretty good chance of being happy with the end results after Choosing a Commercial photographer, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to comment or drop me an email.