The Acquisition of Photography for Your Business

In our previous post we discussed the value of photography. Today we will talk about about how you can acquire quality photography for your business.

If you need images for your business’ use, you can follow one of three avenues:

  1. Take your own snapshot – Do It Yourself
  2. Use a stock photo
  3. Hire a professional photographer to create custom images (which only you will have)

The type of imagery needed and your budget can help determine which is the best course of action, of course, but there are a few considerations to keep in mind as you make decisions for your business.

Snapshots vs Professional Photography

William Morton, IT Manager and Staff Photographer for Camera Ready Cosmetics Studio portrait of photographer William Morton

Hopefully everyone can see a clear difference between the images above. The first image looks more like a dreaded driver’s license photo, or the “Employee of the Month” you sometimes see posted in a grocery store. The second image is clearly a studio portrait showing a person “in their environment,” and illustrates what they do.

The examples below show the view an audience member may get at an event versus what a professional event photographer can capture.

photography from the audience professional event photography by William Morton Visuals

Stock Photography

Many businesses consider stock photography to be an affordable option, as stock photography prices have dropped significantly over the last few years. If you want a generic image of a telephone or a computer, or a random customer service operator, then stock photography may work. However you won’t likely find images of your employees, and it’s even less likely you’ll find images of your management team. Likewise with any public relations events – stock images won’t be of your event, or your people.

Stock photography is also pretty recognizable. It usually features ridiculously good looking models in perfectly pressed clothing, always in solid (and usually bright) colors. For this reason it’s less believable. And recent studies have shown that customers are 1/3 more likely to purchase based on an ad showing a real person rather than a stock model.

Stock photography is, by definition, stock – meaning anyone and everyone has access to use the same images. This can cause confusion, and embarrassment, when the same model shows up in ads for your competition. Don’t think it can happen? Check out this article on Stock Photography from the American Society of Media Photographers. It’s not just the small businesses – even giants like Dell and Gateway can use the same model in the same outfit and the same setting for Back To School ads during the same month. Oops!!

Dell and Gateway use the same stock photography model for competing ads

The girl pictured above is one of the most popular stock models in the world. See just a few examples of how often her image is used in advertising and you can start to see some of the confusion that could arise if your competitor is showing that she “switched to X brand” after your ad had run.

Hire a Professional Photographer

A professional photographer can ensure that you have high quality images customized to your exact needs, and images that only you will have. We have previously shared 10 Reasons to Hire a Professional Photographer, which is a great start. Key points are that a pro will have the experience and the means to ensure that your photo shoot is successful and meets your needs, on time and on budget. The pro knows how to make you look your very best, both photographically and with professional retouching.

The photography portfolios on this site show a variety of photography now available in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, including commercial photography, corporate portraits, and event photography . Another valuable resource that we recommend for photographic talent nationwide as the American Society of Media Photographers’ Find-A-Photographer database. The ASMP site allows you to search by geographic location as well as photographic specialty – and features many of the best professional photographers in the country.

Have any questions? Please feel free to give Morton Visuals a call (toll-free) at 888-239-6213, or email us. We’re happy to help! Have any comments or suggestions? Please feel free to comment here. And of course please feel free to share this article on your social media!

William Morton Slated For Professional Speaker Series

William Morton - Professional Photography Speaker at City CollegeWilliam Morton, owner of William Morton Visuals, has been selected to speak during the third photographers’ Professional Speaker Series at San Diego City College on May 28. William reports that he will be the “opening act” for the renowned Tony Corbell, a very popular speaker in the photography industry.

William will talk about “Color – Getting It Right!” In the world of professional photography, accurate color is a MUST. His discussion will include color calibration of your camera, monitor, and output as well as how to ensure that the color you’re capturing with your digital camera is accurate.

Shooting since his days on the Junior High School yearbook, William has 20 years of professional experience. Currently a local Board member and past-President of the American Society of Media Photographers (San Diego) as well as an Instructor for the Panasonic-sponsored Digital Photo Academy, William has also spent 5 years training portrait and event photographers for a national franchise. William’s current focus is on commercial photography and corporate events.

Internationally recognized Tony Corbell will be the featured speaker at this event. Tony’s presentation is titled “The Power Of Light in The Digital World,” and understanding and controlling light quality is at the core of all of Tony’s presentations. Attendees will learn how to see a unique perspective and not be afraid to push the limits of their experience and talents. Tony has been teaching lighting concepts, theories, and techniques for over twenty years and his week-long workshops on the topic always fill to capacity. In the past couple of years alone, Tony spoke to over 9,000 photographers worldwide on the topic of light control.

For those not familiar with Tony’s pedigree, Tony has photographed three U.S. presidents, 185 World Leaders, 65 Nigerian Heads of State, about 600 brides and grooms, a couple of NASA astronauts and lots of famous and not so famous faces. He has spoken at over 400 seminars and workshops nationally and internationally. He is the recipient of the highest honor from the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International with their Lifetime Achievement Award and achieved the status of Photographic Craftsman from the Professional Photographers of America. In 2005, Tony received the “Photographer of the Year” Award from the International Photographic Council of the United Nations and the PPA National Award from the Professional Photographers of California. Tony was also invited to join the prestigious Camera Craftsmen Of America in 2007, one of only 40 members worldwide. In 2007/08, Tony spoke to over 8,000 photographers in 36 cities including London, Glasgow, Dublin, Toronto, Mexico City, Sydney and many more U.S. cities. 2009 will again be busy with Tony traveling to London, Germany and many other cities discussing lighting and image editing. Tony also say’s he’s the world greatest Beatles fan..

Organized by Tony Amat of AR Event Photography and Thom Hiatt of Twin Bees Consulting, this event will be held in the auditorium of the Career Technology Center at San Diego City College, from 10am-2pm on Saturday, May 28. Lunch is included! Tickets may be purchased from the Twin Bees’ website at http://www.mytwinbees.com/professional-speaker-series/.