Carlos is a realtor out of the North Potomac/Gaithersburg office of RE/MAX. He had been searching for headshot photographers online and had come across some of our blog posts with professional headshots of other realtors, and wanted something similar.
When I asked about his past experiences with professional headshot photographers, he told me that, sadly, his past experiences were mediocre. Five or so years ago, his office had brought in a headshot photographer. The results didn't wow him. They were fine, but this time, he was looking for something more. And so sometime later, we met up at Rockville Town Center in Montgomery County, Maryland and created a personal branding portfolio for him sure to WOW any prospective client!
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Hooooraaaaaay! The 2017 "People Love Us On Yelp" award is out, and our photography studio is an award-winner for the second year running! Nothing warms our heart more than having the honor of creating gorgeous portrait photography of babies, families, couples, and individuals, and having amazing, wonderful clients who are nothing short of ravingly joyous about their experience with our photography studio. Thanks to each and every one of you who took a few moments from your busy schedule to share your thoughts online with others this past year!
A month or two ago, we gave you 9 big reasons to add professional headshots & other commercial photography to your website. So now that you’re convinced of the importance of adding quality photography to your website, you might be wondering what types of images you could possibly add. So here are 6 types of commercial photography to consider.
Every prospective client wants to be able to put a face to the name... to see who they might be working with and who they're going to be depending on to achieve results. Does the person/people look trustworthy? Professional? Skilled? Friendly? The portrait photography you place on your website will speak volumes. Here are three types of portrait photography to place on your website:
Individual headshots of key personnel
Group portraits of all or key personnel
Semi-posed or candid photos of employees in action
What your office looks like – the architectural design, décor & furniture, meeting rooms, and reception area – all convey to the viewer an idea of your company’s professionalism and prosperity. If your office is well-maintained, prospective clients will feel like they’re in the hands of a competent, reputable, skilled company. After all, if your office looks prosperous, you must be good at your job. What your office looks like can also set expectations on fees. A rundown office will attract budget clients; a well-maintained, prosperous-looking office with well-done professional photography on the website will attract high-end clients. With this in mind, place architectural photography of your office on your website to draw in the type of clientele you want.
Whether your office is a standard office vs. a storefront or restaurant, the concept is the same. For a restaurant in particular, you'll also want the photographs to demonstrate ambience, as pictured below.
I don't know about you, but I am a big Pinterest user. I've pinned and repinned thousands of pins since Pinterest came into being not that many years ago. Pinterest happens to be my favorite site to search for (food) recipes, and I've tried cooking many recipes that I discovered on Pinterest. And you know what I found? Through trial & error, I discovered that recipes with professional-looking food photography are, in general, better recipes than the ones with non-professional photography. Yes, it's true! A recipe with professional-looking food photos are more likely to be delicious than recipes accompanied by amateur-looking photography.
Well, translate that to your business and the tangible products that YOU sell. Lack of product photography or amateur-looking product photography will flatline your sales; professional product photography not only entices the viewer, but also gives the impression that it's a quality product, making your sales boom!
Are you a landscape designer? A bathroom & kitchen remodeler? A home stager? An interior designer? You absolutely must have “after” photos if not both “before” and “after” photos. Great professional photography isn’t cheap. It may not make sense to hire a professional architectural photographer for the before photos. Splurge instead on professional photography for the after photos, and then use them to showcase your work with pride on your website portfolio.
Go a step further and have your commercial photographer capture people enjoying your completed service… relaxing in the gorgeous garden you designed… enjoying dinner in the new morning room you built, etc. And if you can get real clients to agree to be photographed, then even better!
What if your work isn’t as tangible as all that? Say you’re a wedding DJ. You’d want photographs of people dancing the night away. If you’re an event designer, beyond room photos of the ceremony or reception area, how about atmospheric photos of wedding guests enjoying dinner? If you run a summer camp for kids, how about photographs of kids having fun at the camp carnival?
Brand-building expert Denise Lee Yohn writes:
“We humans are emotional creatures. We make our purchase decisions based on how products promise to make us feel. That’s why great brands succeed by seeking intimate emotional connections with customers. Either the product satisfies an emotional need I have (“I want to feel healthy and successful”) or it offers me access to a self-identity that I want to experience and express (“I’m an athlete.”).”
So place lifestyle photography (with your product in use if applicable) on your website with the models portraying the emotions that your buyers will feel when they use your amazing product or service. In addition to or instead of selling a product or service, sell an emotional connection.
I hope your head is now spinning with new ideas of how to use commercial photography on your website to your advantage. Might it be time now to chat with the commercial photographer? We’re always happy to brainstorm with you.
Do you have a business website? If not, check out Kaz Design Works’ 8 reasons why your business needs a website. If you already have your business website up and running, then the next question is… does your business website have any or enough photos on it? Read on for why you should add professional photography to your business website, as well as ideas on types of imagery to include.
1. Adding professional headshots and other commercial photography to your website simply makes you look more professional. The more professional you and your business look, the more trustworthy you look. The greater the trust, the more likely a prospective client is to pick up the phone, call you, and ultimately hire you! Conversely, a bad headshot and other un-professional photography is sure to create exactly the opposite impression and will scare people away.
2. Heard the saying, "A photograph says 1000 words"? Lack of a photograph says - maybe not 1000 words – but more than enough, and in a negative way. Lack of professional photography on your website implies a lack of investment in your image and business. And if you – the business owner or employees – aren’t willing to invest in your own image and company, then why should prospective clients invest in you?
3. How are you and your business different from your competitors? Is it your personal touch? Your caring and compassion? Your innovation? With the right professional headshots and business portraits, the qualities that make you better than your competition will shine on your website.
(Note: Are you one of the many who has trouble giving a genuine smile when being photographed? In that case, it will be extra important for you to find a headshot photographer who can make you feel comfortable and relaxed. And, if innovation and creativity are key qualities in your business, then go for a set of environmental business portraits that are as creative and unique as you.)
Are you a numbers person? Do you need to see statistics for me to prove my point? Then consider these:
4. The longer a visitor stays on your website, the more likely s/he is to contact you or purchase a product. Add a photograph to every page of your website, and you could increase average time on site by 250%.
5. You’re no doubt an expert in your arena. Share your expertise by blogging, and watch search engines drive traffic to your website. While the more text the better search engine-wise, you can increase views of your articles by 94% simply by adding photography.
6. When you add photography to your website or blog, it will be pulled into image search so that your website comes up not just in text searches, but also image searches. This is big, because consumers are 60% more likely to consider/contact a business when local search results include an image.
7. A whopping two-thirds (67%) of consumers say that on e-commerce sites, “the quality of a product image is ‘very important’ in selecting and purchasing a product.” In fact, a greater % of consumers rate quality of the image as more important than product-specific details, a long description, or even reviews and ratings. While your website may not be an e-commerce site, think of how this translates. This means that the quality of your professional headshot or other website imagery (like the portfolio of a home remodeler, interior decorator, event designer, or cake artist) is more important than anything you could possibly write on your website!
8. Have big news to share? Write a press release that includes a photo and video and increase views by more than 45%.
9. Are you or are you interested in advertising on Facebook or other social media platforms? On Facebook, the engagement rate for posts with photos is 37% higher than for text-only posts. 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook include a photo.
Now that you're convinced of the need to add professional photography to your website, stay tuned for a future blog post with ideas of types of commercial photography to include.
Can't wait? Need a brainstorming partner?
This is the second time that we would create a series of photographs for a Maryland political candidate’s campaign. On this second occasion, Derek Kent found us through the American Society of Media Photographers, during a search for advertising commercial photographers who could provide professional headshot photography, family photography, and political campaign photography, for use on campaign materials and his campaign website. We met up for two separate sessions, the first for his professional headshot at our Clarksburg, MD photography studio, and the second at a local park for the family photography and political campaign photography. Kent has declared his candidacy for District 32 of Maryland’s House of Delegates in 2018; check him out on his website here.
Running for office? Need political campaign photography?