Photography

We all know that a picture tells a thousand words. Powerful imagery is a brilliant way to convey your brand identity, tell a story and inspire your audience.

Types of Photography

  • Headshots – We don’t mean selfies and holiday snaps. These are professionally framed, high quality photos of yourself and can be used in so many places – from your website, social networks, to speaker profiles and membership forums and directories.
  • Personal Branding – Building a great catalogue of personal branding photos is invaluable to any business. These include photos of you, your team, your office and any objects or symbols that represent you and your business. They can be used just about anywhere, and really differentiate your content in a way that stock photos just can’t achieve.
  • Action Shots – This could be you out and about, interacting with customers, taking part in events etc. These add a dynamic perspective that brings the viewer into the moment.
  • Flat Lays and Desk Shots – You may have spotted our own flat lay on the outward facing part of the guroo website. It’s simply an aerial view of a flat surface with an arrangement of relevant objects. These may great backgrounds for websites and social media, giving every view the personal touch. (Credit goes to Fiona Moorey Photography for showing us this idea!)

Stock Imagery

Wherever possible, we advocate using your own photography in your marketing materials. However, if you MUST use photos from elsewhere, here are a few free resources where you can source stock imagery:

Choosing a Photographer

So you have decided to invest in some professional photography – great! So, how do you find one that is right for you? Chances are you already know one or two already, so how do you choose?

  • References – Luckily, the work of a photographer can speak for itself, so take a look through their work. As well as their website and portfolio, check out their social media profiles. Are there many reviews or testimonials that you can see?
  • Experience – The field of photographer is wide, from weddings and newborn photoshoots to corporate and events. See if your photographer has experience with the type of photography you are requesting.
  • Style – A good photographer will be versatile. Nevertheless, if you like the style of a particular photographer you may feel more confident that they will deliver what you are looking for.
  • Pricing – If cost is a challenge, of course this will be a factor in you decision making. Check what you’ll receive for the quoted price, the amount of time, how many different outfits/scenes could be covered and how many photos you’ll receive. Many photographers will also charge a different overly rate if you go over your specified time frame so check what these rates are too.
  • Terms, Conditions and Ownership – Read your contract thoroughly and make sure you have ownership of the material created. They may have limits on the number of photos you are entitled to as part of your package or where they can use them, so make sure you understand the small print and you are happy with everything before proceeding.

Do-It-Yourself

So you are doing your marketing on a shoe string – we get it. After all, that is why guroo was created. Just because you are taking your photos yourself doesn’t mean they need to look amateur.

Here is a few pointers to get the best from your smartphone:

Be Memorable

  • Be Different – When developing a catalogue of photographs for your business, you need variety. As well as the headshots, group photos and usual scenes, add a few abstract images into the mix. This could be a collection of objects displayed in an unusual way, close-ups or photos taken through frames, coloured glass or other semi-opaque materials.
  • Be Candid and Spontaneous – Staged photos are brilliant but sometimes a spontaneous photo captures the moment in a more genuine way.
  • Be Funny – Humour doesn’t equal unprofessional, if its delivered in the right way. Whether you are capturing a laugh or a giggle, or the subject of the photo itself tickles your ribs, tapping into emotion is a great way to draw in the audience.

Space and Shapes

  • Symmetry – Whether its natural or engineered, symmetrical patterns and shapes are pleasing to look at.
  • Repetition – The uniformity of a pattern, object or shape that repeats can be very appealing, perhaps you have a number of branded objects that you can layout in a particular way?
  • Leading Lines – This photographic technique is used to draw your eye to the subject, for example, the top of a wall with somebody sitting at the end, deeper within the photograph.
  • Less is more – You don’t have to cram every photo with ‘stuff’, sometimes a photo that is predominantly bare can create a strong visual impact. These types of images are also great for annotating with titles, quotes etc. to use on your social media.

The Technical Bits

  • The 3×3 Grid – You may well have heard of ‘the rule of thirds’. This isn’t necessarily a hard and fast rule but making use of the grid view on your smartphone will help you avoid some common faux pas (think wonky horizons and leaning buildings). By utilising the horizontal and vertical lines and placing key areas at intersecting points, will enhance the structure of your photos.
  • Focus – Your camera/smartphone will often decide what to focus on, most likely the objects in the centre of the screen. You can adjust this by tapping on the area of the screen that you want to focus on instead. If you’re taking a picture of a screen, note that a very bright screen will lead the rest of the image to be much darker so it may be worth focusing elsewhere to ensure your photo has a more balanced brightness.
  • Zoom – if you are using a smartphone, try to avoid using the zoom function. For the most part you will only be zooming in on what would end up being the final image, with no increase in quality.
  • Editing – There is a fine line between tidying and enhancing your photos and making your photos look overly artificial. Your in-built photo app will have the most common editing tools (brightness, contrast, saturation, filters), but use these tools with care and don’t go overboard.

Lighting

  • Natural light is best – Unless light is a particular feature of your photo, it is best to ensure your scene has lots of light and it is ‘diffused’ as much as possible. With professional equipment this is achieved with softboxes and umbrellas, but in the absence of this kit, ensure the light is not directly focused on the subject and the light is coming from plenty of angles. Nothing achieves this as effectively as natural light.
  • Be sparing with the flash – Many use their camera flash at inappropriate times, particular at night when the light is low. However, this rarely improves the quality of a photograph. The flash is most useful when your scene is already well lift but you may need a little more front facing light to remove any shadows.

Equipment

  • Keep your lens clean! – It’s useful to carry a microfibre cloth if you are out taking photos, certainly avoid using anything abrasive or unclean.
  • Detachable lenses – You can pick up a low-cost, non mechanical lens to clip over your phone’s camera to give you a different effect, such as a fish eye. Perhaps you’ve even been given one as a promotional item.
  • Tripods and Monopods – For more stable or even hands-free photography, consider purchasing a tripod stand. These could be the traditional, fixed leg variety or feature flexible arms so you can attach or mount your phone for more unusual shots.
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