Who needs a photographer these days? Everybody carries nice cameras around with them on their smartphone anyway. Plus, YouTube is full of tutorials and tips for how to take your own professional-looking photos.
What is the point of hiring a professional photographer?
The world becomes more inundated with visual content every day. How are business owners supposed to cut through the noise and stand out from the crowd with a smartphone and a couple of YouTube classes?
That’s why they hire professional photographers.
Now, check this out. An astonishing 99.9% of businesses in the US fall under the definition of a small business. That’s 30.7 million small businesses in this country alone looking to cut through the noise and be noticed.
Professional photographers and the eye-catching visual content they create are key factors in this endeavor. Instead of diminishing, the need for brand photographers is growing — and fast.
Why Businesses Need Good Images
Social media and the Internet in general give small businesses the chance to be seen. Never before has this type of exposure been so widely available. In just the last 10-15 years, social media has completely changed the way businesses interact with their audiences.
Small businesses can generate traffic to their website with social media ads, engage with followers, and even ask customer opinions. While there were methods for all these things 15 years ago, none of it was so easy to do as it is today.
But, in order to properly impact their audience, businesses need good images. Let’s explore a little more about why.
Images Grab Attention
The human brain recognizes images incredibly fast. In fact, MIT researchers have found that people can identify images they were shown for only 13 milliseconds. To put that in perspective, that means the images flashed by at an astonishing speed of about 75 frames per second!
Is it possible to read text that fast? Not a chance!
Interesting images are a brand’s best friend if they want to jump out at their audience. Then people might stop to read the text and eventually make a purchasing decision. But the first step is to stop the mindless social media scroll.
Of course, this factor applies to images everywhere, not just social media. Whether businesses are posting on Google Shopping, Shopify, Amazon, or anywhere else, high-quality images that are interesting to their audience are crucial for driving sales. The main reason shoppers cite for choosing a particular product from a list of similar products is the displayed image.
Images Help People Remember
You don’t remember everything you come into contact with, do you? No one does. We are constantly bombarded by images, text, and other pieces of information every day. There’s no way to remember it all.
But what do you remember more easily? Text or pictures? You probably find it much easier to remember an image than a sentence. You might not remember every detail about the image, but you remember the overall message whereas it might be lost with the text.
According to BrainRules.net, after 72 hours people only remember about 10% of what they hear. If the message is paired with a visual, however, that retention jumps to 65%!
Images Build a Brand’s Identity
When you see a pair of golden arches, you think of McDonald’s. When you see a red and white bulls-eye, you think of Target. When you see an apple with a bite out of it, you think of Apple computers.
These big brands have established themselves well in the brains of pretty much everyone in the US. Their logos speak for them without using words.
Most small businesses won’t imprint themselves on everyone in the US (though big companies start from somewhere). However, using consistent visual cues across social media, websites, and ads helps small businesses to establish their brand identity.
Consistent colors, image styles, patterns, and more make businesses more recognizable across social media platforms and anywhere else they appear.
Using a hodgepodge of stock photos makes this cohesion difficult. However, by working with a brand photographer, businesses can create a bank of consistent imagery they can depend on for all their visual marketing needs.
Stats About Images in Social Media
To further drive home this point, let’s look at some social media statistics:
- An astonishing 80% of people remember what they see, but only 20% remember what they hear, and 10% what they read
- Posts with images get 650% more engagement than text-only posts
- Tweets with images enjoy 150% more retweets than text-only tweets
- Infographics are shared 3x more than any other type of content
- Photos on Facebook enjoy an 87% interaction rate, links or text only get about 4%
- Almost 75% of internet shoppers look for visual content about the product before buying
In short, if people want to stand out on social media, a marketing strategy rich with visual content is the way to do it. Professional brand and commercial photographers are key for creating this content.
Importance of High-Quality Images
By now, we’ve established the fact that images are important. But what about the quality of the image? I mean, a picture is a picture, right? Absolutely not!
You can attest to this yourself. What makes you stop your mindless social media scroll?
Every person has different content that will appeal to them. Cat people will stop for cat memes while dog people will quickly scroll by. Parents will stop for colorful, kid-related images, while people with no kids will continue browsing.
However, there’s one thing everybody will stop for. An amazing image.
Low-quality images will not generate the same response as high-quality ones. And while not everyone knows how to create a high-quality image, everyone knows how to recognize one.
This is another reason why businesses need brand photographers. Commercial photographers understand all the elements that make up a high-quality image — not just the obvious ones.
What Makes a High-Quality Image?
Creating a high-quality image goes beyond simply taking a great photo with good resolution. The factors include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Technical aspects: Is there good lighting? Can you see the subject clearly? Are the colors of a product true-to-life? Has the focus been placed correctly to draw the viewer’s eye? Is the subject in focus?
- Composition: Does the image accurately tell a story? Are all the elements in the image supporting the subject? Does anything detract or confuse the viewer?
- Relevance: Does the audience care about this image? Again, dog people won’t care about a photo of a cat.
Brand Photographers and High-Quality Images
Many business owners think they can take their own images and some of them do a great job. But creating compelling visual content takes far more work than simply arranging a few products nicely and taking a quick snap with your smartphone.
Brand photographers take the work out of this key aspect of their business. They spend hours honing their technical skills with a camera, learning how to bring their visions to life. They study colors, compositions, and how these elements affect the viewer. They invest thousands of dollars in quality equipment with capabilities that go beyond even the fanciest smartphone.
A single business owner simply doesn’t have the time to develop and apply this type of expertise to their visual content.
Are You Considering a Career Change?
The pandemic has made a lot of people shift their thinking about work. In fact, around half of employees are considering a career change. People are looking for more flexibility in work or even striking out on their own and building their own companies.
As we’ve already seen, social media, the Internet, and digital marketing are making this dream more accessible for many people.
What about you?
Do you love taking stunning images and creating impactful visual content? Then much of what we’ve talked about makes a strong case for why you should become a brand photographer.
Why Become a Brand Photographer?
As we mentioned earlier, there are already 30.7 small businesses in the US. That number is expected to go up as more people like you strike out on their own and start building their own businesses.
Every one of those small businesses is going to need stunning visuals to help promote their brands. This creates a rich client base for you to grow your own business.
What if you feel your skills as a photographer could be stronger before setting out on your own? No problem! Remember those YouTube tutorials we talked about earlier? You can use those to grow your skills. Much of the content is free or you can pay to join courses with teachers that you particularly enjoy.
Believe me when I say it is possible. You can learn everything about photography you need to know to become a brand photographer just by following the right educators on YouTube. You can put in the time to develop a skill that other business owners don’t have the time or passion for.
Perks of Being a Brand Photographer
I hear a lot of concerns from beginning photographers in the industry. How will I get enough clients? Where do I find the time to both learn how to build a business and build it? Can I possibly make enough for my family to live on?
Set all those worries aside for a moment. They are valid and important, but let’s look at something else important first.
There are a lot of rewards to building your own business. If you are good at what you do, once you get yourself established, your business will flourish.
You don’t have to show up for work when someone else tells you to. You don’t have to work nights and weekends if you don’t want to. You don’t have to ask someone else’s permission to go on vacation.
You don’t have to do any of those things.
You do get to spend more time with your family. You get to take a half-day when your kid has an important game. You can build vacation time into your schedule whenever you want. You get to work on your terms.
And if you learn your craft well, you can earn as much or more as you do at your job right now. Don’t let the fear of what might not go well keep you from enjoying success as a brand photographer. There are so many great things waiting for you!
A Helping Hand for Brand Photographers
Now for some meat. I don’t want to simply give you a pep talk and motivate you to get started with no clue about what you’re doing. In the beginning stages of a new business, it can feel overwhelming to get everything set up the way it needs to be — especially if you’ve never done it before.
There are plenty of software solutions out there that can streamline and automate much of your workflow on the business side of things. This leaves you with more time to devote to taking images or spending with your family.
However, knowing what software to use or how to set it up can feel overwhelming. As with anything, the first step is often the hardest. And figuring out what the first step should be can be even more confusing.
Let me help!
My Brand Photographer’s Blueprint course lays out everything you need to quickly build a fully booked business. Forget about working nights and weekends. Forget about feeling stressed and overwhelmed with all of your business tasks. Forget about all of it and focus on what you do best — creating amazing visual content!