With smartphones now offering a suite of “high quality” cameras, filters and editing options, many businesses are wondering if they can avoid the cost of a professional photographer, and just take the photos themselves.
To better understand the role of professional photography in building your reputation, we interviewed Paul Robbins – a renowned Sydney-based photographer and owner of photography agency Monde Photo.
So, Paul, is a picture really worth a thousand words?
We live in a very visual era where people, products and businesses are judged on appearance. With the right colours, backgrounds, lighting, shading, placement and composition, a photo can say more to your customers than words can.
Well-designed photos can shape perceptions, convey meaning, inform experiences, and create feelings.
Quality images help your business stand out from your competitors. If your photos stand out, you’re more likely to catch people’s eye and direct their gaze to your product, to your brand.
Non-professional photos show the audience you don’t take pride in your business. This can be detrimental to your reputation and ultimately your bottom line.
Smart phone vs professional camera – is there a difference?
Smartphones are great for casual photography (only!). For businesses seeking to promote their products or build their profile, smartphones are not the right tool. On a basic level, they just can’t offer the same quality and flexibility.
A professional camera has 300 pixels per square inch (ppi) – current iPhones have 72 ppi. The higher the resolution (ppi), the more flexibility you have in how you use the images. Whether you’re using the images to support a website article, to accompany a media release or social media post, in a glossy magazine, flyers and brochures, or even a billboard – professional photographers know how to meet your design needs and provide you with a range of image options.
Using low-resolution images (such as those generated by smartphones), result in blurry, unusable images and a missed opportunity to showcase your product to the market.
Can I just buy a really good camera?
A good camera is important, but the real key to quality photos is having the skills and knowing how to use the equipment properly.
Professional photographers study techniques (such as lighting and composition) to ensure the photo will showcase your product in the best light (literally!).
We also consider what else is happening in the photo. What’s in the background that adds (or detracts) from the message you’re trying to convey? Have you left enough room around the product to put text in when you go to print? Is the photo going to fit the purpose you have in mind? Will it work equally well on a banner, billboard, website, print article or flyer?
Trust a professional to ensure your photos make your product stand out in a crowded market. We have the right equipment, skills and experience backed by formal qualifications to capture your products in the best light.
What about using stock images?
Many stock images look “American” and feel cold and disingenuous. Australian audiences don’t connect with this style of “overly staged” photography and using these images can put people off your brand.
Professional photographers capture your product and showcase it in a way that builds trust with your customers. Trust and belief in your product are critical to increasing sales and building your reputation.
Stock images are not a genuine, accurate reflection of your product – they are someone else’s! Using them is a missed opportunity to show your customers exactly what you produce and how they can use it to meet their needs. Engaging a professional photographer means the photos are yours – you own the images of your unique product, forever.
Does my LinkedIn profile need a professional photo?
Yes! When using your headshot on your LinkedIn profile, you are the product. Your profile picture is your customer’s first impression of you and you only get that once.
Invest in your headshots as much as you would your product. Professional, well-designed photos create connections with your customers – disconnection breeds distrust in your brand.
Professional headshots shape positive first impressions, build trust, and connect your customers directly to your products and brand.
For more than 25 years, Paul has captured large events (including the Invictus Games!), intimate awards ceremonies, executives, children, elite athletes, gold mining, architecture and more.
From Bluescope Steel, ANZ bank, Alkane Resources and ANSTO, he has worked on-location for commercial, government and non-profit organisations.
Paul says he gets great satisfaction from his jobs and the people he meets, and some of his engagements include
- Representing the Royal Palace and capturing Prince William and Kate’s Sydney visit, and Princess Anne’s visit.
- Working with Ministers (State and Federal), International Ambassadors and Dignitaries
- Working with a range of people from the Dalai Lama and David Beckham to Olympic athletes (and more!)