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photography essentials Photographs convey a specific message about a business and its products. Quality, reliability, professionalism, innovation … the right photograph can say all this and more. This Catalyst Media Essentials Fact Sheet provides tips on how to utilise this powerful mode of communication to your business advantage. Why are photographs essential? Today, consumers are overloaded with information from a number of mediums. But nothing attracts the eye of a potential customer more quickly than a photograph.

What does this mean to my business? Consider where you use photographs to “sell” your business. Your list could include print and television advertising; business cards; product brochures; stationery; on a website; signage for buildings and vehicles and promotional items such as calendars. The addition of professional photographs to these business promotion items can significantly increase their role as selling tools.

Sending the right message While every human responds to a single photograph differently, there are some common responses to photographs shared by all. Professional photographs reflect a professional business. If your photographs are well-composed and sharp, your business will look professional too. Use poor photographs and the customer may conclude that your products and business are just as bad as the photographs!

Web vs. Printed material can I use the same photos? The same subject matter can be used on a website and in printed material. Photographs for use in printed material must be as high in resolution as possible. Resolution refers to the size of the digital image and is usually measured in megapixels. Print photographs should be a minimum of six megapixels. As long as your image is suitable for printing, it can be easily adapted for the Web.

Essential Photography Tips Staff portraits: Avoid using on-camera flash as this can lead to undesirable effects such as red-eye or uneven skin tone. Find a shaded location with some window light and use a tripod to ensure a sharp photograph. Avoid the typical “mug shot” look: it is often more flattering to photograph your subject from a slight angle rather than from directly in front. Flip through magazines and note the poses. Be creative and have fun! Product shots: Consider the best angle and lighting that will show off your product in the best possible way. Look at professional product catalogues for inspiration. Avoid using flash as this can produce unsightly shadows and reflections. A clean, simple background is best as it will not detract from the main subject of the photograph – your product.


Buildings and real estate: Time of day is critical for outdoor photos, with early morning or late evening usually ideal. Bright, sunny days can provide good lighting for buildings but avoid potentially detracting harsh shadows. Choose a time of day when the sun is at the best angle for your location. For indoor photos, use a tripod and try to make the lighting as even as possible. Location: Unless there is a good reason to include a lot of the background (eg: a beautiful beach location), leave it out. The best photos are those that don’t overwhelm the viewer with too much detail.

Why do I need a professional? Professional photographers typically have a lot more equipment at their disposal and can produce photographs that would be difficult with standard consumer cameras. More importantly, professional photographers understand what makes an effective photograph. When choosing a photographer, shop around and be sure to look at portfolios to get an idea of the quality of work they produce.

Checklist 1. The right photograph can send positive, appealing messages about your products, services, equipment and staff. 2. A professional photograph is worth a thousand words in capturing your customer’s attention quickly and effectively. 3. Photographs can add sales value to your website, brochures, business cards, advertisements and other marketing tools. 4. Professional photography equals a professional image. 5. Great product shots create customer desire, which leads to sales. 6. Photograph resolution is critical for achieving exceptional results. Photographs for printed media should be at least six megapixels in size. 7. Avoid flash when taking staff portraits and research professional poses. 8. The right angle and lighting will make your product shots more appealing. 9. Early morning or late evening is the best time to take outdoor shots. 10. Keep it minimal – the best photographs don’t overwhelm with detail.

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What does this mean to my business? Why do i need a professional? checklist Location: Unless there is a good reason to include a lot of the...