Do you need professional photos for your printing? Many businesses have relied on sites like Pixabay, Shutterstock, and Unsplash to provide photos to use in their marketing materials because creating their own professional photos was too expensive or too difficult. But with the accessibility of digital photography, many businesses have shifted to making their own professional photos instead of buying generic pictures created by someone else.
And even if you are not a professional photographer, by using a few tips that the pros use, your business can enjoy beautiful, professional photos that capture the exact images that you need and want to market your business.
- Customize Your Professional Photos
- Amateur vs. Professional Photos
- Printing Professional Photos
Customize Your Professional Photos
Why go to all of the trouble to take your own photos when you can just buy some relatively inexpensively? The truth is that custom professional photos not only look better, but also represent your business more authentically. Your business’s marketing vision can be captured perfectly when you are behind the lens. It’s easy to integrate your product, service, or location into the professional photos making them personalized and unique.
Printing photos in your business’s print marketing materials that you have conceptualized from start to finish will result in a more personalized campaign. And even using a basic digital camera and some basic equipment, amateur photographers can produce print-ready photos that will look great in marketing materials that no one else has.
1. Use the right equipment for professional photos.
The first step in taking professional photos is to use a tripod when taking your pictures. While using one might seem unnecessary, having a stable base to take professional photos from is critical when you are using longer shutter speeds and low light to create just the right visual with your pictures. Tripods come in all kinds of sizes and price points, so invest in one that makes the most sense for your budget.
A tripod actually gives you a lot of flexibility as a photographer even though the base of the tripod doesn’t move unless you shift it. Instead of having to reposition a model or a product, the tripod head can be tilted or rotated to create the optimum vantage point for your photographs. And when your photo shoot includes landscapes or architectural details, a tripod is essential to maintain crisp, professional photos.
2. Pay attention to the light for professional photos.
Lighting is one element that sets professional photographs apart from those taken by amateurs. For outdoor photography, different times of day have their own unique lighting opportunities, so finding the right light for your project is key to its success. Morning light tends to be softer and cooler than natural light during the middle or end of the day, so colors in the exact same setting will show up differently when they are captured on camera at these two times of the day.
Late afternoon light tends to be warmer, while sunset and sunrise light can make a gorgeous low-light impact on photography. And since outdoor lighting changes with every passing minute, using a tripod will help less-experienced photographers take advantage of the changes in lighting with a steady hand.
Indoor lighting is completely different, since the lighting must be set up and managed. And while it may seem like a great idea to use a location with bright, outdoor lighting flooding the room, the changing nature of natural light can complicate indoor photo shoots unnecessarily.
The direction of the lighting is another element to consider when shooting and printing photos for your marketing campaigns. Directional light casts highlights and shadows. Photographers should have an idea of how they want the final composition of their photos to turn out, so it is important to anticipate where the shade and highlights caused by the direction of lighting will occur when planning a photo session.
3. Use manual mode over automatic for professional photos.
Play around with the manual mode on your camera so you can adjust the shutter speed to be slower in low light instead of letting the camera adjust itself. By setting the mode specifically to the available lighting, you are more likely to capture a beautiful photo that takes advantage of low light.
Professional photographers often use the stunning effects of low light to produce surprising and distinctive pictures. So if you are trying to create a unique image for your business’s print marketing campaign, using a picture that was created with low light and slow shutter speed will help you set your marketing images apart from other stock photos that were most likely created in a photography studio.
4. Focus on composition for professional photos.
When you are planning a print marketing campaign, it is likely that you have decided on the tone and perspective that you want your marketing materials to present. And the way that your photos are composed plays a large part in how the pictures are perceived by someone who is receiving a flyer for your company, reading a leadership book about your business, or opening a newsletter from you.
The composition of a picture entails not only the physical components of the photo, like a person holding a product, but also includes the vantage point of the camera, where the subject’s eyes are pointed, and how much of the frame the subject takes up compared to the background elements.
Another element of a photograph’s composition to consider, especially when creating pictures to be used in marketing materials, is where the viewer’s eyes are drawn when looking at the photo. Since the purpose of photos used in marketing campaigns may be specific to each use, recreating the same photo from different angles or sight lines can give you the flexibility to use your photos in different ways and for varied purposes.
5. Be patient for professional photos.
Learning a new craft such as photography takes time. But the beauty of digital photography is that you won’t waste money printing proof pages or copies of photographs that you ultimately cannot use. Since your computer’s hard drive can be used to review and delete or keep photos, the art of using digital equipment has become appealing to even the most novice of photographers.
Expertise, however, comes with time and practice as well as plenty of photographic mistakes along the way that you can learn from and then delete from your camera roll. Taking test shots or even setting up a mock photoshoot to practice with lighting, shutter speed, locations, and models or products you need to capture is a great way to learn what you are doing well as well as which aspects need more consideration before the official photo shoot takes place.
Taking an introductory digital photography course or reading up on elements of photography will help you learn more about the art of photography so you can get the shots that you want for your marketing projects.
Amateur vs. Professional Photos
Finding just the right pictures to use for a marketing campaign doesn’t have to be difficult, because you can choose between using stock photos, hiring a professional, and taking your own amateur photos. Many times buying stock photos or becoming your own photographer is a budget issue since hiring a professional can be pricey, especially for projects that require large numbers of photos like catalogs or even posting on social media.
But you may find that with a little practice and patience, you can learn enough about photography to create images that you love and that will represent you, your brand, or your products well without having to leave the job to someone else. And as the photographer, you control all aspects of a photo shoot so you can be sure that you get the images that you want without dipping into the budget or compromising on photos that do not fully represent the personality or uniqueness of your marketing campaign.
Printing Professional Photos
Once you have the images that capture the look and feel that you need for your marketing project, partner with Dazzle Printing to get the most out of your campaign. From posters to brochures to business cards and industry magazines, working with a trusted printer like Dazzle Printing will help you bring your marketing concepts to life with beautiful, full-color printing on the materials that will work best for your print marketing project.