Professional photography is the first investment that I recommend that businesses make when it comes to their socials. It’s an integral but so often overlooked element of a strong visual identity.
Unfortunately, there are many small businesses that don’t see the value in it. They use low quality images or even worse no original imagery at all. Low quality photos that don’t match your brand (or none at all!) can really cheapen your brands image when they come across you on social.
If you don’t look professional and credible, you lack trust which is so essential online. A strong, consistent brand with good quality photography breeds trust which is critical in order for someone to feel comfortable enough to book or buy from you, or to enquire with you
But how to find photos, how to take photos and and how to plan for photos can be a really daunting task for many businesses. .
In today’s episode, I am chatting to one of my favourite photographers, Grace Smith – she’s actually the photographer that I am using for my OWN images – all about the power of professional photography and how you can go about working with a photographer and getting photos that you really love to amplify your socials and your business.
Grace is a Brisbane based Freelance photographer and business owner of Grace Elizabeth Images. She loves photographing fashion, travel, lifestyle, food.. actually well everything to be honest! Grace’s business runs out of Newstead Studios and has been running for a solid year now.
So, let’s dive in!
- Grace offers Social Media subscription packages: https://www.graceelizabethimages.com/socialmediapackages/
- Grace Elizabeth Images on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/graceelizabethimages/
Let’s start with a little bit about you and what you do!
I’m a Brisbane based freelance photographer and I have my business called Grace Elizabeth Images. I cover a range of clients and variety of work from food, travel, interiors, lifestyle shoots, fashion and headshots. Some of my main work has been for The Urban list Brisbane and Concrete Playground and from that I have built up a network of regular clients. When I’m not doing client shoots you’ll find me tapping into my creative elements and undertaking test shoots and collaborations or working on my Empowering Women Interview Series. Recently I noticed there was a gap in the market for consistent and original imagery for small – medium businesses and individuals and so I’ve recently launched my new Social Media Packages. We subscribe to gym memberships, blow drys and Spotify, so why not a photography package that enhances your business?
I’m offering two packages – 20 or 40 images a month and the subscription is a minimum 3 month term. They are perfect for both product or service based business and they are selling like hotcakes which is really exciting!
You and I both know how important and what a game changer good quality photography can be for a business online, but let’s explain it to our listeners.
You should be able to work with a photographer that shares your story including you. People want to see BTS or the people behind the brand. Professional photos help your audience connect. This is huge, quality images add more value to your product and bring more sales.
Obviously product and service businesses would have different requirements when it comes to the photos they would require for their respective businesses. What sort of requirements/images would you recommend that each type of business consider?
Personally I think today we are seeing a market of oversaturated visuals. I love flatlays but what’s the point of difference? As a photographer it’s my job to create, its part of being paid so at the end of the day originality for a client and creating something outside the box is so important to me and should be for them too.
Product businesses shouldn’t be restricting themselves to product shots. You should be able to show your product in a variety of situations or locations. You want to keep your customers interested. When it comes to product shots there are so many ways you can spice things up. Sometimes you can start with a colour and build on a theme or perhaps adding different elements like textures or objects. I’ve found people love relating to people so if you can incorporate them into some of your images or show your products being used in a really beautiful candid way customers will find it so much more relatable.
I think service based business shoots are one of my favourites. I can’t stress enough how important it is to put yourself out there and share your story. I recently just did a photoshoot for myself so people could connect more and that’s really important. You’ve got a personality and a narrative so capture it. Behind the scenes shots are great, as humans we are naturally curious and wanting to know more, lifestyle shots that are executed beautifully and capture moments candidly add so much value to a business. Think about it, would you reach out for someone’s service if you don’ t really know who they are?
Let’s go through the process of working with a photographer, because for those who haven’t done it before it can be daunting to know where to start.
Step one – Do your research! Instagram is amazing for finding creatives, I showcase so much of my work on Instagram and generally that’s how a lot of people find me. Quality of quantity is so important, so you’ve found a photographer and love their work but you’ve also found a cheaper alternative, I’m a big believer in you get what you pay for so its always best to do it right the first time round.
Step two – Know your branding and your aesthetic, even if you don’t know what you want captured in your photo shoot knowing how you want it to look and what you like can be a huge help. I can’t stress to clients enough how important mood boards are – the more inspirational images you have the better! If I can see what your hoping to achieve as the end result the easier it is to do my job and the happier your going to be.
Step three – Also don’t be worried, I have worked with so many clients and they get so stressed about having their photo taken then afterwards are like wow that was so much easier then I thought or you made me feel so comfortable and relaxed. Let your photographer know how you feel and find one that you can connect with, they are going to be able to bring the best out in you! Ask for extra direction or let them know that you’re a bit nervous so they can help ease that!
What should you include in a photography brief to ensure that you are getting the photos that you want?
For my own clients I have an online interactive question based brief that I send out so I can find out as much as I can but also makes their lives easier. Some of the main things that you should be covering are:
- Image orientation (portrait or landscape) knowing whether you need both or one or the either is really important.
- How you would like your photos to look Post production – things to think about – light/clean/crisp or moody and dark or -saturated and vibrant or minimalist and modern
- Do you have a specific list of shots you’d like covered
- Do you require props or coloured backgrounds
- Would you like your images to have a warm or cool tone
- Most importantly what you DON’T want to see in your images.
What sort of preparation do you need to do for a shoot – for example, collating props, number of recommended outfits, time required.
Being organised and having a shot list is really important, then both the client and the photographer know what’s being captured and can tick each element off. Making sure props and outfits are organised before the shoot this should be discussed as part of your brief and both parties being aware of timings and sticking to those.
Often getting photos of yourself can be a bit uncomfortable and nerve wracking! What tips do you have for being comfortable in front of the camera? How do you work with your clients to help with this?
Do you know what! I totally get it, I recently did a photoshoot of myself and it’s scary having your photo taken – but at the same time we are so unique and there is something amazingly beautiful about being vulnerable and embracing who you are. Being the photographer I love making my clients comfortable, I love small talk and breaking the ice. I think it’s so important to show the them the photos as they are going along so they can see what’s being achieved and plus most of them are like wow, look at me.. is that me? Haha and it helps them relax. It’s not about being someone else it’s about being you. Great things never came from comfort zones and pushing yourself out of them might be the best thing for you. I find giving people something to hold on to or something to action helps them relax and settle into the shoot.