Do-it-yourself photography guide for small business owners
March 13, 2020
In this 5-minute read:
- Benefits of DIY business photography
- How to get started
- Taking awesome photos
- Editing your photos
A picture is worth a thousand words…or so the old adage goes. But this can really ring true for your business. Photos are an important aspect of creating a brand and attracting new customers, especially with the visual nature of modern advertising methods on social media and streaming services.
Professional business photography can get expensive though, so it doesn’t always make sense to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a professional photo shoot (even if it may be worth it in the end).
That’s why you should know how to take your own business photos. Whatever type of business you own, you can benefit from DIY photos skills. We’ll walk you through some of these benefits and how to produce your own quality photos.
Benefits of taking your own business photos
There are three main benefits of DIY business photography:
- It’s cost-effective. Sure, it might cost a little bit initially to get the equipment you need to take the photos, but then you have it for life and can always rely on yourself moving forward.
- You can work on your own time. You don’t have to work with a photographer’s schedule to take your business photos. You pick the time and determine when you want the photos to be done. You just have to hold yourself accountable.
- You can make your photos look exactly how you want them to. You’ll have the ability to edit your own photos and pick the exact shots that you love. There won’t be any back-and-forth review process between you and a third party.
If all that sounds great to you, then read on to learn how to take your own photos and what you’ll need to get started.
Not sure about taking your own photos? Check this out: Top 3 ways to get (and use) professional photos for your small business
How to get started in taking your own business photos
There’s a little bit more to taking a good business photo than just snapping a quick pic and being done with it (although sometimes it can be that simple).
Determine what kind of photos you want/need
First, you’ll want to come up with a plan and determine the type of photos you need and what your goals are. What do you want customers to feel when looking at your photos? What message are you trying to get across?
These are some of the types of photos you might want to take for your business:
- Brand photos like your storefront, owners, and candids of products or services with customers
- Office or building photos to show off your space
Depending on the types of photos you want to gather for your business, you might need different supplies to get started.
Gather the essentials
At the very least, you’re going to need the equipment to take the photos. This can be as simple as using your smartphone (many offer high-quality cameras built-in), or you can go out and purchase a nice digital SLR camera.
Having your own camera will allow you to get a little more creative with the style of photos that you can take. Different lenses and camera settings can help you find that perfect shot that you are imagining.
If you do want to purchase your own camera, one of the top-recommended professional cameras for creative photography is the Fujifilm X-T100, which you can currently get for under $400 at Walmart.
If you have a little more cash on hand, then you might want to consider getting a Nikon DLSR. These can run up to $3,000 or more when you add in different lenses, lighting, and other equipment.
Don’t be intimidated by any technical camera talk though. You can still take professional quality photos with your phone if you’re on a tight budget.
Beyond the camera, there may be a few other items you’ll want to make your photos stand out:
- Lighting options (spotlights, umbrella lights)
- Tripod for stabilization and creative angles
- Backdrops (solid white for product photos and employee headshots)
See why Womply is the #1 marketing and CRM solution used by 450,000+ businesses
Taking good photos
When you’re ready to take your photos, keep these best practices in mind.
Set the stage. Take the time to set up your “studio.” Set up your lighting, backdrop, camera angle, or any other props you need for the photos.
Use the rule of thirds. This will always be applicable in photography. It draws the viewers’ eyes to the focal point of the image. This will help you to keep a clear subject.
Take several photos testing different options. When you go back to look through your photos, you’ll want several different options to choose from. Testing different lighting setups, angles, and subjects.
Post-production and editing your photos
After you have taken your photos, you can take the final step in your DIY photo journey: editing.
We have one main rule when you reach this step: keep it simple. Most of the work of taking your business photos should be done in the photo-taking process. Editing should really only be done for minor touchups like brightening the photo and adjusting colors if necessary.
If you are creating an edgy piece of marketing material, you can get a little more creative with the style of your photos and effects. But as you are taking product, employee, brand, and office photos for your website and other media, simple is better.
Here are a few free editing tools that you can use on your desktop to bring your photos to perfection:
- PicMonkey (this does have premium options as well)
- Pixlr X Online Photo Editor
And, if you’re taking photos with your phone, you might want to try some of these editing apps:
- Adobe Lightroom
- Adobe Photoshop Express
Enhance your marketing with reputation management software
Now you have the perfect photos to take your marketing to the next level. As you start reaping the rewards of your awesome photography skills, keep the momentum going by improving your process for getting regular online reviews for your business.
Reviews are a huge conversion factor for customers, especially when that is often their first (and sometimes only) impression of your business.
Womply’s reputation management software makes the review management process simple and quick. You’ll get a dashboard that will connect to all your online review platforms so you can receive alerts, reply to reviews, and send reminders all from one place.
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