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  • Havelock Staff

How to choose the right photographer for your business

Owning or running a business can be very lucrative. But a good command of technology, websites and the internet is increasingly becoming an essential part of running a business. And that can mean that getting to the top, and staying at the top, can be challenging and laborious.


Hiring a professional photographer is a great idea for your business, but there are lots of elements to consider when choosing the right one.

It is crucial to constantly find new ways to attract clients and to create a long-lasting relationship with existing customers. The best way to do both of these is through great online communication. Visual content plays a big role in your business online presence, and that’s why professional photography should be part of every business plan, and company budget. Having great photography and video on your website and marketing materials is a great way to get exposure and connect with your target audience. But to get the best results, you really need to consider hiring a professional business photographer.


Qualities of a good business photographer


Whether you're in Bristol, like us, or any other part of the world, the first step when considering hiring a business photographer is to know what qualities to look for.


Knowing what those qualities are will help you eliminate photographers who may be unlikely to deliver to your expectations, and it will also help you find the right person for the job. Given the hundreds of photographers available in almost every city, it can be time-consuming and confusing trying to figure out who to hire. But if you already have a list of the right characteristics in your head before you start, the task becomes simpler.

Creativity

Photography is often considered an art form… professional photographers have to work hard to come up with ideas and treatments for the photography they are planning. Photographers can see objects and interpret them in different ways. A good photographer can make an ordinary object look extraordinary by adding a little imagination and creativity.


This is the one of the qualities that separates poor photographers, or simply good photographers, from the very best photographers. It is even more important in commercial photography as your photographer has to help the audience find meaning in the pictures they are seeing and portray brand presence through your images.


Flexibility

Most of the time, no matter how one plans their activities, they just don’t go exactly how you expect them to. A professional photographer may plan every aspect of a photoshoot meticulously, but without factoring in some unexpected variables, it can all fall apart.


There are literally hundreds of things that can take you by surprise on a photoshoot. For example, your equipment may let you down, or something you have planned may not work as you expected, or the models being used may not react or operate in the way you want them to, or may refuse to cooperate at all (children and animals often fall into this catergory!).


This is where flexibility and experience come in. The photographer you hire should have the experience and patience to be able to cope with any unwanted occurrences and ensure everything works and the photoshoot turns out well, no matter what issues may come up.


The best results will be achieved when you and your photographer work together, as a team. So finding the right one should be something you give careful consideration to.

Detail oriented

Apart from the basics of photography - composition, lighting, focus etc. - there are other important factors such as storytelling that make have to be considered.


A great photographer will be able to bring together all aspects of image creation, not just the technical aspects, but the harder to define ones as well. This applies to all genres of business photography – from brand photography through to product photography. Every image a professional photographer creates should incorporate storytelling in some form.


The intended story must be portrayed well and must be accompanied by emotion to make it communicate as much as it possibly can.


Without an eye for detail, the professional business photographer could easily fail to combine all these aspects and, as a result, produce pictures that are at best bland and uninspiring, at worst confusing to the audience.


Good professional photographers should be able to scrutinise every aspect of the subject matter and combine all the elements, technical and otherwise, to achieve perfect results.


People person

It is essential for professional photographers to be willing and able to work any and all types of people, and in a range of different settings and situations.


Whatever a professional photographer’s niche is, they will have to communicate and interact with clients and models alike in order to get the very best out of a job.


It is therefore crucial to have the best communication skills and interaction skills in order to create imagery that works every time, and to make sure they are giving the clients exactly what they need.


A top professional photographer should be able to put their colleagues such as models, assistants and photo editors, as well as their clients, at ease. In the business world, customer satisfaction is key and the only way to achieve that is by putting the needs of the client first. If a professional photographer cannot work well with others, it can be difficult to maintain a relationships that are key to making sure a photoshoot runs smoothly.


Passion

As in any chosen carrer, passion is what sets people apart. Those who are passionate about their jobs will always perform better than those who lack passion. This doesn’t take away the need for hard work in order to be the best. But it does mean that a great professional business photographer should be willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. In most cases this means making sure the client gets what they need.


If you choose your photographer well, it should make the whole process smooth and easy to manage. The best photographers should be professional, reliable and dedicated – attributes that all work for the benefit of the client.

Technical skills

Technology changes. And the more the technology changes, the faster it seems to keep changing. We’re in an era now of rapid technological advances, especially in the world of photography. Equipment in all aspects of business photography keeps getting better.


Cameras are some of the devices that have improved so much in the last 10 years that what we’re using today would be almost unrecognisable to a photographer from a decade ago.


Cameras have become so much better and so much more adaptable and advanced that the professional commercial photographer now needs to work hard at ensuring he has the ability to handle the complexities.


Professional photographers also need to keep up with the ever-changing software, and its advances, to ensure that they are delivering future proof imagery to their clients.


It's easy for us to say that you need to choose your professional photographer carefully... but how do you do that? Check out our handy checklist below

3 reasons why you need a photographer for your business

The availability of high-quality cameras in smartphones has made it possible for people to take good pictures easily and capture any moments that they want. Given the way most businesses now operate online makes it necessary for those companies to come up with ways to best use the opportunities becoming available.


But, as a business owner, taking pictures with a mobile phone won’t show your brand in its best light, and won’t give you the best photography that you could have. Your potential customers are likely to notice if you photographs are not up to scratch, and may be negatively impacted by the presence of substandard imagery on your website and social media pages. You need a commercial photographer.

1. Perfect pictures

As a business owner in Bristol or anywhere else, competition to be at the top is fierce. One of the best ways to grab the attention of potential customers is by using top notch visual content.


A brand photographer has the skills to capture unique and high-quality pictures in high resolution, and in a way that will grab attention. Attention is the new online commodity – it’s hard to get and once you’ve got it it’s even harder to keep.


A good photographer should be able to tell your story and showcase your products in an eye catching, unique and attractive way through pictures. Professional photographers who have some years behind them should be able to see all the angles. People taking photos on their mobile phones may overlook key aspects of photography, and fail to showcase everything that your brand is about.


2. Enhanced marketing

Digital marketing has become the best, most affordable and potentially easiest way to uplift any business nowadays. Photos and videos have proven to be the most effective way of getting your brand noticed online… but only when they’re done properly.


This is crucial when you have a website, another essential need for any modern business. Your website needs the best pictures and videos on display to attract more clients. A professional photographer can give you visual content suitable for a number of different platforms, ranging from social media to billboards. These are all great marketing methods that can help you promote your business.

3. Help take the load off

Hiring a really good photographer will help put your mind at ease and allow you to focus on other areas of the business. Once you explain what you need to the photographer, he/she should be able to advise you on how to move forward, allowing you to get the best results.

Professional photographers give you more than just amazing pictures. They should have the knowledge, experience, and the skills to help your brand create the impact which you want. This means they can make your business stand out among your competitors. Professional photographers are worth investing in. The results they give are always worth more to your business and brand than the money you spend.


How to choose the right photographer

Apart from looking at the qualities the photographer possesses, you also need to ask yourself and the photographer some questions that can act as guidance to help you make the best choice. Here are some ideas of the sort of questions you could ask:


1. Do they know the values of your brand?

Working with a photographer who doesn’t understand what you need can be frustrating. You don’t have time to educate them about your brand. You can only tell them what you’re trying to achieve and they should do the rest. This means that the business photographer should do their homework on your brand and everything you offer, to learn about your values and what matters to your customers. This should mean that they can portray the business correctly to capture the attention of potential customers.

2. Are they culturally aware?

Every business has a specific niche they operate in and it is usually represented by a culture, an ethos. By understanding that culture, the good photographer should be able to reach your customers easily, producing content that they can relate to. In turn, it will be easier for your brand to interact with your customers, and they should find it easier to respond.


Make sure your photographer understands what your brand is all about, so they can help you reach the demographic you’re trying to reach.


3. Are they experienced with this type of business photography?

Experience is one of the most important factors to consider. It may seem unfair to the upcoming photographers who have the skills, but perhaps lack experience, but what you are about to undertake is an essential job for your business.


Ask the person you’re interested in hiring if they have handled your type of project before. This will show you whether they have what it takes to get photography which matches the exact specifications you’re looking for.


You should also ask a potential photographer how long they have been practicing photography and how much work they have done in your specific niche. Hiring a photographer who is just learning a new niche isn’t always a good idea. So make sure you’re looking for the right type of corporate photographer.

4. Are they dedicated enough?

Coming up with the best pictures can be a daunting task especially when you factor in the possibility of things not working out the first time as intended. There are many factors to consider such as equipment, lighting, the other people involved and the location.


Any of these may not work as intended creating knock backs. It is therefore important to work with someone who is dedicated to seeing the project through regardless of the problems that may come up in the process. You should know that they are willing and ready to dedicate their time and skills to deliver within the stipulated time.

5. Insurance?


It’s never happened to us… but accidents can occur at any time without warning. Being prepared is, therefore, the best way to tackle such occurrences and bounce back. Given the fact that the photoshoot may be taking place at your property, you need to know whether there are financial preparations to cater for any accidents should they occur. Ask the photographer if they have insurance covers for that.


The possibility of people at the location, whether they are your customers or people involved in the shoot, being injured requires you to be ready for any liability. Insurance is the best way to keep both your business protected.

6. What are the costs?

A professional photographer and a professional business photoshoot is an investment. The project should be beneficial to the business financially.


How photographers bill for their work varies wildly. Some photographers charge a flat fee. Others may charge an hourly rate. Others still may charge according to the expected duration of the project ,while others may create bespoke quotes based on the details of the job itself.


We recommend you get quotes – speak to lots of photographers and go with the one which you feel will do the best job for your business.

7. What copyright terms do they have?

One of the common problems that can arise after a photoshoot involves the licensing terms. The location of the pictures and other resources used when taking the pictures may belong to you but the copyright still belongs to the photographer.


This means that even after you pay, you’ll still need a license to use the pictures. You could end up paying more money in order to use the pictures on your website, or in print, which is why it is important to have a clear understanding beforehand, if possible have it in writing. This will help both of you avoid problems in the future pertaining to the use of the pictures.


Here at Havelock we keep the licensing as simple as possible – the only restriction on your photography is a re-sale one. In other words, you can do absolutely whatever you want with the photography we create for you, except sell it on for a profit. So if you have hired us to create social media imagery for you to promote your brand on Instagram, then you can’t sell that photograph as stock, or have it printed on a poster to sell for profit. That would come under different licensing terms.


Not all photographers are so relaxed! Make sure you read the small print, otherwise you may find yourself paying twice for the same photos.


8. Are they well prepared?

Other than having a camera, you need to know that the photographer has all the additional equipment such as props, models and lighting equipment. You should also ask if they have made arrangements for the location or studio. Make sure they also have the manpower to handle all the equipment in order to facilitate the fast completion of the project.


9. What are their expectations?

You’re not the only person with expectations concerning the project, even though you’re the business owner. A good professional photographer wants to create images that they can be proud of, and that they will want to include in their portfolio. And we would suggest that this is a good thing for you too… if the photographer wants to show off this work, then you can be sure you’re getting the most out of them.


You need to be clear with the photographer and ask them what they expect as well. Let them tell you what they want to provide you with. It’s also worth asking what they might want from you - if they want you to be available during the shoot and how many prep meetings you’ll be expected to attend.


These will help define your role clearly and help further understanding between you. The questions will also help you discover the photographer’s preferred style which will, in turn, clarify whether working together is suitable.


10. Is there a schedule?

A brand photographer that is already booked months in advance will not be of much help to you if you have an immediate need. You should, therefore, find out when they can be available to begin your project and if they will not be interrupted by another project before completing yours.


When discussing the schedule, ask about their process as well. Being a professional photographer means that it’s not quite as simple as taking holiday snaps – all good professional photographers should spend significant time editing their photos. Ask about this, ask about turnaround time. This will give you the platform to talk about the time it will take for the pictures to be ready, the criteria you’ll use when choosing the photos you can keep, and how the pictures will be presented.


11. Is there a guarantee?

Before signing a photographer, make sure they can guarantee that you will get your pictures no matter what happens, and ask if they will offer any kind of money back if they don’t match up to your expectations.


Having insurance may cover any liability to injuries but you still need a guarantee that they will deliver. They should have policies regarding what happens if you don’t like their work, if they (heaven forbid) lose the pictures because of a technical problem or if other types of interferences occur. Find out whether they can refund you and make sure they have this in writing.


Great photography for your website or marketing materials can make the difference between your brand succeeding or failing. Is it really worth taking the risk on trying to do it yourself?

The best option for your business

Commercial photography has many benefits that you can take advantage of to drive your business to the next level. It gives you opportunities to make your website better and also to use other modes of marketing as well. Your choice of professional business photographer should be affordable, reliable and efficient. Here at Havelock we possess all these qualities and more making us the best brand photography company in Bristol. Just ask our customers!


With us, your satisfaction is guaranteed and we strive to ensure that all your needs are met at every stage of the process.


We work hard to make sure we understand what you need from us and that we deliver as expected. We understand that your business deserves the best which is why we make sure we deliver the best.


We have a wide range of services that we can customise to suit your specific business needs. With an understanding that every client is unique and therefore has unique needs, we make sure your brand stands out from the rest. Our goal is to help you attract more clients and increase your sales, something we do with pleasure, dedication, and zeal.


Professional business photography in Bristol

Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise in Bristol, we have what it takes to make your dreams come true in terms of commercial photography. We have worked exceptionally with others before and will do the same with you when you contact us. Our highly qualified team has gained experience in this field of operation and we are always prepared for any possibilities. All these show that we are the perfect partner for your business photography needs in Bristol.

With the above questions, your chances of hiring the best business photographer for your website or for other marketing needs increase greatly. Make sure you can trust the person you’re hiring and can work with their terms before agreeing. You should also check their samples and any references they offer to make sure that they will meet your needs.


The benefits that high quality professional photography can bring to your business are undeniable. The time to invest in great photography is now!


Get in touch, let’s start the conversation. We want to answer all these questions… we’ve written them because we know we can answer them all!


Contact us through our contact page by clicking here.


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Havelock Photography and Video Design

Commercial photography and video in Bristol