You’ve put a lot of time into developing your business and brand. You had a professional design your logo and colour palette, a copywriter wrote your website content, and your social media is being professionally managed. So why is your ‘headshot’ still one you took 3 years ago on your iPhone? People tend to invest a lot into other aspects of their business and branding but overlook the investment of a good headshot.
A lot of people shy away from professional photography mainly due to the price. A good photographer can run hundreds of dollars a session and can go into the thousands depending on the extent of the shoot. People assume they can get away taking photos themselves or using stock, this just isn’t true.
Professional photographers… are professionals for a reason: they spend their days taking photos, they have formal training whether it be through a secondary institution or an apprenticeship with a veteran photographer, and they know how to use their equipment and lighting to make you look your best and capture the message you want to convey for you and your brand.
If you’re still thinking you can get away with anyone taking headshots or any important business/brand photography for that matter, here are some other reasons why hiring a professional for your photos is a good idea.
Have you ever been scrolling through a website and the about me page has a photo of some guy in a t-shirt from his vacation years ago, maybe there are a bunch of team members with photos they had clearly sent in, or maybe their product photos are blurry? You were probably thinking it is lacking the professionalism you’re looking for, whether you knew it or not.
You have about 11 seconds for when someone first sees your photo before they make any assumptions about you or your brand, even before they meet you or use your product/service. Having the right photography on your site that conveys your professionalism, confidence, and trustworthiness all plays in your favor.
Not only will crisp, well lit photos look great on your platforms, they will help you sell yourself and your brand to people before they have even met you.
Have you ever been on a real estate brokerage site or a law office and checked out their team photos? Both are professional careers, but you may have noticed a lack of consistency. For example, some may be blurry, some may have a blue background, some may be in an office, some done with an iPhone, and some with a proper camera. You don’t change your logo every time you add it to something, so why is it so frequently done with branded photography? This may not seem like a huge deal, but it really devalues the overall look of a website or social profile.
When you hire a professional photographer, they will ensure your team photos, solo photos and brand photos are consistent. The lighting for all of them will be the same, they will all be shot on a backdrop or in a similar setting. They will add uniformity to the website, and lead to a cleaner, more professional look for your company and brand.
A professional photographer will develop a photo style with you consistent with your brand guidelines and keep them all looking the same whether they take photos today or 3 months down the road. Not all photographers will fit your style, so finding one that is a good match for your brand is essential to getting the feel you want for your brand.
Content is king as the saying goes, and photos of any type are content. Photos stretch so much more than just looking good on your website. They can be used for a long time across multiple platforms. Use them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google accounts, end your presentation with them, and even use them on a billboard. The possibilities are endless for headshots and branded photography.
Authentic photography is an investment that is worth a thousand words that can be used just about anywhere. It allows you to show potential and current clients your potential, a lot of people want to be shown something and not told. With the obvious widespread use of online platforms, sharing photography of your brand is easier now more than ever, and makes photo content that much more valuable to your business and brand.
Using a professional photographer for your headshots and business photos may cost you a little more, but it is something that should be taken into account when you’re developing a budget for your marketing and advertising. Taking photos has for sure become way easier in the last couple of years with the advancements of cell phone cameras and consumer-grade cameras. However, it isn’t the gear that makes the photographer. Everyone can take a photo, but not everyone has the proper photography skills to take a good one. When you hire a professional photographer, you will get photos that truly set your brand and business apart from the competition.
John Nandlall , Copywriter + Photographer
John is a creative copywriter and photographer here at Xactly. Before coming to Xactly, he freelanced for over 5 years in photography and video specializing in branded content and portraiture. He is no stranger to telling a story through both his visual and written work. He found a passion for writing during his B.A. in English Literature at Trent University. He is currently working towards a graduate certificate in Image arts and Photography at Ryerson University. His passion for writing and visual imagery comes through in all the work he produces, whether it is social copy for the month or product photos and headshots.