Last week I ended up speaking to an informal business group about my work here at Petruzzo Photography and the question came up about costs for professional photography in business. Before that question got any traction, I pointed out that cost isn’t really the important issue for people, quality is usually the issue, even if they can’t see it.
I broke it down for them a little differently at the time, but I realized that the group was having trouble quantifying the impact of professional photography on their business. Lets talk about some of the ways the quality of your images impact your business.
Settling for “just get it done” quality may save a percentage on costs, but the problem that is revealed in those quality or cost shortcuts is the consistency and the attention to detail in the business–Something that the big guys have the budget to maintain throughout the business. If you are really a little guy, but your product or service is on par with the big guy, you need to be able to convey those bigger attributes, even though you are a smaller operator.
For example, everybody has a camera on their phone and they use it constantly. Taking a selfie in the car is about as different from a formal executive business headshot as you can get, but to many, they can’t quantify how the real headshot will help them and they think they’re saving money. It’s like having a “just get it done” business card – you know the kind- thin, flat print- they bought 500 for $10 in some online promotion and the impression they give is just kind of half-assed. Yeah it “got done”, but who cares?
High quality photos, whether they be headshots or photos of the office or new equipment, give the impression that you pay attention to the details; that you’re not just committed to getting it done, but getting it done right.
The Images Your Business Uses Will Influence Your Customer’s Trust
Let’s say you take a picture of the sales manager against a cinderblock wall in the office using an iPhone. How does it look? Well, there is no mistaking it’s the sales manager. It shows that the picture was taken in the office, and he or she is wearing the same attire they would be wearing at work. The lights in the office are flourescent so there’s noticeable banding due to the camera’s auto shutter, and the color has a vague green tint to it. The framing of the shot, is slightly off, so it was cropped. Then it was enlarged, so some detail and clarity were lost.
Does the sales manager do an excellent, professional job? Do you expect him to be around for a while, or do you think he might be gone as quickly as the photo was taken? A photos like this falls into that “just get it done” category, and this raises unconscious concerns with some customers about where else you’re taking this approach.
Professional images help undermine this first impression. They say you’re invested. They make you and your brand more approachable and help get the trust-ball rolling.
Better images make it easier for your customers to recommend you to friends.
When one of your customers goes to your webpage and sees the images your business uses, your business looks well put together and professional, and they feel a sense of validation. If they’re having a good experience, they’re glad they’re all the more satisfied doing business with you.
But it’s more than that. Have you ever ever hesitated to recommend an amazing falafel place to a stuffy relative because the storefront was run down? No? Well, lots of people have, in their own way. Sometimes it’s a website that’s so bad they don’t bother trying to explain it to anyone. Sometimes it’s images that are so bad, they don’t want to have to convince their friends to take you seriously.
The point is, the images that you choose are what you are using to present your business to the world. Your happy customers shouldn’t have to make excuses for you, and you should be making it as easy as possible for them to talk about you constantly!