The cliche goes: a picture is worth a thousand words. And maybe in 1950, a single photo was worth a thousand words. But in the age of high-resolution images, social media and iPhones that rival professional DSLRs, the standard for photography has risen tenfold.
Why Does Professional Photography Matter for Businesses and Brands?
Let’s start with some simple truths:
Not All Photography Is Equal
Though anyone can go out and purchase a professional grade camera, not all photographers are created equal. Great photography, especially outdoor, food, business and interior photography, requires a significant amount of skill. Photographers utilize different lenses, will custom adjust aperture and shutter speed, and must take positioning into account. A good photographer will take an OK picture and make it look good with editing. A great photographer takes a great photo, and needs to make minimal adjustments.
Photos are the First Impression
Since online research is less intrusive than coming into a store, 65% of people are more likely to visit your website before ever picking up the phone or stopping by your physical location. This means your first interaction with a potential customer happens via your web presence. First impressions are a powerful tool that shapes purchasing behavior and interactions of potential customers. This is especially true for small businesses, or businesses that sell goods and services that are irregularly purchased like home construction, tree removal or an exterminator. With these types of businesses, a customer is likely to make a purchase just once, or have several years between purchases. A website with well lit, colorful, clear and quality photography paints your goods or services in the best possible light.
People are Drawn to Visuals
Did you know that 90% of the information sent to the brain is visual? Or that the average person only reads 20% of a web page but will view every image? Though more and more people are starting their market research online, images remain a crucial feature for potential clients and customers to connect with your business or product.
Photos Influence Behavior
Researchers at the University of Iowa studied how photography impacted food choices in children. “The more vivid the image, in terms of movement, color and accuracy of representation, the more realistic, the more it’s going to stimulate your response to it,” professor and researcher Brian Mennecke said. “You respond to the image on the display like you would respond to a plate in front of you. If you’re hungry you respond by saying, ‘I’ll have what’s in that picture.’”
If we know that great photography can make someone choose a specific lunch, it’s not a stretch to apply this same effect to shopping or service behavior. One key note in the University of Iowa study is the term “realistic.” This means that filling your website with high quality stock images will not produce the same result as custom photography of your exact business, goods or services.
The Bottom Line:
Is Professional Photography a Good Investment? Yes!
While the thought of spending several hundred dollars on professional photography may seem exorbitantly expensive or unnecessary, you have to think of it as an investment. With photography, you are investing in a media asset that can be used in multiple places. Photos can be used on your website, for promotional campaigns on and off the web, for social media, and for printed materials. Professional photography also ensures that the dimensions and size of the image are large enough for these endeavors, and the photos won’t look grainy or distorted. If you added up the cost of taking new photos, building custom graphics or personalizing an existing stock photo for different campaigns and promotions, you’ll quickly find that professional photography saves you time and money in the long run.
Professional photography matters, and that’s why Lift Division offers photography as an available add-on to any custom website, advertising and branding contract.