For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Ally. I’m thirty *cough* years old, a Londoner. I like to run. A lot. I also like to cycle, swim & lift weights, generally I like being active. I’m a vegetarian, I drink way too much coffee, like a good red wine & a cheeky G&T. I take far to many selfies and I’m a photographer.
But isn’t everyone a photographer?
I mean, now-a-days everyone has a camera & an Insta page full of gorgeous snapshots of their lives.
The camera’s being used may not be big, hefty beasts with interchangeable lenses but if you have a smartphone, you have a camera & most modern smartphones take a pretty decent photo. You can even edit your photos using apps on your phone, removing unwanted items, tweaking the colours, smoothing the skin. Who needs Photoshop, Lightroom & a Mac? Right?
So really, why do we still need professional photographers? Why do I do what I do?
Firstly, no matter how good your phone camera is, a good professional photographer will always take a better photo. A photo isn’t simply made by the equipment used, it’s made by understanding light, composition & when photographing people building a rapport with your subject.
It’s far more than just taking a photo. Which is why there is still a place for professional photographers.
So what makes me different to asking Joe Bloggs in accounts to take a few snaps for the new company website on his iPhone?
Let me tell you.
Why in the first paragraph did I talk about myself?
People do business with people.
I believe it is important to get to know my clients & that my clients know me. Getting to know the people who I photograph & building a relationship with them helps them to relax & feel comfortable in front of my camera. A relaxed & comfortable person results in relaxed & comfortable photos, whether it be a business professional or a bride.
Whether it is a simple headshot for LinkedIn, a day long conference, an evening awards ceremony or a wedding, I always take the time to get to know the client & what they want to achieve from their time in front of my camera,
I will find out what your business does & who your target clients are as it’s important that the photos I take appeal to your target market.
I will ask how you want to come across in your photos. Are you in a ‘serious’ profession, a lawyer, teacher or accountant & need to come across as professional, authoritative & responsible. Or do you run a fresh, new vibrant creative business with a relaxed, fun & unique vibe. The way I approach taking your photos will differ accordingly.
If we’re shooting images for your website I’ll look through your current site, if it’s a new project I’ll chat to your web designer, look to see where you need photos & what you want them to say. Over coffee we’ll brainstorm together the visual story you want to tell. I’ll suggest ideas, tell you if something isn’t going to work & suggest an alternative.
As part of the brainstorming I’ll look at your branding & the colour palette you use to make sure your photos will compliment existing design work bringing cohesion & visual consistency to your website & printed collateral.
I can advise on shoot locations & props to enhance your images.
I can advise you on what to wear & accessories that you can add to bring life & character to your portrait. I’ll remind you of easily forgotten things like freshly painted nails if your hands are going to be in shot. I can recommend personal stylists, make-up artists & hair-dressers if you want a little assistance with your styling ahead of your shoot.
Then when it comes to the shoot I will guide you through the whole session, using the best lighting, advising you how to stand, sit, what to do with your feet & where to put your hands. Where to look, to smile or not.
I will talk to you throughout, tell stupid jokes & make myself look silly to provoke laughter, anything that it takes to make you feel comfortable & relaxed, whether it be a ten minute shoot or a hour long session. I want you to forget that the camera is there, to engage with me in the way that you are engaging with your client or customer & the person who looks at your photos.
I will take a variety of images so that you have a selection to choose from.
I don’t just turn up with a camera, take a quick snap & leave.
Joe Bloggs could do that. Anyone could do that.
I’ve quoted the statistic ’93% of all human communication is visual’ before. We live in a very image savvy world & it’s vitally important that the photos you use to market yourself & your business reflect you & your brand values in a positive manner.
By looking a the bigger picture, and not just the picture I am taking, I try my upmost to ensure that they do.
So far I’ve just talked about concepts, process & ideas. Practically why should you hire me, a professional photographer, rather than asking Joe Bloggs to take a few snaps? I mean, I do cost money.
I’m professionally trained with over 12 years of experience in the photographic industry.
I am fully insured including public liability insurance. Does Joe have insurance incase anything goes wrong whilst he’s taking a few snaps for your website?
I use professional equipment & have back-ups of every item. I take several camera’s lenses & a range of accessories to every shoot. True, a good photographer can take a good photo with any camera (& I will quite happily whip out my iPhone to snap those personal shots), but in all honestly you want the photos that are representing your business to be of the highest possible quality & that is best achieved using professional equipment.
Lastly, with my years of experience, I hope my portfolio shows you why it’s worth hiring a professional photographer to take photos for your business.
Although, as I’ve just said, I do way more than just take a photo, take a look at my portfolio below.