“We’ll just shoot it ourselves.” This statement is occasionally made by organizations trying to save money, and with digital photography, who can blame them? After all, digital “point and shoots” give immediate imagery in increasingly higher levels of resolution. The files can also be instantly integrated into layouts.
But visual immediacy does not mean that the imagery reflects a product well. All too often, the time to compose shots with good lighting is bypassed in the interest of keeping things “cheap.” As a result, designers are forced to use provided images that either need extensive Photoshop work or are unusable. Many times, I have observed that the money saved in shooting is spent in labor costs to rework photos.
As a positive example, a client in the manufactured housing industry recently hired PPM to shoot photography that visually denoted the value and quality of their beautiful interior decors. They could have tried shooting this themselves, but realized that to accurately convey the richness of their units they needed the combination of conceptual art direction and architectural photography. It took two days to shoot seven units “inside and out,” but the results are breathtaking. On more than one occasion, I have been told by those viewing the photos, “I want to live there!” This is exactly the type of reaction that good photography should have for your product or services. Immediate engagement and attraction should be the first response.
The bottom line is that the investment in professionally photographed imagery is money well spent. By building an archive of high quality images, clients are paid back over and over by the high quality perception of their products. Every marketing communication is a reflection of the excellence of the product or services you supply. When considering the use of a point and shoot camera, don’t shoot your marketing efforts in the foot! Instead, think of the question: “How well does this photo reflect the value of our product or service?” Let this be your guide.