Good photography is essential for startups. A photo has the power to instantly influence your perception of a brand and spark your curiosity. It’s important for entrepreneurs to understand this as they work to build their startup, especially in the beginning. Here are 4 reasons why:
1. Photography leaves more room for interpretation
While video definitely has its place in branding, it leaves much less room for interpretation, which may or may not be a good thing. When a business is first starting out, they might not always have a clear path of where they’re going. They need to be very responsive to the wants and needs of their customers, and until they have a significant number of customers, they won’t know what those wants or needs are. Using photography to help convey a brand’s message allows a business to be flexible because their customers can fill in any gaps, and they can take cues from that. This can apply to a business of any size. For instance, see the photo below that was first released for Captain America: Civil War.
This photo might be simple in nature, but brings many complex thoughts to mind. When I first saw it, my nerd gears kicked into overdrive. That’s Iron Man and Captain America. Why are they facing off? Clearly they don’t like each in this photo, but WHY? Are they going to fight each other? I bet they’re going to fight each other. Who would win that fight? I’m sure it would be Iron Man, but what if Captain America won? What if I had an Iron Man suit… A simple photo made my mind wander in so many directions, but more importantly, it sparked my curiosity. Obviously as soon as I saw this, I had to find the trailer. Once I saw the trailer, in all honesty, I didn’t want to see the movie quite as badly as I did after seeing the photo (though I still want to see it pretty bad).
2. A good photo can present something in its best light
Now to be clear, I don’t condone deceiving customers, but sometimes good photography can help show something in it’s best light. Have you ever been to restaurant that had delicious food, but sub par, pixelated photos on the menu? Sometimes you don’t even want to order it when you first see the photo, but you’re thankful you did when it tastes delicious. A good photo can actually impact someone’s perception of how something will taste. Product photographers know this all too well as you can see in the example below. Which would you rather drink?
3. A “bad” stock photo can hurt your brand
Take a look at the photo on the right. How many times have we seen this ridiculously generic photo pop up on the customer service chat window? The first thing I think of is generic, impersonal customer service. It’s important to have genuine photos of your business, and you should really consider having a professional photographer take them. Now imagine if you opened up a Zappos customer chat window, and the image below was the one you were presented with. It feels infinitely more personal, office clutter displayed in all its glory…
This is a clear example of how good photography, not just stock photos, can really help your brand in more ways than one.
4. Good photos make you look more professional
Last, but probably most importantly, is what photos do for your professional image. I don’t care if you’re an absolute master of your craft, a crappy photo on your website is going to make people think otherwise. Good photography conveys a sense of professionalism as well as value. As they say in marketing classes across the nation, the biggest factor that influences the upper-class in their purchasing decisions is presentation, and a photo is just another form of presentation. Even if your business does not cater to the upper-class, it can still play a huge role on how customers perceive your integrity and expertise, as well as your brand overall. Keeping this concept in mind will pay dividends in the long run.
So if your business or startup is on the fence about whether to hire a photographer, use stock photos, or snap a photo on your phone, go for photographer. You won’t regret it, and it’s what we’re here for.
Has a photo ever helped to make or break perception of a brand? Tell me about it in the comments below.