In an age where the latest mobile phones and tiny point-and-shoot cameras can snap some fairly nice high-resolution photos and the internet offers countless resources for inexpensive stock photography, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make a case for the value of good, professional photography.
For many, the issue with hiring a professional photographer often comes down to cost. And while there can be considerable expenses attached, it’s useful to consider what you’re getting for your investment.
A professional photographer is an artist, one who pours years of learning and experience into every photo. They know how to frame a striking shot; how to manipulate composition, light, shadow, texture, color and focus to create mood, beauty and energy and get the most from their subject, no matter what it might be. More, they are storytellers whose work can help to visually enhance your brand and convey the message behind your business, product or service.
Professional photographers provide original, exclusive work. The photos are yours to use when and where you wish. With stock photography, you’re (mostly) getting professional photography, but also run the risk of seeing a photo you’ve used on your website in a dozen different places—maybe even in a competitor’s ad. And while it is possible to pay for exclusivity rights with some stock photo providers, the usage rights costs are often calculated by the number of impressions (web or print, readership of the publication) and time period of the usage and can be prohibitively expensive over time.
Though many professional photographers take stock photos, they vary greatly in quality and are generic by nature. The shots are designed to appeal to a wide variety of audiences and industries and generate as many sales as possible. Another problem with stock is consistency. It can be difficult to find a number of photos that match in style, or that captures the look you’re going for. Even if you get close, it will never be your look, or the story of your business.
A Case In Point
Agency Off Record has been involved in an exciting project over the past few months: designing and coordinating the production of a new A Well-Seasoned Kitchen cookbook by culinary personality and author Lee Clayton Roper. Coming off the success of her first cookbook, now in it’s second printing, Lee wanted to create something “inspiring” for the everyday gourmet. To help realize her vision, Lee enlisted the help of Souders Studios, in Golden, Colorado. Rick Souders and his team immediately set about creating gorgeous shots that captured the visual and gastronomic appeal of Lee’s recipes. Thanks to the expertise, artistry and resources of Rick and his team, Lee’s new cookbook now has a unique look as well as a voice, one featuring consistent, impeccably-styled and stunning photography.
One More Thing Once you’ve made the decision to hire a professional photographer to help tell your story, it is important to find the right photographer. There is much talent to choose from in a myriad of styles, but not all will be a fit for you or your business. Consider their specialties—you’d be ill-served to hire a portrait photographer to take architectural shots and vice versa. Do the research. Or better yet, call us and we’ll provide suggestions of local photography talent who can help you look your best.
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