I was hanging out with a great friend of mine, Dawn Patel, that is a huge Refab-clothing entrepreneur. As most things have a tendency to do with small business owners alike, conversations most always have a way of looping back around to talk about the business. Dawn mentioned that she has seen a noticeable tendency with product pictures on her online stores. You guessed it, The items that had “good” photos are the most popular ones, have the most views, and ultimately sell faster than any other items that she is selling.
I have decided to talk a bit about the power of a good photograph, and how it many times gets overlooked in todays small business because of the expense. Many owners feel that they can skimp on the photography because it’s something that they can do themselves, especially with the technology of digital SLR cameras continuing to advance at a very rapid rate.
Below you will find a quick list of FIVE important reasons that I feel good professionally done photography is important to all sized business’ alike. I am just going to list these things out there and I hope that you can contribute and discuss. I love to read comments.
1.Stopping Power. A good photo speaks volumes louder than an “ok photo” will ever speak. Lets take a simple example that I am sure that just about everyone can relate to; The front page of your local newspaper. The front page photograph beside the main headline, are what “suck” the reader into the paper and force them to stop on the sidewalk, put their $0.75 in the machine, and walk away with Today’s News. Even a person that cannot read, can understand a photograph. A good photograph stops the viewer in their tracks, whether it be busy businessperson, the local cook on their lunch, a student on their way home from class or the casual internet surfer. If any of them see a jaw-dropping photograph on the front page they are more than likely to stop and at least look at the paper or stay on that web page for a bit longer. That is what I am going for here. I think that most of us understand what a good photo and a bad photo are.
2. People like to see before they purchase. I do not know about you, but I am an avid eBayer. After all, it is the world’s biggest thrift store right? But this goes for ALL online stores and business that sell products. More more real the photograph is of the item that you are selling, the more likely that item is to sell. I do not think that I have ever bough anything without first looking at it in closer detail. A good product photograph should show the texture of the material or item, the overall size, proper color, and for clothes, maybe a little attitude. The viewer should really be able to visualize and just about feel the product in their hands with the photos that you are providing them. The more solid a job that you do in displaying that item, the more comfortable that person feels with it, the more attached they become to it, the more that they have to HAVE that item. Going…going…SOLD!
3. Visual improvements. One of the biggest turn-offs that I have when I am on the web is bad photographs on a site. (I think that this comes particularly with the profession that I have chosen and being a visual person) I am about 85% more likely to navigate away from a site due to the bad photography. I think that it has a direct relationship as to how the viewer portrays the business. If there are bad photographs, I feel that the viewer is more inclined to think there are bad products. Whereas if there is a breathtaking photograph, the viewer is more likely one, stay on the site longer and two, have a better sense and confidence in the business. If a prospective client is confidant in the business, the likelihood of a sale skyrockets!
4. Building off of the pervious point, a good photograph shows that you are serious about what you are selling. You have taken the time and effort (and money if you hired a photographer) to do it right. Customers will notice this and it will have an impact on the reputation of the business. A dimly-lit, yellow-ish interior of your restaurant isn’t going make people want to come and dine there. Now think of that, a beautifully exposed, true white-balanced, in-focus photograph that you have seen in Dwell. That is how you want to show-off your business.
5. Spend once, use many times in many applications. As a business owner, I have always had the mentality that you have to spend money to make money. Spending money on a Professional Photographer to shoot interiors, products and atmosphere shots for your company is money well spent. These photos can be used on your Web site, TV commercials, menus, gift certificates/gift cards, bill boards, stickers, member cards, really any promotional material. (Make sure that you read that contract)
I see many business that skimp on the photography because they feel that it not worth the cost. What I am saying here, not because I am in the photography field but because it really is proven, is that good photography sells and in the end, will help make your business more profitable. (And keeps me in business ;) )