Before Photoshop: The Importance of Good Photography
Everyone is familiar with the old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” It’s true! Great imagery will really help sell your product or service online. After all, your visitors are coming to you from their couch or while they’re out and about, and the only representation they see of you is on your website. You know you need good images. So great, now what?
If one of the first thoughts to come your mind was, “Photoshop it!” … you’re not alone.
Adobe Photoshop is popularly believed by many people to be a magic bullet that can fix any image. In some ways that is true. Photoshop is a robust and powerful tool, but it is not the answer to all photographic issues. Many times, it’s simply the photo. Poor planning, inferior equipment and other mistakes made during the shoot can result in images with dull lighting or distracting artifacts which ultimately undersell your business.
And even if some of these can be fixed with Photoshop, there is time involved in doing so, and making these edits will increase your development or support costs considerably. Think through your photos before any photo shoot, even if it’s a small in-house shoot done by you. If you are a bed and breakfast taking pictures of the rooms for the website, make sure the bed skirt and sheets are steamed before taking the picture. Smoothing wrinkles out of sheets in Photoshop can take up to an hour depending on the wrinkles and quality of the edits. That could run you an extra $125 from a marketing agency.
A Basic Guide to Taking Better Photos
Keep these things in mind when you are photographing your business for marketing purposes.
- Plan your photo shoot. Take the time to figure out what pictures you want and need in order to market your product or service, then make a list.
- Look at the space. Take a look around the room or area you are photographing before the photo shoot. If you are photographing a backyard for a magazine and don’t want the children’s toys in the picture, move them out of the way. Remember the bed skirt above? Steaming in real life is much easier than in Photoshop.
- Consider the lighting. Color balance and contrast can be edited in Photoshop, but it’s always a good idea to start off with the best lighting you can. Natural light is best, but any light is better than none.
- Use the fanciest camera you have. We are always camera ready with smartphones, but it is best to use a high resolution digital camera for your marketing needs. These pictures will always come out more crisp than a camera phone.
- Use stock photography sparingly. Stock photography sites are numerous, and most of the imagery is very affordable. While using stock images can really fill in the gaps and come out looking great, try to use them sparingly as unique imagery will put you a step ahead of the competition.
Keeps these handy tips in mind for your next photo shoot and you will be pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Achieving professional results with Photoshop can be tricky. Remember if you do need some digital touch ups, Osky Blue’s creative team can help.