What is photography?
We talk about photography for business
It may seem a strange question, but photography is many things. Images are all around us and it is easy to become dismissive about photography – well, they’re just pictures aren’t they? Not as far as businesses are concerned they’re not. In business we need an image that sells, not something to hang in a photo gallery. Choosing the right image for the job will significantly impact on the success of your marketing campaign.
Sometimes you need proper photographic studio lighting…
…sometimes you don’t – but you’re mostly better off with a photographer
With the advent of cheap pro-sumer cameras and highly capable camera-phones, many businesses opt for the DIY route. After all, with the explosion of image sharing services on the internet and the general population’s apparent lack of discernment about what they ‘like’, one can be forgiven for thinking that OK is good enough. Sometimes this may be true, average quality photographs can look more real in a social media context and gain more engagement as people feel closer to them. Fine, but we feel the current status quo actually presents businesses opportunity. If most images are around the mean average, it is not hard to stand out and excel.
There is a place for bulk low-end photography – an image shot on a smart phone and processed through Instagram can gain huge publicity; we even know some high-end photographers who shoot iPhone pictures by choice sometimes. However, if you need images for the press for instance, even the best camera phone or point and shoot won’t get you the coverage you deserve.
Imagine you are a magazine editor and you have a page or two that you need to fill, because advertising sales have been a bit slow this month. You have a selection of articles that have been sent in, broadly aligned to your editorial content; they have all been submitted by email.
The other two have even included proper editors’ notes and attached a version of the copy in a Microsoft Word document to make life easy for you. One has included one 200Kb image that your cat could have shot. Fail.
One had attached a selection of five images, all about 500Kb and are actually pretty good, but the composition leaves no dead space… and, on close examination, there are clear jpg compression artefacts in the images… even though they were shot with a single on-body flash that has cast ugly shadows on the wall, you’re getting desperate… you need to get to press… so maybe they’ll do…?
You take a deep breath knowing the studio will reject them and that you are going to have to get Erica to try and track down some proper, printable high resolution copies, which you know there isn’t time for.
I photograph many subjects from fashion photography through music photography, PR head-shots, construction and project completion photography. I’ve been published nationally and internationally so I know what editors are looking for – not least because I also typeset and make up magazines, so I’m also the guy in the studio rejecting 80% of the photos submitted (sorry!)
A few architectural and construction photos
Details of the extraordinary Sainsbury Laboratory with more of my photos can be seen in this Yudu magazine clipping I found here.