Having good quality photography, which accurately represents your business, is mandatory. Whether you are posting to social media, updating your website, or being featured in the national media, your photos are your opportunity to showcase what you do and who you are.
As part of our Boost My Business initiative, Fiona Alston asked Dublin based photographer Alan Rowlette to expose some of his basic tips to get the best out of your photographs.
He is owner of Alan Rowlette Media which specialises in corporate and commercial photography.
Tell a story - I've always been into storytelling through photography. If you're looking at storytelling, it's got nothing to do with the equipment you use, you could have a really high priced DSLR or you could have a camera phone, they'll all do the job for you. You need a good eye for it and to put time into taking the photographs. You need to put the effort into telling your business’s story and showing the people behind the scenes. Try to avoid staged photographs as much as you can, a candid style is more believable, it is more human.
Lighting - Look for natural light. Have a look at your office or your place of business, or wherever it is, and find out what time of the day has the nicest lighting and utilise that space.
Shoot With Intent – Think about where the photos are going to end up. I'd always opt to photograph things horizontally/in landscape because you can crop it into square if you need it for Instagram and you can crop a decent enough portrait out of it too.
Headshots – I’d shoot in landscape and I always put the person or people to the right hand side or the left hand side of the frame, it just allows for you to leave overlay text if you’re talking about a sale, or any sort of promotions, it gives you that space to work with.
Don’t Crowd The Frame - For example, if you're a cafe business and you are photographing a barista pouring coffee either pick out the coffee to focus on, or get the barista’s smile, or handing over a coffee possibly to a happy client.
Don’t Over Edit Your Photos - Don't go crazy. Don't throw millions of Instagram filters on it because it just looks bad. Obviously tip up the shadows a little bit, bring down the darks a little bit but keep editing to a minimum.
Shooting Food - Natural light is king, always go for your natural light. If you're a takeaway, definitely put it on a plate. Plate up the food to make it look nice, throw some props in around it like salt and pepper shakers or knives and forks - even play around with different types of angles.
Progression Comes From Practice - If you look at anyone who's great at social media around the business space, the likes of The Fat Fox or The Happy Pear, they don't live their lives on social media, but they're shooting quite a bit. You’d think that they just woke up and they’ve always been brilliant at it but look at their Instagram post of years gone by, it’s all progression due to practice. I would say shoot a lot, pick out what you like and go from there.