GUEST BLOG: The Importance of Stunning Visual Content
Post by Michele Suits, Quarter Moon Co.
Picture this….. You’re planning a night out, and you want to pick a restaurant for a really kickass taco dinner. You ask a friend for a recommendation, and you take their suggestion and look up the place up….
You end up at a pretty dull website, with not much more than a menu and some stock images on it. You’re not totally convinced, so you head to Yelp. The reviews look good, but there’s still no visuals to support them. So then, in a valiant effort of redemption, you pop over to their instagram, hoping to find something to entice you and back up the words of praise, and instead you find regrammed iphone photos, taken sloppily under fluorescent lighting, by patrons who may or may not have had a few margaritas before they became a photographer for the night.
You’re feeling pretty skeptical by this point – do you take a chance on your special taco night at this place that could potentially be a bust, or do you keep searching for something that looks more promising?!
Well guess what – we make A LOT of decisions in life the way we make a decision about where to get a great plate of tacos from. We ask for referrals, we investigate, and we judge based on what we see. And when we don’t feel like reading (I’m guilty), we just make a decision based off of the visuals.
Even if you’ve heard great things, when your search is met with mediocre visuals that don’t leave you convinced, you probably won’t be jumping in the air to throw your money at that person/service/thing. Instead, you’re gonna be a hard sell, and you’re going to probably be a difficult patron, because you will be skeptical the whole time. (AKA, you probably won’t be anybody’s ideal client – no offense).
So now, consider that this is the way most of the world is out there searching for YOU. Your brand, that you’ve put your everything into. You KNOW you have something amazing to offer, but, if you want someone to toss their confidence and their money into your hands, you’re going to need to make sure they are convinced too!
The first step obviously is to make sure you’ve got that killer brand, with those stellar referrals to back it up, because that is of course top priority. Next, you want to visually translate all of those things that make you AWESOME.
So now that we’ve established how dang important that amazing content really is, it raises the question – how do I choose the right photographer to deliver these incredible visuals?!
Right back to our plate of tacos theory….. Seek referrals, investigate, and judge based on what you see! Here’s a few tips for this process, to help you with the process of picking a great photographer to represent your brand!
Get those referrals! Ask other people whose content you admire, who their photographer is! Or, if you aren’t comfortable asking them, see if they are tagging them in their photos (they should be, it’s an industry standard, and common courtesy!)
Investigate! Check out the photographer’s website/social media. Think about the following….
Do they have a strong online presence? Do they have lots of great photos to share on their website, and clear information about what they do?
Do they have great reviews? Check for testimonials on their website, and also check for reviews on social media/review websites.
Do they say they offer what you’re looking for? For example, if you’re looking at a photographer’s portfolio and it’s all solid background product shots, they might not specialize in natural light event photography. Not ALL photographers offer ALL types of photography services, so make sure you do your research about what that specific photographer specializes in!
Decide based on what you see! Do these visuals match up with the vibe you want to portray for YOUR brand?
Notice the tones in the images – are they consistent, and do they represent the mood of your brand? For example, photos with a dark, moody vibe, may not be best for a pediatrician, just as bright and blown-out photos might not be best for a rock band.
Do you see people/brands like you in their portfolio? Do you feel represented in their work and like they will understand you/your brand/your mission?
After looking at their work, do you feel confident, or do you feel skeptical? Photography is a big investment, and you want to go into it feeling confident! Your skeptical energy will not only cause you stress, but it will likely interfere with the creative process, and make it difficult for all parties involved! So, make sure to assess those feelings beforehand!
If you made it through all 3 of these steps, and are feeling like you might’ve found your photographer soul mate, then shoot them an inquiry! (And in case there’s any confusion as to what that means, follow their preferred method of contact via their website – do NOT send them a DM on instagram asking for their services/rates). This is the best and most efficient way to get service info from a photographer!
Wishing you the best of luck in your visual content creating adventures!