Why Great Photography Matters and Why it Sometimes Doesn’t

Jun 15, 2020 | Agency Blog, Branding

According to a 2015 study from Microsoft,

the average consumer’s attention span is about eight seconds. By the time you’re done reading this sentence, you’ll be well past eight seconds and my task to create compelling content can be called a success.

Jokes aside, that’s not a whole heck-of-a-lot of time with a prospective client. Images are one of the fastest, most effective ways to tell your prospect who you are and what you’re about. I think on a base level that’s pretty obvious, but time and again companies forego high-quality, brand-specific photos for stock images. Or they recruit Deanne from accounting to grab some with her new iPhone.

The power of pretty pictures

Our visit to Bojangles’ simply wouldn’t have happened without proper photography.*

At this point you’re probably thinking “Of course food photography is important, it should look delicious. What does that have to do with my business?”

The short answer? Everything. Whether you’re in the business of health care, transportation, or insert-industry-here, the touch of photography is a powerful one. A single, thoughtful image can instantly build trust while conveying the quality of the goods or service your business offers. More often than not, it sets you apart from competition that doesn’t present as well (obligatory analogy to online dating goes here).

I’m assuming now that my little anecdote has sufficiently convinced you that professional photography is something that will benefit your business, but you’re wondering how to justify the cost. Fair. The key is to get the most out of a shoot.


*Photo shown is not the actual biscuit discussed.

Photo shoots take planning. Lots of planning.

Before anyone picks up a camera,

make a list of the different aspects of your business that you think are most important (or seek the advice of your friendly, neighborhood strategic marketing agency) . Be sure to share these with your photographer. Together you can build a shot list full of images that are multi-use and consistent.

One strategically planned shoot and BOOM! Suddenly you have a cohesive look and feel for your website, your print collateral, social, the whole nine. All in all, that’s a pretty solid return.

About those stock images and non-professional photos.

Stock photography is great.

Especially when you need to quickly convey a feeling or an idea and just don’t have the budget or time to hire a pro. Just bear in mind that your business isn’t cookie-cutter so try not to use cook-cutter images to do the heavy lifting when it comes to what makes your business yours. It probably goes without saying, but it would be less than ideal for you and your competition to build a look or campaign around the same image.

And I’ve seen that happen.

When it comes to non-pro images, it’s usually best to save those for the ‘gram. Social media has trained us to recognize that more spontaneous images are okay. They add a certain level of humanization and “realness” to the images that is sometimes a welcome departure (just go a little easy on the Facetune).

This is all just a quick snapshot (see what I did there?) of things to consider when it’s time to make marketing decisions. It’s understandably easy to get overwhelmed with it all. If you’re on the fence over what the right play is, or you’ve decided you need custom photography but don’t know where to start, give us a shout. We’d love to help you plan and execute your vision.


In the meantime, enjoy this snapshot of my cat.

Want to learn more about Vela’s capabilities? Contact us today or take a look at our Portfolio.


And while you are clicking, check out some of our #WhatHappensAfter content:


We offered our tips on how to do a communications audit; how to adapt to changes in the customer journey; what to say in your messages; and how to find the right channels for sharing them. You can find all #WhatHappensAfter content and related videos on the Vela website.


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