Professional photographers are incredibly skilled at their craft but with that skill comes a hefty price tag. If you are just starting up a business, you may not have the funds in place to hire a professional photographer but at the same time, you need good quality images that you can use on all of your marketing materials.
Firstly, you need a good camera. Ideally, you would use a DSLR but phone cameras have come a long way in recent years, so you can use that. You want to make sure that you have the largest file size possible, which gives you more flexibility later on with editing. Once it’s compressed, you can’t get it back, so you always want to keep the large original file available to you.
So once you've got the camera sorted, now you want to find your subject. If you have a product then it’s pretty straight forward. You will want to take photographs in a few various styles. You will want shots that show the quality of the product (i.e. some close up shots to show the material). Then you will want ones to show the product in its entirety or how it will be used. If it’s clothing, then you will want a picture of the whole piece or on a model. If it is flooring, you will want a picture of it in a room. Taking photographs of a service is more tricky. You could get some action shots (i.e. of a car being washed), the facilities, the products you use, the end results, etc. Basically, you want to take photographs that explain your business and entice the customer to try it out.
Taking photographs of products would benefit from having some kind of studio setting. You can get white card from a craft store and use a lamp with a bright, white bulb to give you your own mini studio. Then other photographs, you will just have to play with the framing and the lighting. Take your time and don’t be afraid to take hundreds of photos. You want options so that when it comes to using them, you can find the perfect one.
Then it comes to editing them. Depending on the purpose, you may want you photographs to have a certain style which you can add in during post production. For example, you may have a pastel colour theme for your website so you want the photographs to have a slight pastel pink tinge. There are free editing websites like Pixlr which are really easy to use and have various options. If you want to do more complex photo editing, you could use a website like Photopea which is like a free version of Photoshop.
Depending on the effect you want, it may mean playing around with the different effects. If you want to smooth someone’s skin, you can use surface blur. You may want to make everything grayscale except a certain element (like your product). You can make the colours more vivid and edit the exposure a bit. It’s a good idea to play with the curves to get the image looking how you want it colour wise. A lot of photo editing packages have other filters that you can apply straight away. Good photographs usually don’t need a lot of work. It is just refining it to get the style of image you want.
There are many Photoshop tutorials on YouTube that you can look up if you are after a specific effect. When editing your images, it usually just takes a bit of time to familiarise yourself with the editor and what style you prefer. Remember that when experimenting with things to always keep the original layer the same and work on copies. You can also combine a few images together. For example, you could take a picture of the sky and then extract an image of your product and put it onto that sky.
Be sure to check out our photographs that are available to download (www.zortex.co.uk/photography) and get in touch if you would like some assistance with images for your website.