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There are numerous visual representations of your business – from website design to logos and beyond. However, nothing is more visually beneficial than actual photographs of your products/services, your physical space and you/your staff. Photographs give customers a clear visual characterization of your business. They add a personal touch missing from graphic elements and offer another method of connection. However, marketing and branding – even through photography – should be professional and polished. Therefore, the importance of quality business photography cannot be overstated.

In other words, selfies just won’t do.

Good business photography conveys an image that not only engenders trust from customers and partners, but also it speaks to your credibility. As a business owner, you command a certain level of reverence and respect. Using vacation selfies or overly casual photos for advertising does not communicate that message.

Professional business photography is a must. Dress the part, depending on your industry. This means suit-and-tie for a formal business (legal, finance, administrative, etc.) or industry-appropriate attire for a niche endeavor. For example, a chef’s jacket is appropriate attire for a catering business photo shoot, while stylish, trendy garb is ideal for a retail shop owner. Choose something that is professional, but also representative of your industry.

Work with a professional on your business photography. While this is an added expense that you may feel as though you can ill afford, the pictures will pay for themselves in professional integrity and polish for your marketing materials. People are more likely to take you seriously with professional business photos and you can use them extensively across platforms of all types.

Take a variety of different shots to highlight all the different aspects of your business. Approach product shots from varying angles and update them often in advertising. Get some great headshots of yourself for business social media pages and any bio needs. Seek environmental shots for print and digital marketing purposes. Get shots of your staff because they are working just as hard as you are to get your business off the ground and deserve to be involved in promotions. The more variety you have in your business photography, the more options you have for any type of advertising endeavor you opt to use in promoting your company.

While some staged shots are appropriate, candid shots are important as well. People like to see you engaged as a business owner. If you own a storefront, then get the photographer to capture you in action with some of your customers. If you provide a service, ask the photographer to capture you performing said service. The more that people can relate to your photographs, the visibility your photographs will bring your company.