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Professional photography is a cost-effective investment

August, 2022

We all know a picture speaks a thousand words. Erica Jones, Account Director at Kent PR, marketing and public affairs agency Maxim, wants to know how many of you acknowledge this fact when marketing your business?

As someone whose work primarily involves writing, it pains me to admit that my words can lose some of their impact unless they are accompanied by a good quality, high resolution photograph, but I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told “there’s no budget for photography”.

Instead, I end up with a badly posed image of a group of uncomfortable-looking people – at least one with their eyes closed. Or an awkward head and shoulders because the person wanted to “just get it over with”. And that’s before we discuss the file size issues as the picture is reduced in quality after you sent it from your phone.

One of these photographs was taken by a professional.

Both of these scenarios will have taken a good 20 minutes out of your day. Both could be made a whole lot more cost-effective – and less stressful – if only you’d booked a professional photographer.

Yes, they’ll cost you from £200 for an hour’s photoshoot, but if that photoshoot includes your management team plus a few scene setters of your business or branding, the photos will soon pay for themselves in terms of usage. The photoshoot experience will also be a lot less painful with a professional, compared to Sam from Reception wielding a mobile phone, only to end up with you looking like a criminal because the flash caught you at the wrong angle.

I appreciate the money may seem like an issue, but let me talk you through it.

Say there are six people on your management team, that’s 12 photos – one happy and one serious for each person. Then throw in a few team photos of the six of you, plus a couple of views of your office sign/shop front/company van. Let’s assume you’ve been organised and gathered everyone together in advance and we can round that to a conservative 25 pictures.

So that’s 25 photos for £200, or £8 a photo.

Multiple uses

You immediately put the team photo and management photos onto your website, plus a few of the scene setters to help illustrate your business. The same images can also go on social media – more than once if you vary the accompanying text. Then you get a banner made to promote your organisation at an event, and the photos also appear in a couple of media adverts.

Next there’s a media enquiry about your work so you send a comment, with a photograph of whichever management person the quote is attributed to (happy or serious, depending on context).

And unless the photos are immediately dated by fashion or your branding changes tomorrow, they will all have a good few years of use ahead of them.

Cost per use

In this short list most photos are used several times, so reducing their cost per use to around £2 (if each image is only used four times during the course of its life).

I’d say that’s pretty good value for money.

That same value for money can be achieved when you book a photographer to attend your event. They don’t need to be there for the whole thing to get a good selection of images to show guests, activity and venue, and again the photos will have multiple uses.

If shared correctly, the images will also help promote your business on the pages of newspapers and magazines (because newsdesks don’t have the photography budgets they used to, they welcome the submission of good pictures). They can, of course, also be used on social media when they’re re-shared by the people in those photos – because we all like to share photos of us looking good at social events, and that’s much more likely to be achieved when you book a professional photographer.

This article originally appeared in Kent Director in August 2022.

Erica Jones - Account Director

Erica Jones

Maxim / Account Director

posted in: advice, marketing, media relations, public relations,

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