Business Photography

DIY Business Photography

In a recent article on businessinsider.com, they tracked the eye movement of people in all types of scenarios. It was found that when it comes to websites, people mostly focused on pictures and special text boxes. This, yet again, brings to the fore the utter importance of having great photographs to speak the 1000 words for your business. Conglomerates can afford a professional photographer on the payroll, but small businesses can’t afford to hire a photographer at R10,000 a pop every time there’s a new product/completed project/cocktail party or website update. So how shall we surmount this little conundrum? Do it yourself. One can buy an adequate digital SLR (single lens reflector) camera at a retailer for the price one pays for a photographer for one outing. Stick with the trusted brands like Nikon and Canon so you don’t have to wait for lenses or parts if you want to upgrade or if you broke something. Then learn how to take pictures. Take a course or two (there are many out there) which is much cheaper than you think. Here you will be in a pool of people who will give you tips and guide you along. Then practice a lot. The basics of photography are quite easy. If you can learn how to use light, you are halfway there. Take outdoor pictures early in the morning or late in the afternoon. The best time is the one minute just before it’s too dark, when the light is romantic and soft, but adequate. For indoor photos, it’s all about how you bounce light off the right reflectors. Harsh light is never good Technically, there are two settings you need to concern yourself about. The first is shutter speed. This refers to the amount of time the shutter is open. The lighter it is, the higher your shutter speed can be. In the dark, the shutter needs to stay open for longer so enough light can be gathered to make the picture. Aperture is the other important thing to understand. This is how wide the shutter opens when you take a picture. Aperture is the setting that makes backgrounds blur or that causes everything in the photograph to be in focus. In photography they refer to aperture as an f-stop. This is slightly confusing as a two f-stop is larger than an eight f-stop. The lower the f-stop number (e.g. 1.4), the more the object in the foreground will be isolated and the background blurred. The bigger the f-stop (e.g. 32) the more everything will be in focus. Of course there are a million other things to learn, but these basics can get you going. And it’s a fun new thing to tick off your bucket list. The knock-on effect is also fantastic as kids’ parties take on another dimension and going to the Kruger is a bigger event than ever. Thank goodness the age of print photography is a thing of the past (well, nearly) so we can practice and practice without extra costs. Being able to take pictures will bolster your business offering as you will be able to put quality photographs on your website and all other marketing material. Be sure you are relatively good before loading mediocre pictures all over your website. The result of publishing bad photographs can do more damage to your business than no picture at all.