Project Photography… More than Meets the Eye
They say a picture is worth a thousand words — but it could also translate into thousands of dollars in new business. That’s especially true for firms who operate in professional services like architecture and engineering.
Yet, this is one aspect of marketing that is often overlooked, as custom photography can be time consuming and difficult to coordinate. For instance, if an architectural firm wants to capture great shots of a newly finished school or hospital, there is a small window of time in which to execute — it has to be after commissioning but before students or patients are in the building or the building is functional.
For engineering firms, their projects are often in remote areas and can span large geographical areas. Yet, the many undeniable advantages of hiring a photographer to shoot images of your project over taking the easy road of stock images or amateur photography mean that these logistical issues must be overcome somehow.
So what’s a professional services company to do?
We’ll first touch on why professional photography is so important and then we’ll give you some tips and hints as to how to get it accomplished as painlessly as possible.
Photography’s Natural Habitat
Reason numero uno that quality photography is so crucial, is that in today’s digital world, people live and thrive on the Internet. As website specialists and digital marketers, we know that a huge percentage of people will simply abandon a website if they don’t find it professional or engaging… no click throughs, no follow ups, no conversions. Just poof. Gone. Building your website with stunning professional photography that tells your story and quality of work is a trick to keep web traffic on your site.
Secondly, marketing is all about putting your best foot forward to attract your target audience, build brand awareness, generate leads and drive conversions. A company’s website is one of the biggest tools in your marketing toolkit and is often an introduction for new potential leads.
For example, say you are a landscaping company and someone is shopping around and your project photography is mediocre but a competitor’s is outstanding. You can bet that customer will go to your competitor, regardless of price point.
Communicating the Built Environment
There are several things to keep in mind.
First, project photography is a form of meaningful communication. These photographs are intended to catch the viewer’s attention and to make a real impact on observers who look at them.
But it’s not just about, “Hey, look what we can do!” It’s more about: see where we work, who we work for, the scale of projects we are able to execute, and maybe most importantly, see how proud we are of our work. Sure, you can certainly write about these things in your project descriptions (and you should do that, too), but it will always be more decisively influential if you show someone these things. Good photography is obvious — and it shows you care.
Secondly, photography accurately represents your brand. No stock image can accurately represent your brand like custom photography. When people see your images, they’ll see the exact message you want to convey.
Thirdly, custom project photography gives you the power. One of the best reasons to invest in photography is that the image is yours. Ownership of your images gives you the flexibility to use the images as you see fit. It also allows you to edit them for your website and your business needs. With stock images, you are limited due to licenses and rights.
Alright! So enough’s enough! You’re sold! But where to start?
Know your constraints, your timelines and your window of opportunity. Then begin the hunt. Find a quality photographer in your area and communicate what you’re looking for and when you need the shoot to take place.
Know your goals.
Think through what your goals are for the photos. Are you looking to communicate that your employees are safe on the job site or that the new pipeline you’ve laid is in a rugged area and that your team is able to undertake complex work? A good photographer will know how to tell your story.
Have a back-up plan.
Don’t plan for a day shoot, plan for a week of contingencies. This is for a number of reasons. Project can get delayed. The weather might be terrible so you’ll have to skip the exteriors. Honestly, there can be any number of hiccups… so here’s our final piece of advice.
Have your photographer’s cell number and be on regular texting terms.
Building a relationship with a good photographer that knows your business, your brand and what you are trying to accomplish will make your next professional photography endeavor a flash!
And… here it comes! Did you know that at Kinetic Marketing & Creative, we not only have talented photography capabilities and are able to support our professional services clients out in the field from in-house. We are also able coordinate photography shoots regionally through our network of third party photographers. We have the relationships, will handle the logistics, the strategy and communications to make certain that your project photography is, well, picture perfect!