The Darkroom Photography

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Professional photography for your dog business

 

It is now, more than ever, incredibly important to separate yourselves from your competition. Having professional photography is one of the most important aspects of marketing that is over looked by small businesses. You obviously wouldn’t see main stream companies using photos from their mobile phone on their website or marketing materials, for very good reason. It doesn’t look polished or professional to have out of focus low quality images to promote your business. In a world where everything is at our fingertips, we make fast decisions about who we want to work with or buy from. From an outsider looking in, having poor imagery equals having a poor product or poor service. Of course that might not be true but it is how it looks to prospective clients. We judge businesses as quickly as we judge people. Are you going to buy a premium service from someone who has pixelated photos or photos that don’t sit with their brand? Of course not. You’ll quickly move on to something more pleasing to the eye. It’s just the way we are.

This is true for all businesses big and small and it is absolutely the same for dog and horse businesses too. If you say on your website that you are one of the best positive reinforcment trainers in your local area but all of your photo’s are underexposed/dark and you can’t really see what is going on, would you trust the words on the website or the dark sad photo? If you offer a luxury pet product that commands a high price (because of the quality materials and craftsmanship that goes into it) but your product photo is blurry, has too many distractions or just doesn’t depict the quality effectively, people will simply keep on scrolling.

Incase you needed any more convincing that having a professional photographer out to take high quality imagery, specifically for your business, is an essential part of your marketing strategy, then here are ten more reasons why.

    1. Capturing Your Business With Imagery

      At the moment you are using photos that might just fit. Whether that’s stock imagery or photos you have taken yourself, you doing your best to find photos to match your product or service as best you can. Imagine that you give your photographer a list of your services and they take photos specifically for the purpose you have in mind. Those shots will be so much more powerful than hoping to find something that could work. The photos will also be created to reflect your brand, your ethos and your values. If you are a dog rescue centre you probably won’t be using happy brightly coloured images of dogs frolicking in a meadow. You’d be using somber looking imagery to make the viewer feel sorry for the dogs and either pledge some money or offer a home. Similarly if you are promoting a fun, friendly dog boarding business you would want to use fun bright images. You don’t want to imply dog prison with dark sad imagery. You wouldn’t get any customers.

    2. Photo Quality

      Non photographers probably won’t notice things like poor composition or if a photo isn’t tack sharp or even if the white balance is off (I keep seeing blue dogs on the front of magazines and even on the crufts backdrop). EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE notices the photo that is too small to use for the purpose it’s been chosen for. We have all seen photo’s with those horrible little squares, all pixelated and totally unfit for purpose. This often happens when a web sized file is used for print. It just looks awful. A professional photographer will provide you with the web and full size images clearly labelled so you can choose the correct sized photo for the job in hand.

    3. Professional Editing

      Distractions can be removed, people can be removed, leads, head collars, fences, sky swaps, drool removal, even nipple removals, yep, we can do it all. We also edit your photos to make them look uniform and cohesive so they all sit well together. We can add extra space for web banners if it wasn’t created in camera. We can edit out strings or things we’ve used to prop up products in a scene or swap backgrounds completely. We are very handy people to have around!

    4. Shooting animals isn’t as easy as it looks!

      Ok, I know I make it look easy, but actually shooting animals is much harder than you might think. They are fast. They have a mind of their own. They don’t always follow instructions. They often pull weird faces, wink, sneeze, turn around, poo, lick themselves inappropriately. For all of those reasons you need someone with patience, professional gear and Photoshop. Ever tried to get an in focus shot of a Cocker Spaniel, doing agility, indoors with low light on your phone? Good luck! I use professional kit, super fast glass and only ever shoot on full manual. If I need to shoot at a crazy high ISO for low light action shots I have specialist De-Noise software to remove that grain. Want a group shot of your dog training class without one of them doing something weird? Good luck. For this, we need Photoshop, face swaps, eye swaps sometimes we just shoot one at a time and composite the group shot in Photoshop.

    5. You will end up with a photo bank

      If you hire a professional photographer we will know 100% what we are doing. We are fast and efficient at what we do. Getting the shots is our job and we know exactly how to get it done. You will come away with hundreds if not thousands of usable photo’s for your website, social media, brochures, billboards, sign writing and everything else too.

    6. Stock Imagery Is Obvious

      Stock imagery serves a purpose, but you run the risk of competitors or even just other animal related business using the same images. It is normally (not always) glaringly obvious when stock is used. It never normally quite fits the copy/website/brochure when lots of stock imagery is used, it doesn’t flow together, especially if you have selected images from lots of different artists.

    7.  A picture is worth 1000 words

      We are lazy. We don’t really want to read lots of sales waffle. If you show what your business does with high quality pictures, it not only depicts exactly what you do (saves time on reading), and can also provoke a positive emotional response from its viewer.

    8. Stand Out!!

      Do you want to look like everyone else? Of course not. This is your business put your stamp on it. You wouldn’t use someone else’s logo, you want your own. It’s your business, your identity, your brand, make sure your photo’s tie it all together. Make a lasting impression by hiring a professional photographer to depict your business, how you see it.

    9. Two heads are better than one

      We are business owners too, we can pick each others brains!! We have a wealth of business knowledge that can help you with your business objectives and we love a gas bag. We don’t just take photo’s, we are doing all of the same things you are too, websites, design, marketing advertising, accounts, all that stuff. Not only that, building relationships with other local businesses can lead to more enquires and a much further reach. I am always recommending my commercial customers, I post the photo’s on my social media and tag them, they of course do the same. Building business relationships is another massively over looked aspect of marketing that small businesses ignore, I’ll save that for another day.

    10. You won’t regret it

      I have never once heard anyone (unless they picked a bad photographer) say I wish I hadn’t wasted money on photo’s. We need photo’s for absolutely everything. When you book a professional and you see those results, you will become a customer for life. Good quality images speak for themselves. They have the wow factor. They make people talk. They increase engagement, they increase conversion, they increase peoples perception.

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