Do your website and social media profile photos need a reality check?

19 May 2012

Are you still using tired old stock photos on your website and marketing material? Or a profile photo from 1985? Are your images saying polished, professional and modern or dated and corny?

Some common photo mistakes businesses make:

1. Using American stock photos for an Australian market.

2. Using a very old profile picture that no longer looks like you.

3. Using a non-professional profile picture, such as you on holiday or on your wedding day (just because you looked nice).

4. Using photos taken on an every day camera by someone on your staff (maybe it's ok for Facebook but for your website and brochure?)

The above mistakes are common and they project to your users that you don't pay attention to detail! It's important to make sure that the photos representing your business do the following:

Accurately represent your brand. Do you want to say polished and professional, fun and quirky, relaxed and approachable? Whatever your message, you will always want to say - We pay attention to the details.

Appeal to your target market. Subtlety, creativity and clever humour work well in Australian markets.

Are up to date. There's nothing to put a prospect off balance like seeing a photo of you and then meeting someone who looks completely different in real life. Sure, you want to look good in your photo but you also should look like you. After all, there's no-one quite like you!

Are professionally taken. Did you know that product photography is a slow, fiddly and highly technical process? Slapping a product down on the table and taking a quick pic with your phone's camera is NOT the same thing. Did you know that professional studio lights can make you look your absolute best? Or that certain expensive lenses are needed to create the effects you see in professional photos, like that lovely soft focus that blurs out a background?

Photographs are not just a record of something but also say something' about you and your business. The photos below were taken for Philipa the Virtual Personal Assistant. The colour image says her brand is quirky, fun and approachable. It gets your attention because it's different and it has a high energy to it. She's busy and she's on the move. The black and white image projects professional and creative. It is also an image with punch' that will get attention. Professional photographers know how to create the mood and message you are wanting to project.

This article was written by Julissa Shrewsbury of New Work Photography Perth, Western Australia. Check out her portfolio and see the special offer for Perth readers below: