So you’ve been looking for a professional commercial photographer and they all seem very expensive – so you’ve decided to do the photography yourself!!

Many individuals and companies have taken it upon themselves to take their own commercial & PR photography instead of using a qualified, professional photographer.  From experience, this is never a good practice – your images will never come close to the professional’s work.  We’ve all tried it until we see what can be done when we hire a professional in their trade.

Recently I was approached to help re-brand an existing business. The company needed new product photography images for its online website and to produce a brochure.  The pictures that the client was using to sell their merchandise were of poor quality.  The products were badly lit, there was no real composition, terrible colour balance and the images were clearly not doing the products any justice.  As the products were marketed for the private travel sector the imagery needed to look expensive, luxurious, warm and cozy.

 The image on the left was the product photography that desperately needed changing.  On the right is my picture – the products look a lot better, making them easier to sell for their intended market and fetch their deserved value.

Another great example I have is when I was hired to photograph a client’s house.  On this occasion the client’s home was photographed by the estate agent – the end result was terrible photography wrapped in a glossy brochure. The house had been on the market for a long time with no serious buyers.  I was asked to take a look at the existing photography and see where I could make improvements.  From looking at the pictures I could see that the estate agent definitely used a wide angle lens, sufficient for interior photography, but the lighting, sharpness and colour balance were incorrect.  I spoke with the client, explaining the improvements I could make and they were happy to proceed.

Initially, the extra expense of using a professional photographer doesn’t seem worth it, but it will save you money in the long run.  In this case, the client had previously spent £500 with the estate agent to have all the photography done and the brochure produced, and my quote for all the interior photography was certainly cheaper!

Looking at the images below, the estate agent’s picture on the left is clearly shot on a wide lens, the windows are blown out and the sharpness is appalling, even though it is a screen grab off their website.  My image is exposed correctly, -using flash improved this – and the view from the windows shows the green trees and garden.  The kitchen has been lit with a separate flash head and the doors opened – giving the image depth and making the room appear bigger.  On this shoot I was accompanied by a great stylist too – Louisa de-cluttered the rooms and added flowers, lights and props to boost the overall appearance of each room. 

The next photos show the estate agent’s image on the left.  Again, the windows are blown out, shot from the wrong angle in my opinion and a yellow hue is present in the final image.  My photograph on the right has resolved all those issues, the kitchen looks huge, showing the next room leading off and lit separately.  The colour balance and brightness looks correct and  it is generally a very pleasing image.

Hopefully from looking at the examples above you can see a remarkable difference in image quality.  These are genuine cases and I see more every other day, where clients have taken their own pictures or used a photographer who is not experienced.  To me, photography in the commercial/PR and advertising world is incredibly important and shouldn’t be overlooked.  Whether you’re trying to sell your home or market your business, having great photography can really set you apart from your competitors.  I’m also pleased to hear that the property featured in this post sold shortly after being placed back on the market.