Don’t Kid Yourself, Hire a Professional Photographer.

Photo and packaging design by Nick Beecher http://cargocollective.com/nbeecher

Photo and packaging design by Nick Beecher http://cargocollective.com/nbeecher

You decide to built a website, create new marketing materials, etc. Your designer suggests you hire a professional photographer. Cringe, you think, “I don’t want to spend the money,” maybe you just avoid us for a while thinking we’ll forget about it. We won’t.

What is our motivation? We want you to have great, effective materials. You could have the very best Graphic/Web Designer and mediocre photos. What do you think that does to the overall look and feel of your design for which you paid to have custom made?

You don’t have the time.

Consider the time you get to spend searching for old photos, trying to scan them into the computer, which will also never produce as good of resolution as a digital photo and THEN paying a designer extra time to “Photoshop” them?

Skimping on professional photography might seem to save you a lot of money, but consider the costs of having a designer spend (potentially) hours making changes, updates, and trying their best to cover up the fact that the photos are low resolution and possibly from your smart phone. Yes, we can see what camera the photo was taken with, that’s usually embedded in the file information.

You could either spend a one-time fee to have a photographer, who understands and has experience in lighting, shutter speeds, aperture, positioning, composition or you could use your own camera…

Your camera is good enough.

Most new point and shoot cameras are set by default to take low resolution (around 72 dpi) photos, vs the 300 dpi that’s a minimum requirement by printers. If you take a photo at low resolution designers can increase the resolution in Photoshop. However, it will almost never look as good because Photoshop basically takes a best guess at the missing information and uses that guess to add in the resolution. You always want to start with higher resolution and lessen it as necessary, such as is useful on the web.

Adding resolution to a low resolution photo is like someone drinking part of your favorite craft beer and replacing it with water. It looks a little different, but could “pass” as a beer. But when you drink the competition’s beer, you can see and taste the total difference. Don’t be a watered down beer, there’s enough competition in that industry.

A web designer can use Stock Photography, which definitely works and has it’s perks, but you have to pay for each image individually and they don’t have the personal touch that’s unique to your small business. Besides, do you want your clients to see the exact same photo on your competition’s website?

You don’t have the money.

A professional photographer doesn’t have to be expensive, you can let them know exactly what photos you need, how many photos you need, and your price range. Most photographers will also give you a quote, so there are no surprises. Most designers will be grateful for high quality photos and would likely invest some time talking to your photographer to produce a great marketing tools for your business.

Also, be sure to talk to your Web Designer about quality photos at the start of your project, we usually know which photographers are both cost effective and produce good quality work. You also avoid rush fees from photographers if you let them know early on in the project. Sometimes we even have special deals with photographers and may be able to get you a discount on a photography package. I personally do this and would be happy to work with you to get you an end result with which you are happy.

Beer packaging design by Nick Beecher.
Photo by Kurt Moses Photography.

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