11 Sep Authentic Marketing Photos: Show Off the Real You
We are huge advocates of creating authentic marketing photos. This isn’t a “photography opinion,” but a viewpoint from a consumer. As a consumer, we analyze photography consciously or unconsciously to decide on the products we want to purchase. We’ve all laughed at the “cake fails” online where the cake looks like a disaster in comparison to the prototype. We’ve all seen hotels that look more austere than the luxurious hotel room that was advertised. In short, we’ve all been disappointed because our expectations were failed by reality.
People want to see real – real people, real places, real experiences. Websites, social media, printed materials, and more are a way to build trust with your prospects and clients. With the right photography, you won’t have to trick people into wanting you. It will happen naturally.
Raising the Bar with Reality
We were hired to work with an agency and their clients to do just that. They wanted to create a series of images that told the story of their gym and captured the heart of the place. Custom photography would allow them the control they needed to portray their business and differentiate themselves from their competition. They used stock in the past, but they wanted more than that for their new website.
The gym had many features to capture for the site. We needed to photograph the rooms on their own, photos of people using the facility or taking classes, some of the more unique amenities of their space. The photos needed to be cohesive and tell the story of the gym and the people who work there. With the help of the creative lead for the website and the owner of the club, we were able to move through their space efficiently and capture everything on their shot list.
One invaluable aspect of this shoot was the people. The creative lead was on hand to art direct the entire shoot. The owner was tremendously organized and enthusiastic about the photography. The staff involved in each photo was incredibly helpful. They helped compose images that were realistic and creative. While there were a few people who were less than thrilled at the prospect of getting their photo taken, everyone understood the value of the photo shoot, and they were able to bond (i.e tease each other) and have fun with their coworkers.
Because of the planning and insight from the creative lead, owner, and staff, we were able to achieve stellar photos that are realistic and unique. The gym is really that beautiful. The people in the photos are real staff members. The experiences shown are actual classes, lessons, machines, massages, and more that you can experience at this club. We were able to do that because of the input from the actual people that own the facility and work there.
Tips for Creating Credible, Genuine Images
If you want to create custom photography for your website, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Be authentic. Staging photos is important to ensure the composition is correct and that people look their best (especially when they’re working out at a gym). However, those people should be doing real activities in your actual environment. By being visually authentic, you can build trustworthiness and help people know what to expect when they enter your facility or engage in your services.
- Humanize your brand. Using staff and clients helps humanize your brand and can help build employee engagement. Seeing real people in photos helps create a richer user experience as viewers can connect to your brand/product/services in a personal way. Employees will feel valued if they are asked to be included in the images if not as “models” but weighing in with their opinion.
- Plan. Do not underestimate the power of planning. Knowing when people are available, moving systematically through the environment, and understanding how you will use the images are invaluable pieces of information for a comprehensive photo shoot.
Being authentic isn’t hard, and clients expect it. If you invest the time into creating custom photography, you’ll show your staff and clients that you’re an authentic, human brand that isn’t afraid to show the world who they are.