How to Develop Your Business with the Perfect Shots

Photos are everywhere. 

But how do you get the perfect shots for your business? 

Adam Winfield captures superb images as a professional photographer. He’s also a marketer and a teacher. 

For this profile Adam shared the story behind his photography business Through the Lens. And how he uses his knowledge to help other people. 

How to be a Professional Photographer in a World of Smartphones

Photo credit: Adam Winfield

Adam began his Professional Profile by telling me about the challenge with smartphones.

“We all carry one around with us that’s got a really good camera. So everybody’s taking photographs, sharing them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The result is a saturation in images. But from my perspective, there is also a real lowering in value and in quality.”

“To buck that trend I concentrate on quality to a superior standard. I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Obviously, when I work with commercial clients and sell my pictures, they’ve got to be of the highest quality.”

“And I don’t share photographs that aren’t the best I can produce.”

The Value of Answering People’s Questions

One of the interesting sides to Adam is how he helps other people take better photos.

What made him do this?

“When I was photographing people, somebody would often come along and ask me what camera I’m using. Or why I’m doing what I’m doing. And they’d say to me, “How can I improve the photos I take?” So I would always be very open, explain one or two things and give them some suggestions.”

This took off when a friend of Adam’s involved in adult learning asked if he’d like to be their new photography teacher.

“Initially I thought no. This wasn’t even on my horizon so why would I do that? That’s just not me.”

“But I found that I enjoyed teaching. Actually I was quite good. And the feedback from the learners and everybody else was fantastic. And it grew from there.”

“Over the last 12 months, I’ve focused on the commercial side of the photography. But I’ve always kept the training side. And that’s something I want to push forward and develop. I think there is a real market for it.”

“A good photographer isn’t necessarily a good communicator and trainer. So I’ve focused on that and I’ve done a teaching qualification, which is pretty unique.”

Grow Your Business With Pictures and People

Photo credit: Adam Winfield

Over the years, Adam has tried a variety of methods to market and grow his business.

“You throw the kitchen sink at everything when you’re told it’s good. So I’ve done paid advertising, both print advertising and advertising on the internet. I also went through a stage doing a lot of networking, looking for referrals.”

But the two areas that have worked the best for him are his website and his relationships.

“I’m redoing my website at the moment and making some big changes. It’s a slightly different way of putting together a website for a photographer. Photographers tend to be fairly traditional [on their websites]. I’m trying to do something different there.”

“When you photograph somebody or take photos for them. You get to know them a little bit. So it’s a good way to build a relationship.” 

“And I’ve always been keen on maintaining a relationship and working with people for a long period of time. That’s what has worked for me, more than the stuff that we’re told nowadays is good marketing.”

What does the future look like for Through the Lens?

“My challenge is to move away from being a photographer to being a visual marketer.”

“Getting people to understand more about the power of an image. There is power in words but the power in images is that they have an instant impact.”

“That’s where I want to focus. To educate people about what I do and highlight the value of pictures to your marketing.”

The Positive Results from a Focus on Property

Photo credit: Adam Winfield

Adam started his business without a speciality, but that has changed over time.

“As the industry changed, Facebook started to become really, really popular. Everybody was taking photos and sharing them. I could see that there were going to be problems [if I didn’t specialise].”

“So I moved into commercial photography. Working with businesses and my customer base changed substantially.”

“I now specialise in property photography. So my customers have gone from very broad business to consumer, to business to business, to businesses in the property industry. Estate agents, property developers and builders. But I also do bed and breakfasts and hotels.”

Adam also gained his qualification with the British Institute of Professional Photographers. This was from his portfolio of property work.

How to Get Better Results with Your Business Photos

Adam shared his tips on how to improve the photos you use for your business.

1) Work with a Professional

“This is partly tongue-in-cheek but actually quite serious. Because you look at some people’s websites and they use dreadful photos.”

“Quite rightly, some businesses will outsource their accounting and HR services. Or spend a fortune on their marketing and social media. But when it comes to taking a photo, they’ll get their smartphone out.

“You get what you pay for. So I would recommend people think very carefully about the image their photos present. And to use some professional photography.”

2) Focus on Lighting

Photo credit: Adam Winfield

When you do take your own photos, Adam points out the easiest improvement to make is with your lighting.

“If you’re taking photos of people, bring them in front of a window. Think about how things are lit. Because a well-lit subject will always look better for the colours and definition.”

“I know somebody who does some upholstery. They came to me and said, “Look, whatever I do, when I’m upholstering a chair, I take a photograph and it always looks drab. How can I improve the photos?”

“My advice for her was to take the chair outside. If you choose a cloudy day the lighting is far better. You’ve got more natural light and it’s diffused so it wraps around it or brings out the colours and textures.”

3) Use Photos to Give Your Business Impact

“For lots of businesses, my advice would be to use photographs.”

“Think about the pictures you use rather than just using words. Paint a story in a picture. And use more pictures on your website because they’ll have an instant impact.”

“If I see a picture of what I want on Google, that’s going to be a hook for me. A picture tells a 1,000 words. But there is also research that says we interpret pictures in fractions of a second. So we immediately understand what a picture is telling us and how it’s going to help us.”

“For example, with estate agents, you think like a customer. What am I looking for? What are my expectations? What do I need from that?”

“So I always advise them to put the best photographs of their best properties front and centre on the homepage. Rather than words about how good they are at selling properties or which staff member likes cats.”

In Summary

Photos let you present things from your customers’ point of view. As well as helping you to grow a relationship with them.

So they help you create the right impression for your business.

Photo credits:

Adam Winfield

Timothy Lamm

Rob Beadle

About the Author

Rob Beadle is a B2B tech copywriter and content marketer. He creates case studies for growing businesses worldwide, including tech companies, software firms and IT providers. Learn how to get your customers to agree to case studies with Rob’s free guide.

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