Every Communicator Needs a Real Photographer

Leica M9 and prosecco

This recent post by Vocus – Every Communicator Needs a Real Camera – highlights how important photography is for business. We depend on photos for blogs, web sites, brochures, tweets, Facebook posts and other kinds of marketing collateral.

Photos are a kind of shorthand, selling a product more effectively than a hundred lines of copy. They communicate who you are and what your brand stands for. Photos are essential to sharing your message with the world.

Despite this, photography is an unappreciated medium. Because free photos are widely available on sites like Flickr, and because anyone with an iPhone can take a picture, many organizations pay little money or attention to their photo needs. Yet, a compelling business case can be made for paying for photographers and photography.

A couple of examples:

1. At a company I worked for, the CEO received a major award at a trade show. We wanted to run a story on the web site about it. But the only photo we had was a blurry iPhone shot from fifty feet away. Without a good photo, we couldn’t do the story.

2. I was the photo coordinator for the DC Shorts Film Festival, responsible for managing a volunteer army of photogs who captured images of film screenings, crowded parties, red carpet arrivals and VIP events. This is an awesome event that you should attend. But don’t take my word for it – check out the photos and decide for yourself. In addition to helping attract attendees to the festival, these photos demonstrated to sponsors how their products were being enjoyed, were included in the annual report and were widely shared in social media.

The Vocus article states that communicators need a good camera. But a camera is just a tool. You need someone who knows how to use it. That person is a photographer. Look for one in your organization. Don’t make photography “other duties as assigned” but give them the time, money and equipment they need to tell your organization’s story. Invest in photography the same way you invest in web site hosting, email marketing and social media.

And if you don’t have a photographer, hire one through a group like APADC.

In this digital age, digital photographers are essential. Don’t miss the important moments in your company because no one had a decent camera. Hire a photographer to create images that you’ll use for years to come.

Author: Joe Flood

Joe Flood is a writer and photographer from Washington, DC. He is the author of the mystery novel Murder on U Street, as well as articles, short stories and screenplays. In his spare time, he likes wandering about the city with a camera.

4 thoughts on “Every Communicator Needs a Real Photographer”

  1. Thanks, Joe. Per my comments with you in the post, I do think that photography skills can be learned, and that communicators shouldn’t necessarily feel that they have to hire. They can learn.

  2. I don’t entirely agree with Geoff. I think the explosion of iPhones, selfies and viral homemade youtube videos has given people a false sense that these skills can be learned or that anyone can shoot a video/photo for a brand. At my company, we tried empowering employees to create their own media but it bombed. We too had to go back to hiring paid professionals to create this content. Additionally, it is a tremendous insult to say anyone can learn on the fly the skills that those who studied photography/video for years, at a university, etc. With that said, producing amateur media can be OK for your own personal own media platforms or the scrappy startup, but never for a self respecting brand.

    1. Agreed. For example, say you need headshots for your company’s “about us” page. Do you want the random vacation snapshots employees will send in or do you want to spend a couple hundred bucks on a professional? It’s well-worth the money to get professional headshots with a consistent look.

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