Beginner's Guide: How to Create Great Photos for Your Business
Graphic design, Photo and video & Beginner's guides
If you’re a business owner or someone who is interested in developing a personal online brand, photo creation is an essential skill to have! Of course, not everyone would consider themselves creative and as a result, photo creation could feel like a chore. However, with the integration of technology into all aspects of daily life, it’s much easier for those who don’t identify as creative to create content that assists in marketing your business or products.
If you’re a beginner looking for a few tips and tricks on photo creation and editing, then look no further. Digital editing is surprisingly quick to pick up, and just takes a little bit of patience and practice. Read on to find our beginner's guide to photo and video creation!
Brand image: how to create and edit photos for your business website
Choosing your medium and subject matter
First things first, the only way to create photos is to start snapping away! Nowadays, every smartphone is equipped with a personal camera, and therefore, you should have one available at your fingertips. Of course, you can use a more traditional device, like a digital SLR camera for more professional looking photos, or if you’re serious about the craft, you can even use an analog camera loaded with film.
This process should be fun, so get creative when it comes to the device you choose. The easiest choice, of course, would be to use your phone or to go digital, as film is significantly more difficult to master. However, phone photography may sacrifice quality, so bear this in mind when moving forward.
Again, the method which you choose to take photos will greatly depend on the subject matter. If you are creating photos for your business, you’ll want them to highlight things you’re advertising including products, goods and services. Be inventive, and think about what yourself, as a consumer, would want to see.
Consider all aspects of your photos, including colour, tone and overall feel. As humans, our primary sense is vision and as a result, a beautiful photo goes a long way to develop personal branding and increase business.
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Taking a beautiful photo all comes down to the lighting. Lighting is paramount to photography, and the lighting setup, or lack thereof, will depend on the type of photos you plan on taking.
Further, lighting will directly affect the quality of your pictures. If you’re a business with a specific product, and you’re looking to advertise it, you’ll likely want to take some studio shots.
A studio setup will entail studio lights with specific filters to highlight background and foreground colours. Further, studio shots should be left for intricate details in goods, products or portraits.
Studio lights can be rented from your local camera store, or you can rent a few hours in a photography studio which will offer both lighting and a space specifically designed for photography.
If you are taking photos outside, you’ll require plenty of natural light to have bright and detailed photographs. Cloudy days translate into low exposure, and thus, your photos will be grainy and details will be difficult to make out.
If you are taking outdoor shots, these should be done as early in the day as possible. Again, this will depend on the subject matter. Importantly, make sure that vital details are highlighted by natural light.
Staying on-brand: editing photos for a business website
Once you’ve captured a few images that you like, you can begin the editing process. Of course, if you’re just learning how to take photos, they may not turn out perfectly. Don’t worry, as many issues can be fixed in when editing.
As we stated, you want the details of your photos to be as visible as possible so if there are areas that are too dark or too light, or the colour scheme of your image is a little bit off, you can take initiative and fix these issues.
The most common photo editing software is Photoshop. Using Photoshop can be a bit overwhelming when you’re just starting out, but over time you'll grow more comfortable.
When you are just starting out, it is recommended that you avoid Photoshop filters. Although filters offer cool effects, when editing an image you'll want it to look as though it hasn’t been edited at all.
Start with the brightness and contrast tab, as this is one of the simplest ways that you can change the amount of light that appears in a photo. Further, it will increase and decrease the contrast. Adjusting the brightness and contrast can easily turn an under or overexposed photo into one with high impact, so play around with these features first.
Next, test out the auto-levels of your photo, as this will adjust the colours and make photos appear more natural, especially if the shot was taken in the studio. Playing with the hue and saturation levels will further impact the colour, making the colours appear more intense. Be careful with these functions, as saturation can work to make a photo look increasingly unnatural.
Lastly, shadows and highlighting will allow you to further brighten dark regions in your photos or darken those which are too bright. Editing itself is a delicate process, so bear this in mind when experimenting with all forms of photo editing software.
Cropping an image improves composition incredibly and the smallest crop can make a world of difference. If you have an area of your image that you want to concentrate on, then it is recommended you experiment with cropping. Make sure your image lines up both vertically and horizontally.
Most image editing software will come equipped with a graph function that allows you to see how the image sits in relation to its features and rotating it will work to configure it correctly. Crop the image to display the most interesting area, but make sure you don't over-crop.
Mastering the basics of photography to promote your business
We have gone through the basic tools to use to edit photos. It is important to master these before you move onto more complicated photo processes. As you will discover, Photoshop and other photo editing software come equipped with plenty more options than the tools we've already mentioned.
Only with practice can you begin to craft a personal aesthetic. Learning how to subtly edit a photo so that it appears unedited is a skill that will take time but appears professional. Do not underestimate the powers of excellent photos and great branding to increase the visibility of your business.
Taking and editing photos should be an exciting process. There is always plenty to learn, so keep expanding your skill set after you’ve mastered the basics!
Looking to find out more about how to create corporate videos? Click here to check out our article that offers beginner's tips on the subject.