Do you believe it’s easy to take good photographs for your business? Well so does Quicklearn director and photographer Matt Miller.
Matt is an award winning, published, creative photographer with ten years experience in often controversial and always unconventional commercial and editorial photography. Here he shares his thoughts on ‘ do it yourself” pictures.
If you think you can take your own business photographs then you probably can. Photography is not ‘rocket science’. Indeed the most important part of discovering how to do it yourself is to get rid of this thought.
Obtaining pictures for your business for websites, brochures, catalogues, proposals, social media and even advertising can be an expensive process. Photographers are not cheap and micro stock, while affordable, is often generic or comes with licensing caveats that can prove to be a headache when you are growing your business or your customers need more brochures.
Digital cameras are cheap and produce great pictures. Everyone has access to one. The trouble is when you try to take pictures for your business they often don’t really come out the way you wanted them to. Unless you already have some background in photography of the arts the results are often unsatisfying. A friend once told me that he takes great pictures when on holiday but when he tried to photograph some staff at work they all looked like police mug-shots.
Professional photographers are banking on this, of course, because they are, justifiably, worried about the digital revolution. They sit huddled in their darkrooms, smelling of fixer, complaining how the business has been killed by the punters doing it for themselves and how the days of charging what they want for some mediocre images has long gone. The only shred of hope they hang on to is that the punters don’t know the photographers’ “forbidden” secrets.
Photography is a little like parlour tricks. To the layman it appears to be wondrous and magical. However as with magic tricks all you need to know is how the trick was done. Once you do it becomes simple, obvious and you can repeat the trick to your astonished friends until they themselves learn to repeat it. Exactly the same applies to photography. Learn the tricks and it becomes simple and repeatable.
You don’t need to train for years to become a photographer, you just need to know the tricks. And that is exactly where I come in. I’m a rogue photographer, I have been into the inner sanctum and learned the professionals’ eldritch and arcane secrets, and for consideration I’m quite happy to pass those secrets on to you as long as you don’t tell them where I live!
The tips and tricks are presented to you in a ‘one to one’ coaching format in the context of the kinds of images your business actually needs. No time is wasted; you won’t be taking time out to learn, you will be learning while you work. I will take into account any knowledge and experience you may already have, giving you advanced or basic techniques as needed.
Topic areas include but are not limited to:
- Your camera settings
- Composing, lighting and exposing images,
- Depth of field and creating narrative
- Working with people to get the best from them, from directing them to putting them at ease
- Composing and lighting objects
- Cheating and using household items to create professional effects
- Editing, image manipulation and post production
- Copyright, your rights and how to licence your images in a business environment.
No question is taboo. I can help you as much or as little as you need. Sometimes it may be just reassurance and a few “Oh!” “That’s how you do it” moments.
If you would like to learn more about doing it yourself or some help in creating your own stock pictures starring you please feel free in the first instance to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt builds websites on the wordpress platform, takes business images for businesses and shares images through MiStock. He is mine of information and loves talking.