The main reason that some people take opportunities when they arise, and others do not, is that some people are ready.
They have their Business Plan ready and all they need to do is take advantage of the opportunities.
Where can you find the right Business Plan?
If your Business is based in the United States - click here
If your Business is based in the U.K. - click here
In any discipline, you will have what many think of as “the purists”. Purists are those who revere the way things have always been done and view new innovations in the field as upstarts and obviously of poorer quality than the tried and true methods.
This is nowhere more true than photography. For decades the film and chemical processing method has undergone continual refinement to achieve higher and higher levels of sophistication and to find higher levels of quality. Small wonder that when the digital revolution came along, “the purists” were, to say the least, a bit snobby about the idea of professional photography moving in this direction.
But there are some genuine reasons to at least incorporate digital technology into your professional photography game plan. These reasons are compelling enough that more and more we are seeing the big studios going all digital. So if you are running an independent photography business or if you are “just” a photography hobbyist (and thank God for the hobbyists), you may have to think through the value of moving to digital processing yourself.
Digital photography is quickly becoming the preferred way to take pictures. If you are in the market for a new camera, consider the following advantages of digital over traditional film photography.
In the long run, digital is less expensive. All photos are recorder are on memory device within the camera and then downloaded straight to your computer. You skip the need to keep buying rolls of film and paying for developing. You can send unlimited copies of the same picture to friends and relatives without spending a penny extra.
You see your pictures quicker. Most digital cameras allow you to view your photos immediately. There is no waiting and worrying about whether or not that “perfect shot” turned out. You can take a picture of that new baby and immediately download it to your computer to share your good good news with friends and relatives. There’s no need for anxious grandparents to wait days or even weeks for a picture.
Most digital cameras have built in editing features. Cropping and re-centering the picture to make it look its best can be done easily. You no longer have to worry about a stray hand distracting from the main subject of your photo. Sharpening can be done immediately to bring out the details. Within minutes you can have a print-perfect photo.
You avoid the frustration of running out of film and having to find a store that is open in the middle of an important event or on vacation. Depending on the size of your memory card and the setting of file size and quality, which you often control, you can store a couple hundred pictures on one tiny card. That is the equivalent of nine or ten rolls of film.
These are just a few of the advantages of digital photography. It is definitely worth considering as you search for your next new camera.
Ease of Use.
The amount of fuss and sheer “stuff” of doing a shoot digitally is dramatically less involved than using the older technologies. Witness how the digital revolution in photography has revolutionized the personal camera world. Now people can take as many pictures as they want and have them to review virtually instantaneously.
Probably the biggest leap forward in the use of digital photography is that you can do re-shoots quickly, easily and for virtually no cost. If you conduct a portrait session with a customer, you can have the “stills” of the session available almost as soon as the session is done. If a shot was good but not perfect, you can correct it and re-shoot immediately saving huge amounts of time and improving the chances you will get the portfolio you want and that the customer wants on the first session.
Rapid Customer Service.
The impression we get when a technology delivers so much value to the public is that quality will go down. But, amazingly, this is not the case with digital photography. If anything, the quality of the photographs is as good or better than any we could do with prior technologies. And the cost both to you as the photographer and to your customer drops off so dramatically that the age old complaint the customer has had about professional photographs costing too much can be eliminated making the customer want to use your services more often.
Digital photography, being a child of the internet and the digital revolution that has swept our lives via personal computers, can be delivered in a myriad of ways and at a speed that was unheard of prior to the arrival of this technology. We can deliver the photos via email, by posting them to an online gallery or by burning them to a DVD or CD so the customer can order lots more shots for the same cost and have them delivered in a way that easy to view and store.
Editing has similarly moved from the realm of the back room wizards to something any of us can do due to the sophisticated computer programs, such as Photoshop, that we can use to improve the pictures we take. It is really amazing the effects that can be imposed on a picture with this software. But more importantly we can so much more easily correct minor problems with a photograph so what might have been a lost session can be improved to become acceptable with some clever use of digital editing.
In virtually every way, digital photography, delivery and editing is superior to the way “the purists” would have us hold on to. It makes our lives as photographers easier, faster and more profitable. But above all, this is something our customers want us to use. They get to enjoy their pictures so much faster, at a more reasonable cost and the pictures can be emailed to friends and posted on their family web sites which is fun for everyone. So despite our desire to be “purists”, every reason we need is there to convince us that digital photography is the way to go.
Photographs play a crucial role in informing, influencing, educating and reassuring customers. Review your website's photography and question its role in the design. On your website, question the job of a particular photo. Is it evoking the response you need? When might customers leave your website, and how could certain images prevent that from happening? Focus on the purpose of the images, and you will turn photos from window dressing into key conversion tools.
- Match the imagery to the brand - A majority of online branding is created and reinforced by photography. A disconnect occurs when photos don’t accord with the user’s preconceptions about the brand. It feels wrong and makes the user question what the brand is all about. Keep your photos and images in-sync with what users will expect to see online.
- Tell a story - From an early age we are told stories; we spend our lives telling stories to friends and families. We know that pictures are effective storytelling tools, hence the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words". Use imagery to effectively convey your story points.
- Encourage interaction - Encourage end user participation by providing interactive functions which will engage users and prompt them to take action.
- Evoke an emotional response - Photography is often used to communicate hard-hitting messages because it evokes strong emotions. Charity campaigns, for example, often use imagery as it will assist to get their message across with more emotion than words can convey.
- Accessorise - Showing a product with their related accessories helps users imagine how they could enhance their experience of a product. Photos of accessories offer suggestions about where to direct that desire (i.e. what to purchase next).
- Show features and versatility - Showing a product in use communicates what it’s for and how to use it, and it helps users imagine how it will fit into their lives. It can result in a feeling of need. Photography can help your website communicate that clients needs are being met. Sometimes, the more photos, the better.
- Create a desire - The Web is about self-service. It’s also an ideal way to escape reality. Travel websites know how important it is for potential customers to see resorts and rooms before purchase and arrival. They know that the customer needs to envision themselves in that relaxing place on a beach when they book tickets from their cold home.
- Shoot from the best angles - You will often hear people claim that they prefer to be photographed from a certain side or from their 'best angle'. Products also have flattering angles. Have a look at some automotive websites and brochures; see how many cars are shot from a three-quarter angle. This angle suggests power and scale. The shots are clearly designed to appeal to a masculine audience.
- Show objects in their natural environment - The environment in which you place the subject helps the viewer understand the product’s purpose and suitability. Product shots in an appropriate environment suggest both where and how the product can be used.
- Look professional - The rules of portraiture dictate that a simple uncluttered background will focus interest on the subject. This rule is applied well on product gallery pages.
A Great Business did not just happen - It was planned that way.