I see it time and time again……5 people using the same photo that they got from a site to promote their brand. They use it in their blog post, their instagram feed, and on Facebook. There is nothing wrong with using stock photos as I use them sometimes but I want people to have their own branded photo. Stock photos are ok to use in blog posts but when you are trying to promote your business or brand you want something unique to you. Something to say…this is who I am and these photos can’t be used elsewhere. So what are stock photos you ask? In simple terms stock photos are photos you pay a fee for and you can only use it a limited amount of times. You pay good money for stock photos and most websites don’t come cheap. There are a lot of places that you can use that will give you free royalty photos but I suggest that you don’t use that because 50 other people are using that same photo because of well….you know…..it’s free. If you are going to use photos pay for them so that you can use them and have some traction just in case someone wants to up and sue you. Not all royalty free photos are actually royalty free and sometimes (in rare cases) someone might come back and sue you for using the photo. At least if you use a stock company you can get a license to use it and it saves you legal trouble down the road. Now most stock photos company you can’t use the photo anywhere you like sometimes you have to negotiate with the person or the company to let you use the photo on more things. For example if you see a photo on the site and you want to use it for a book cover you will have to pay for the extended license because you are now using the photo to sell and trust me people want their money if you are looking to make money.
I pay for Adobe Stock photos for all of my stock photography. If I use stock photos that’s where I get mine. For free photos you can use Find A. Photo or get them emailed to you weekly through Unsplash. These are the only two sites I use if I am going to do free photos other than that I normally just use Adobe Stock and call it a day. The key thing to take away is …..pay for the photos you use so that you don’t ever have to worry about someone coming after you.
Now let’s get into brand photography which is what I do. I create photos for clients that they and only they can use to promote their brand. Each brand is different so I tailor each photoshoot to match the brand. For example I am working with Arnitris and she does websites and branding for companies..she needed some updated photos to showcase what she does
She helps company develop their website and branding and she needed some of her working. I captured that! These are her photos unique to her brand with the colors that work for her.
No one can use these photos because it’s for her and her only. Now you might say well Kita I don’t live there in Atlanta how can I get branded photos done. Well lucky for you I do travel to surrounding states and if you sell a product you can always mail the product to me and I will take photos for you by using models or other elements to create the brand.
I have also worked with a travel agency who needed some photos exclusive to her.
Aren’t those flowers cute! No one can use these photos but her! (She also lives out of town and sells a service so I can do that to)
So let’s get into tips for hiring a photographer
- State your budget. I am not expensive as a matter of fact I am as cheap as they come. I am not cheap because I don’t value my work I am cheap because I understand small businesses don’t have a lot of money to work with and I don’t like hitting people over the head with costs when they are already strapped. I want people to have nice photos without taking out an extra mortgage. I start at $50 for simple photos and then go up from there. I have never charged more than $150. Now with that being said I don’t have a team so you will have to have your own wardrobe stylist and make up artist but other than that I can do the rest
- Know the feel and look of what you want. I can help but ultimately this is your brand. Y’all know I am real so if you are selling baked goods we don’t need to be in a park somewhere we need to be in a kitchen taking photos of you cooking or baking. I have spots for shoots and we can come up with unique ways to incorporate your brand but just make sure you have an idea of the look you want
- How many photos will you need and what type of photos do you need. Do you need headshots, actual cupcake photos, pictures of you baking, etc. I don’t charge per the photo but I do charge per the different outtakes you may have. I also don’t charge by the hour because I know time moves fast. I charge by the amount of work I have to do. For all the above you are looking at the high end but you won’t get 10 photos you will get as many that turn out great.
- I don’t care about you using the photos or having a photo release from me. If I give them to you…they are yours to keep. I don’t care if it blows up in a magazine and you don’t mention that I took the photos…trust me I know I took the photos because I have copies so if I want to have bragging rights I can just get the link and brag and add more photos. I don’t need anyone to mention me (it’s nice if you do but I really don’t care) My pictures have been used in AJC, magazines, wherever and I am not going on some pissed off mode about OMG they used my picture without giving me credit…child please I got bigger fish to fry. You paid me and that’s all I need to know.
That is the difference with me….I don’t give you a set amount of photos and I don’t care how and where you use the photos you paid for. If I take 50 photos and 25 come out great…I give you all 25. Why do I need to keep them. Sure editing takes a while but I enjoy going through each photo and making sure they look good + I don’t pile on a lot of people at once so I am able to take photos…edit….then take on another client. I like to take my time with people and make sure they have what they need.
Another note* I do everything in writing via email so I can have stuff written down. It’s how I work….I talk to you on the phone but initially I like talking to people via email when talking about price and structure of photoshoot that way it’s in writing. Contracts are good also as it states exactly what I am going to do and not going to do.
Hire a brand photographer that fits your style because all of us are different. You want your brand to stand out and the only way for you to do that is to make sure you have unique photos for you. Hiring a photographer is also good because we have the equipment that will take your phone photos and turn it into something spectacular. Yes phones are good but my camera that canon…it’s a better beast. Everyone uses cell phone cameras stand out and get your photos done nicely. Photos lead to sales…if you have a nice photo people will want to buy from you. Now if you can’t afford to hire a photographer here are some tips that you can use
- Use stock photos – Yes the ones I mentioned above will do remember to pay for the ones you use and stay away if you can from the free ones
- Natural light, natural light, natural light……find it and use it. If you have to set up a photo outside do it. Nothing is better than natural light
- Learn how to pose…for me I don’t do all the pose thing I like to talk to my clients and then we capture something. Being real and bringing out the natural elements let’s people know that they are real and approachable the posed looks are just that posed. I want people to know who the real person is
- Hire me lol
Now go forth and get those nice photos up on your social media feed