Point, click and shoot. It’s just that easy, right?

It may seem that equipped with the wealth of technological tools at our fingertips today, that everyone can become a photographer – this couldn’t be further from the truth. While it may not take a lifetime to hone the skill, taking and applying the right images to a brand requires a balance of aesthetic and technique to get right.

The application of the appropriate image on a web page or in print will capture the users attention, educate and inform, and may even persuade a user to engage further. The right image can have the capability grab attention even faster than words can do alone.

On the contrary, the wrong image will steer the user in a different direction than what the content messaging may imply, and convey a vision that is alternate to what the brand really stands for – confusing, and ultimately turning off the consumer.

With the image of a brand hanging in the balance, the selection of images really is a crucial decision. There are a few routes to choose from, and some rules of thumb to keep in mind. These tools can help guide the process and a brand to higher visibility.

Professional Photography
Hiring a professional has many benefits, but foremost being that the the photos will be specified to the brand experience. Whether taking photos of a product or the people within the organization, this creates the most tailored and authentic outcome.

DIY Photos
As discussed, everyone these days thinks they are a photographer. This is fine when posting images to social media, however, when looking to truly display a product or service in the best light possible, it’s not the ideal route. The do-it-yourself route can be deceptively costly both in time and financial resources. A photo shoot requires lighting, space, props and equipment to truly get right – particularly when shooting products.

Stock Photos
Because stock photography has been for the most part done by professional photographers or agencies – they will almost always be polished. Stock photos are widely available and pretty much any subject can be found. The key with stock photography is finding the right application. This is where the brand vision really comes into play. The options are so vast that it’s very easy to choose the wrong image. When used appropriately, stock photography can be a good resource for national campaigns and specific presentations.

We’ll continue our series on photography this week with an in-depth look at selecting the right images for web application and an interview with a professional creative agency photographer.