It’s no secret that many many people work from home, or from there computer where ever that may be.  The type of businesses are as varied as the people who run them. There are bloggers, coaches, online shops selling goods made by the artisans themselves. There are merchants selling locally via pop up shops and coaches selling to the masses globally. We live in a time where really, almost anything is possible. Regardless of the varied differences in businesses around the world, they do share one thing in common: they have a need to showcase their products or services to their potential customers and the best way to do that is through visual media.

 Today, more than ever photos are being taken and posted online at an astronomical rate. If you are a small business just starting out, it can be a bit overwhelming ensuring that you have quality photos that may attract your customer. You know you need to have great images, but your budget at start up may not allow for a week long shoot with a professional photographer. How can you take the best possible photos on your own to showcase your small business? When you are ready to take some of your own images, set aside enough time to do a good job and think about them. Once a month I set aside almost a whole day to take care of some branding photos for my own business here in Idaho. As a meridian photographers I coach small business owners on improving their photography, I often share  my 5 tips for commercial photography:

 1. Plan Ahead: What products do you want to shoot that day? Don’t waste time scrambling around the day of your shoot to get organized. Make sure you have all the parts, pieces or accessories organized as well.

  1. Products: What is the best way to show the product? Is it best shown alone or with other products? Is it best shown with only your products or can it be shown with other companies products as well? Is this an opportunity to cross market?
  2. People: Who are the people in your business? Take photos to include them: the owners, the people who make things, package things, greet customers. Photos of anyone involved in your business can at one point become useful for showing what type of company you are, and what you value.
  3. Production.. How does the production of your product or service work? Do you have photos from start to finish of any product being made or show the client experience start to finish?
  4. Potential: think about the potential use of the images you are taking. Are they for your website? Print ads? Instagram only? The final use will determine how much dead space to leave for possible text overlay, the shape of the images, the colors to use, and the quality.

Sheila Madine