We encounter one of the best places to see outstanding examples of photography every day, largely without even realising it. Advertising! The advertising industry is absolutely gigantic and when a company wants to market its product using photography and mass media; whether it’s a film, a fast car or even some food, only the very best of the best will do. We see amazing photographs on the television, online and even still in print media. If you’re looking to have your goods or content advertised and just need that killer photo to help you out, here are a few ways you can get advert-quality photographs for a fraction of the price.
Choose Your Weapon Carefully
There’s a lot to be said in picking the right tool for the job. Just like you probably wouldn’t paint your walls with a watercolour brush and you wouldn’t clean your car with a toothbrush, you probably wouldn’t try to take important photographs on something like a camera phone. Camera prices are falling through the floor at the moment and you can get really great quality cameras for next to nothing – if you’re going to be taking a lot of photos to try and advertise something or even if you’re just taking a couple of shots to sell your car online: pick a good camera.
There is a public misconception that the more megapixels you have, the better the camera is. This is WRONG, very, very wrong. If you’re thinking of picking up new, cheap camera, don’t be fooled by picking one with more MP – likewise, don’t think about ignoring your four year old digital camera just because five megapixels doesn’t sound as impressive anymore. If you need to take your photography seriously for advertising, then do so but do yourself justice and find some good hardware: you’ll thank yourself in the long run.
Let There Be Light
Ask anybody serious about photography and they’ll tell you that by and large, the single most important aspect of a good photo is good lighting. Essentially, when you take a photo all you’re doing is capturing light and storing the pattern it hit your camera lens in. Good lighting is crucial to a good photo, and good photos are crucial if you’re trying to advertise and sell something. Luckily, it’s not as hard as it sounds.
Top tips when thinking about lighting are things like making sure the light falling on your ‘subject’ (photography speak for what you’re taking a photo of) is of a neutral colour. Sometimes, you might want your product to be cast in a red or blue light and that’s okay, but largely you want to make sure that your subject is cast in a soft, white light – this makes things look natural and attractive. Also, think about how the light falls on your subject. Keeping something half in shadow may LOOK cool, but you’re not going for art awards here, you’re product advertising.
There is a lot to be said for cheating – however, in an advertising photography sense, it’s pretty easy to do and doesn’t have any of those awful moral connotations we think about like rigging dice in a game of snakes and ladders. Actually, it’s not even cheating at all – what I’m talk about here is digital enhancement and ‘production’. You can get fully fledged photo suites for your computer without spending a penny. These can make almost any photo look worthwhile, whether you’re taking your final piece to a print shop and getting digital prints or having a big, one-off image as part of an outdoor advertising campaign. If you’re using high quality prints from professionals such as Wales Print, you want to make sure your photos look great.
You don’t need to be talented in graphic design to use image manipulation software either, and it can help you correct common mistakes like blur, random objects in the background or bad lighting. You do have to be careful when playing around with edited images in advertising though – try to keep your images as realistic as possible.
Another easy way of ‘cheating’ is using stock photographs – buying the ‘rights’ online to a photograph taken professionally, and using it in your advertisement. This is a really easy way to get very, very high quality photographs and you can get something catered to your budget pretty much irrespective of what it is, just be careful and ONLY use images you’ve either taken yourself or have definitely, legally bought the rights to in your advertising. There are many websites publishing new photos every day, so if you can’t find something you need right away keep looking.
Make it up as you go along
By and large, the best photos come about without too much thought or effort, somebody sees the opportunity for a great photo and it gets taken. Make it up as you go along! A good camera doesn’t always mean a good photo, just like a bad camera doesn’t mean a bad photo. Take lots of photographs and pick your favourites, try standing up, crouching low – thinking about how a photo might look before you click the shutter. Good advice to getting good photos is having fun while doing so – just because you’re doing advertising photography doesn’t mean you have to take yourself, or even your photos, too seriously. Try taking photos in summer, try taking photos in September and great photos will appear right before your eyes.
This article was written by Deborah Malissa on behalf of Wales Print. Wales Print, is a professional printing service that offers cheap flyers UK but focuses solely on quality. Deborah is a keen blogger on all types of promotional marketing and is always keen to share experiences and lessons learned from her own promotional marketing endeavours.