How To Identify A Professional Photography Studio Which Will Match Your Business

By: William Penworthy

Thereís no doubt that using a professional photography studio is vital to giving your business a real advantage. A well designed digital photography studio will be able to provide all of the facilities necessary in ensuring your packshots, promotional images and marketing images are of the highest possible standard. Itís too easy for small businesses to assume that with an off the shelf digital camera, some software, a computer and a spare afternoon they can create images of a perfectly good standard. Whilst the quality might be exemplary by the standards normally seen in family holiday albums, they will undoubtedly leave much to be desired in the dog-eat-dog world of business marketing today.

We live in an increasingly image driven world, perhaps a necessary scenario based on the sheer volume of material we are now exposed to each and every day. From radio and television to email, billboards, fliers, web pages and text messages, we are inundated by adverts, promotions and marketing. Relying less on words and more on images is a highly effective way of cutting through all of this noise. But cutting through the noise can be achieved two ways - either with more noise, or with something that sounds like music.

Increasingly customers are learning to filter out the noise, the unprofessional images, the stock footage, the bot-fodder which passes for online marketing and the amateur attempts to compete with big businesses. The differences may in some cases only be subtle - but then the difference between Ďsaleí and Ďstaleí is only one letter. Sometimes little differences count.

So what would you expect to find in a professional photography studio which would make such a difference compared to in-house attempts to take packshot images or product photographs? Of course, the first answer to this is the professional creative photographer, who will undoubtedly have years of experience designing, staging, lighting, taking and manipulating images for commercial use. With a list of contacts, sources for props, locations, models and lighting facilities, an experienced commercial photographer will be able to work with you to develop not just outstanding photographs of your products, but eye-catching images which say more than merely representing what a printed box looks like.

In many cases businesses are limited in taking images because of the fact that products might be too big, too bulky or too heavy, and so in these cases it will be important to identify a professional photography studio which provides ground floor access, lifts for transporting commercial goods, and flexible studio spaces that provide easy manipulation of items. If youíre wanting a professional photograph of a candle, you may not find transportation a problem. But if youíre wanting a commercial image of a motorbike, an item of furniture or large household appliances, you may need a photographic studio which provides flexibility and easy access. Of course, issues such as free parking are also worth looking out for.

A digital photography studio can be a real advantage, because by using digital images clients can then see these results almost immediately, and help in developing the remainder of the shoot, as well as being involved in post production image manipulation. With a creative photographic consultant to hand, thereís really nothing that canít be achieved. From simple image manipulation techniques to alter the mood, lighting effects, backgrounds and transpositions, to full scale photographic images which could only ever exist in the mind of a creative photographer, imagination is the only limit.

But itís worth bearing in mind that in many cases digital cameras can actually reduce the quality of an image, especially as a result of anti-aliasing filters. For this reason itís worth looking for a digital photography studio which uses digital camera backs. These are professional devices which fit on to a standard film camera, but which allow the photographer to take digital images using a film-based camera. This provides a system which massively increases the quality of the images, since each pixel is recorded with many times the amount of detail than is possible with even the highest quality digital camera alone. By using a digital camera back the commercial photographer is then able to switch between camera body and lens combinations which enable each and every image to be taken using the best possible combination, rather than having to rely on best-fit compromises. The best possible digital backs to look out for are produced by a Danish company called Phase One. You can easily identify a really serious digital photography studio by seeing whether they use Phase One digital backs.

But ultimately, using a digital photography studio isnít just about the way in which the commercial photographers use the facilities within a professional photography studio - itís also about you, the client. A studio should be designed around you, as much as around the photographer and the studio. With comfortable surroundings that encourage you to actively participate you can enjoy a productive working partnership which helps lift your business up out of the noise, and start getting more attention.

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