Picture Perfect Marketing: How Great Custom Photography Can Make Your Business Money

Picture Perfect Marketing: How Great Custom Photography Can Make Your Business Money

Show Notes

Say cheese! Today we talk to Paul Scharff, a photographer who specializes in taking photos that help businesses make money. Whether they’re product shots or pictures of you and your staff in action, Paul wants to showcase your business so you’ll win more customers. So ask yourself, do the photos on your website and in your other marketing materials pull people in, humanize your brand and make people want to do business with you? Listen for some great insights into what photography can do and some tips for doing it yourself when you need to.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • When you can and can’t rely on stock photos to help market your business
  • The value that custom photography can bring and how it can add authenticity to your company
  • Why it’s more important to think about what a photo can do for you rather than focusing on technical details or artistic style
  • Whether the iPhone is ruining photography
  • When you can take business photos with your smart phone, when you can’t and when it might actually be better for you
  • How to choose the right photographer for your business
  • Why there is no “one size fits all” photographer and you shouldn’t have your wedding photographer shoot your business photos (even if he’s really, really, really good at weddings)
  • What it means to “overcook” a photo
  • Optimizing photos so it makes customers want to buy
  • What the Rule of Thirds is and how it can help you frame pictures that have more power
  • Why you should shoot 100 photos if you want 10 good ones
  • The importance of NOT deleting photos and protecting the ones you have
  • What shooting RAW means and whether it’s the right format for you
  • Plus we talk about experiencing your life vs. photographing it, why the iPhone may be the only camera you’ll ever need and the wrong way to take photos if you’re doing it yourself

Links & Resources

Your Marketing Action Item

From Paul: Have a colleague some time in the next three days take photos of you at work – whether you’re working on a job site or at your desk. Have that person take photos of you doing your job, talking on the phone with customers, engaging with your work. Take at least half a dozen or more. Wait ten minutes then take a look and think about what photos like those – or even those exact photos – can do for your business rather than not having them.

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Carol Lynn Rivera

Carol Lynn Rivera

I'm a business owner, content creator, podcaster and marketer. In 1999 I founded Rahvalor Interactive, a web and creative services production studio, with my husband and business partner Ralph. In 2011 we created Web.Search.Social, a consulting and marketing service line for small businesses. We also cohost the Web.Search.Social Podcast where we challenge the status quo of marketing and the Carbon Based Business Units podcast where we talk about the human side of being an entrepreneur. On any given day I wear the hat of project manager, consultant, social media manager and content marketer. My true passion is writing and in my spare time I'm busy planning my early retirement to Barcelona as a famous and wealthy novelist.
Carol Lynn Rivera
Carol Lynn Rivera
  • “Paul Scharff Shoots People”

    Businesses, don’t say cheese
    Say pro photographer, please!

    If that’s not within your budget
    Grab your iPhone and fudge it

    Biz photos will create connections
    Be real and show your imperfections

    Stock photos might have their place
    But you need to give your biz a face

    Paul Scharff can handle the task
    He’s sharp and charming and fast

    Paul doesn’t shoot babies or dogs
    No weddings or slimy spotted frogs

    His specialty is commercial shoots
    But no need to wear a business suit

    Hate to have your picture taken? Me, too. And, apparently, we’re not the only ones. 😉 But since photos can build your brand and boost your bottom line, comb your hair and let the photo shoot begin!

    • That’s what we should have called this episode! Poor guy, I think we had fun at his expense 🙂

      He takes great photos though. We have a few waiting to post here, just haven’t had a chance to do that. Ugh.

      I have to say, in every poem you have one little gem that always stands out and that gives me the biggest chuckle. In this case it’s “slimy spotted frogs”. I just imagine your brain working to come up with this stuff. Does wine help?

      • Anxious to see the photos Paul took for you! Just by listening to his voice, I can tell he’s super confident and knows his stuff. Paul may not shoot “slimy spotted frogs” but it sounds like his cat is shot a lot. 😉

        “Wine” would help, for sure. But I usually write these poems in the A.M. so we wouldn’t want Fred to get he wrong impression that I’m drinking before noon. LOL!!

        • P.S. Can’t wait to see Paul’s new website. His work is TOO GOOD to be housed on an outdated looking site with a dark background. Hope he’ll let us know when it’s up and open to the public.

          • Totally agree 🙂 He needs a really good gallery.

            And I wouldn’t want anyone to think any of us drink before noon! Unless we’re on a beach sipping early morning margaritas, because really, what else are you supposed to do on a beach?

          • You’re SO right …
            Beach = Booze 😉

  • I cannot believe it.. 91 episodes in.. And I am finally doing something right… All of my photos are immediately saved to cloud the very minute I am done editing them..
    This action item goes along with the one a few weeks back from Caroline, (I am so NOT gonna stop this) about making a Pinterest board highlighting the behind the scenes of your business. I have not done so yet, and while working to get my new space all up and running exactly as I dreamed it, It is still right there on the top of my list. These pics will be perfect for that…

    I am learning that the process really does interest people. The more I discuss it with people, the more they get involved with who I am and why I do it.

    • Yah! I love the behind the scenes stuff. Anyone can take a photo of “a product” but it’s way more fascinating to see what goes INTO it and who creates it. Everyone loves a story. I buy things lots of times just for the story!

      One thing just to make sure you are saving your photos…. make sure you save the originals and not just the edited versions. That way if you want to edit it differently – different size, color corrected, whatever – you have the original to work with instead of only editing the edited version.

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