Commercial photography to capture your business perfectly

I was recently invited to write a guest blog for my accountants, which really got me thinking about the different ways you can go about capturing images to help support all aspects of your business. You can read the full post over here however I thought it made sense to include a shorter summary here on my own blog!

The key thing to consider right from the start is we're living in an increasingly visual world, and that images and the impact (positive or negative) that they can have on your business has probably never been greater than it is right now. 

So when it comes to photography for your business there are three ways you can go about it:

  1. Shoot the images yourself
  2. Use stock photography
  3. Hire a professional

However I believe there are two key things to consider before you decide which is right for you:

* Image quality

To create the right impact your business needs to have beautiful images that stand out from the crowd. Poor images will probably lose you sales and average ones won’t really grab people’s attention or encourage them to find out more, so you really have to make sure the images are the best they can be.

* Investment required and the return on that investment.

As with any investment that you make into your business, you need to consider ROI before deciding whether it’s the right … or wrong … investment for you to make. It’s no good spending hundreds or even thousands of pounds on something all shiny and sparkly if the volume you’ll need to sell to recoup your investment is so large that it doesn’t even figure in your 10 year plan. Though conversely penny pinching and not spending on something that would only need a couple of extra sales to recoup your investment, is perhaps cutting your nose off to spite your face! You could even find you don’t make any sales if you don’t make that investment.

Basically what we’re looking for is authentic and real, stand out images that deliver a great return on investment.

So taking each way of achieving your commercial photography in turn:

1. Shoot the images yourself

Assuming you have access to a camera or have a friend with a good camera you can probably get this for free – potentially an excellent ROI! But what’s the quality going to be like? Will they stand out? Do they represent you in the best possible light? Will they encourage people to find out more and buy you or what your business has to offer?


2. Use stock photography

Now with stock images you will get great quality and, depending on your size and licence requirements, you could get them for a pretty reasonable price.

But it does take time – a lot of time – to find the right images. And going back to my earlier point of standing out from the crowd, you’re not really going to get that with stock images. Other businesses will be using those images and they do have a very distinct look about them.

stock school.collage.jpg


3. Hire a professional

When hiring a professional, getting great quality images should, as with stock photography, be a given and you’ll definitely get something that is unique to you and your business. And whilst it’s unlikely to be as cheap as stock photography you may be surprised at the true value of bespoke imagery once you start to consider the ROI.

Absolutely hiring a professional is an investment, however just look at the difference it can make.


Getting the best commercial photography that you can is an absolute must for any business operating in today’s world.

Good or bad photos can have a huge impact on your success and when you’re looking at whether hiring a professional photographer is something your business can afford, I’d ask you to really look at the return on investment. And is it actually perhaps something you can’t afford not to invest in.


“Shoot them yourself” images kindly supplied by: JD Brown Jewellery, The Lamb Inn Great Rissington, Walton PR and The M’Hencha Company. Professional images also feature: Mums2BFitWear and The Cotswold School.

Exciting Journey!

Well this week has seen the launch of my lovely new website with my new name and branding - and it's just so exciting hearing people's reactions to it! 

It's been an incredible journey over the last 6 months to get to this point, so I thought it'd be fun to write a blog about it and, perhaps most importantly, thank all the lovely people that have helped me along the way.

As we entered 2013 I did have it at the back of my mind it was about time to update my website - it really hadn't changed much since first starting the business and did need a bit of refresh! However it was a slightly intangible thought and I'd no real plans to do anything specific. That then all changed when I entered a competition run by Photo Professional Magazine and won tickets to the week long Societies Convention down in London each January. What an amazing experience! Plus the other bonus* element to the prize was the opportunity to present to "The Dragons Den" for the chance to win further prizes. 
 (* Bonus as in if you can get over the nerves of talking and presenting a selection of your images to the Dragons and in front of an audience!!!)

Catherine Connor, Jon Cohen, Terry Hope, Damian McGillicuddy, Juliet Jones

They weren't nearly as scary as some of them look ;-)  and I was thrilled to not only win a fab Fuji XF1 from Jon Cohn from Fuji (2nd from the left) but also a place on the incredible four day A-Z of Photography and Business run by Aspire Photography Training headed up by the fabulous Catherine Connor (1st on the left). Even better there were spaces on the next course running in February!

And what a fabulous four days I had! - in such a beautifully inspiring location in the Lake District too. 

collage of images from Aspire Photography Training course

And whilst we did have the opportunity to photograph several lovely people ...

collage of baby, toddler and young adult portraits

... the business training really did make me sit up and think. That was when I began to make more serious plans to look at a full rebrand.

With the help of the wonderful Sarah, I began to put some structure behind the jumble of thoughts running through my head and then, quite unexpectedly, found the most perfect agency to work with. The moment I came across Flourish I just knew they'd do an incredible job for me. This was then probably cemented by the fact that not only are they a great team but that their dogs go to work too! Always a winner with me!

the team at Flourish Design Studios

Based down in Guildford they're right on the river ... 

collage of Flourish Studio images from outside

And like Aspire have a very creative and inspiring space to work in. 

collage of images from inside Flourish Design Studios

Flourish blogged the full story of the brand identity earlier on this month which you can read here, however as expected they completely and utterly delivered! Even down to creating this of Bill from one of my images of him! Don't you just love him! 

Bill dog the border terrier

I made the decision to build the website myself, however I had the ace help of Vicki Gray from BluMango to suggest ways I could use my new branding and to provide general advice and suggestions about the overall design.

Then I used the simply wonderful Nikki de Villiers from The Word Well to weave magic with my words! She's a magician for sure!

And last, but my no means least, a special mention has to go to the two amazing local business women that I'm thrilled to work with in a mentoring trio - Vikki mentioned above and the gorgeous Sophie - thank you ladies - for everything!

Thanks again to everyone that's helped and supported me over the last few months - you've all been ace and I hope you like the end result as much as I do!