If you speak to local business owners about photography for their business, you’re often greeted with a similar response. Many local businesses understand that having high quality photography is a really powerful attribute – and that the first impression you create is so often the lasting impression that you create. However, there is often a perception that having bespoke photography of your business for your website and marketing is simply too expensive. For the typical Exeter business, photography is often seen as a luxury rather than a necessity.
I was recently contacted by Richard Gubbay, the lead chiropractor and owner of Cathedral Chiropractic. The company have been running since 2003 and have a great reputation in the Exeter area. We had a long conversation about the Cathedral Chiropractic website in which Richard explained that the old site had become outdated and needed to be refreshed. He explained that the new site would be a responsive website built with HTML5 so that users on mobile devices would be able to access the website just as easily as desktop users.
Richard commissioned me to shoot images for the Cathedral Chiropractic website that would communicate simply but effectively the services that he offers.
He asked me to focus on three particular areas:
1. The site generates leads and encourages potential customers to get in touch about their back pain and related issues. It’s therefore very important that the Cathedral Chiropractic site describes to customers the kind of procedures that are available. Richard asked me to shoot images that would communicate a sense of softness and warmth, not pain and coldness. He wanted images that were light and airy and showed that seeing a chiropracter should be a positive experience.
2. He wanted to move away from stock photography and shoot bespoke images that his customers can identify with. This is an increasingly common experience that I have when speaking to business owners. A few years ago stock photography was an easy way to create a professional impression. Now, customers want to see exactly what kind of experience they are going to have – and the personal touch is really crucial to this.
3. Richard told me that he wanted to feature in some of the images. This is a really smart move because customers will want to see who it is that they will be treated by. We therefore worked hard to get the Cathedral Chiropractic staff in as many images as possible.
In a shoot like this the brief needs to be incredibly clear. It is essential that the images I take are tailored to help the client generate more business. In this case, I was looking to take images that would show the value of Richard’s services and encourage more people to think about seeing a chiropractor. A lot of time and effort goes into producing images that tell a story and help the customer to see the value of what they are buying.
Before the photo shoot I prepared thoroughly to ensure that the images I was shooting were going to be suitable for use on Richard’s website. I geared the whole shoot around capturing the right kind of images for the new site. With this in mind I asked Richard various questions about the new website to ensure that the images were communicating the right messages and were captured the style that Richard wanted. This is always an important process when photographing a product or service. I wanted to ensure that I was showing Cathedral Chiropractic’s services in the best possible light and a natural, engaging way.
What difference does bespoke imagery make?
A lot of businesses like Richard’s would make do with stock photography. However, Cathedral Chiropractic correctly identified that stock photography is a pretty ineffective solution. It doesn’t build trust with the customer in the way that Richard would like. Instead, I was able to provide images which both showed a unique service and gave the customer an introduction to the staff and locations that they would be dealing with if they come to Cathedral Chiropractic.
I’m finding more and more local businesses are surprised by how cost effective a photo shoot can be. In a nutshell, it needn’t be any more expensive than stock photography, and rather than getting a place filler you get vibrant imagery that really does communicate what you’re about. The combination of professional imagery and a personal touch really is very powerful.
Whether you’re a start-up business looking for a set of images that will communicate your new idea – or an established business in need of a web and marketing update – this kind of shoot is a great way to breathe life into your online and offline marketing.
The new Cathedral Chiropractic website is currently being developed – I’m really looking forward to seeing my photos when the new site goes live!