Professional Photography: Image is Everything!

This has been a topic I have talked about numerous times before, yet the message doesn’t seem to get through to many pet professionals.   Imagine you get an email from a pet magazine, TV show or newspaper, and they want to feature you. Write about YOU, your pet business, your animal rescue or your products. WOW! So exciting, right?   One request the writer, TV producer, blogger or reporter will 100% always ask for is a High Resolution photo (of you/your product, your store, your dog, etc.).   So what do you do? You send them a great picture you took with your phone. Maybe to you it’s great, but to them, the photo is probably too small for print purposes, or may be slightly blurry or just not high enough dpi. (Dots per inch or PPI really for Pixels Per Inch).   They ask for another picture, larger image that is print quality, maybe with a pet in it.   What do you do? They need it ASAP – par for the course when press is contacting you they are usually on a tight deadline. You panic and ask someone you know with a better camera to take a picture, but you can’t get anyone to do it quick enough to meet the deadline. Or worse, you are out of town – and don’t have access to your products, can’t get back to your store in time. What are can you do? You might loose this opportunity, as the press person may just move to the next on their list to contact for the story.   Hopefully you are getting the point.   Imagine if you had a slew of amazing professional photos taken. You have a folder in your Dropbox account that you can easily send them a pictures to choose from. Easy as that, they send you an email – “great these are perfect, thank you!”   And you can go back to what you are doing (i.e. running your business or sipping that margarita if you’re out of town), knowing you have an amazing press coming out soon featuring you – and peace of mind that they have photo’s that will represent your business and you in fantastic lighting.   Having professional photography for your pet business should be at the TOP of your marketing budget and plan. There should be no if ands or mutts about it. Your phone is not going to take the place of a professional quality, high resolution, print quality photo. It is just not. Using it for social media is one thing, but trying to use an iPhone photo for a catalog or magazine, you will see the poor quality, and that will reflect poorly on your and your business.   Here are some areas where having a professional photographer take photos will be needed at some point in your pet business career:  

  • Headshot Photo’s: have headshot photos taken of you that you can confidentially use for your pet business. With and without your pets. And update your headshots every few years.
  • Team photos of your staff and/or company.
  • Your website. Your website will look amazing with high quality photos about your product or service on it.
  • Product shots. Are you a pet product manufacturer? You absolutely must have high-resolution product photos taken.
  • Retail store? Yes you need professional photos done of your store, your signage, exterior and interior.
  • Grooming facility – same as the retail store.
  • Animals for adoption in your rescue. Many photographers will volunteer their time to take fantastic photos of adoptable pets (helps increase adoptions).
  • Pictures of your own pets.
  • Lifestyle photos: Have photos of you taken in action, (dog trainers/pet sitters, veterinarians, etc.), to showcase what you do.
  YOUR LOGO – you also need different sizes and quality of your logo ready. What does this mean? For example, I have logo sizes for the web and for print purposes. When you hire a graphic designer – be sure to ask for different sizes for the Internet and for print purposes.   Personally I have two headshots that were taken by a professional photographer and those are the pictures I can easily use for press purposes, and for social media platforms (branding 101, use the same photo!).   Being prepared by considering professional photography as a top requirement in your marketing efforts for you pet business will help you in the long run. You will have less stress knowing you can quickly send a great photo if needed and look more professional among the sea of pet professionals. Why not stand out?   In the 10+ years as working as a Public Relations professional, primarily for the pet industry, I have had many wonderful clients along the way, however in those 10 years only one with professional photos. Only one. Many pet professionals just don’t think it is necessary to hire a photographer to take photos. It absolutely is! Regardless if you are looking for press of just to look more professional, have incredible photos to showcase your pet business and who you are should be a vital part of your marketing plan!   As they say a picture is worth a thousand words.]]>

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