The first myth that has grown up in recent years is that images can be sourced for free. Whatever image needed, even if you’re lucky enough to find an image that fits the bill and doesn’t charge usage fees, it has to be searched and sourced which takes time and money!
As much as we hate saying things like this… no matter how good the creative is, bad photography will only ever produce a below-standard job. Of course, we have all tricks of the trade up our sleeves to improve poor photography –in expert hands Photoshop can do many amazing things! We can manipulate an image to improve the exposure, or we can use many clever ways of manipulating ‘homemade photography’ (often taken on phones) to make the most of their snapshot appeal.
This is OK, if it is the last resort, but there are limits – there is one solid rule: “garbage in, garbage out” applies. When we push and pull images beyond their limit, we do it in the knowledge that what we’re producing could be taken into another league if only it had the right images.
The highest quality imagery clearly is produced by a professional photographer. Investing in your own library of original images, will elevate your brand. If the images are needed for a campaign, this again allows concepts to be produced that make you stand out from the competition. Even simple product and lifestyle shots are vital to lift everything we produce. to produce.
Understandably, when budgets are tight, this is one area of a project that clients often want to save money on. At first glance it’s easy to see why – the cost of commissioning a photographer for a day’s shoot and the associated post-production fees can certainly make that dusty CD of pictures your colleague took two years ago look very attractive!
But don’t despair, commissioning a photographer is not the only route. There is a wide range of royalty free image libraries that may just have the very thing you’re looking for, and all of a sudden professional photography could be within your budget. Again though, the time to find the right image can be long – if you need a cheesy business team on the phone cheering wildly, that’s a short search! Anything more specific takes time, and depending on the library may command a considerable fee depending on usage terms.
Our advice to you is never scrimp on photography, there are some areas in design where you can save money but by using poorly produced photography is false economy which will be to the detriment of your marketing communications and even worse, your brand.