When it comes to photography for marketing and advertising, creativity and vision are only half the battle.

Images play an essential role in marketing and advertising because they tell a story, convey a brand’s message, and attract widespread attention on social media. Nonetheless, millions of advertising images are on the internet and social media—but only the best images will stand out.

In this article, we’ll show you how to create the best images for your marketing and advertising campaigns.

What is advertising photography?

Good advertising photography persuades an individual to purchase something. In addition, it grabs the individual’s attention and pulls them into a story and a brand’s image. You’ll need to use a mixture of photographic skills and understand human psychology to create successful advertising photography.

How To Create Terrific Advertising Photos

So how does one go about creating these amazing photos for an ad campaign? Here are five time-tested principles, used by the best advertising agencies and branding teams around the world:

1. Create an Emotional Connection

The most profound connection between customers and companies is an emotional connection. If you construct a positive mental image—such as a better life, a fond memory, or a better home instead of merely showing the product—you can form an emotional bond with the customer.

Typically, the company will identify a customer’s aspirations and pain points. Then, the photographer uses those to promote the product through the image. Kodak already understood emotional connection in the 1940s. Instead of showing the camera, they showed what the cameras could do. As a result, they built an emotional bond with the customer.

2. Define the Concept

You must define a concept that resonates with your audience. For example, this could be a real-life situation that strikes a chord with the audience. Photographers can be creative with this, but there must be a solid base that the audience understands.

In many cases, less is more. You can even leave room for the audience to create their own story. Show them the path to the conclusion, but don’t push it in their faces.

3. Use Proper Lighting

The right lighting can transform an average picture into an excellent image. Here are some tips for getting superb performance from your lighting setup:

  • Use a broad lighting source: A broad lighting source is essential for creating softer light, suppressing the photo’s texture, and creating fewer shadows. A broad lighting source can produce outstanding effects If you’re shooting portraits.
  • Use shadows for a three-dimensional look: Contrary to popular belief, shadows aren’t always a negative thing. Shadows—if used correctly—can provide a voluminous appearance to your photos, thus projecting your subject to be in space instead of a flat surface. In turn, this can help your photos appear more authentic.
  • Keep the color temperature in mind: Always consider the color temperature when shooting photos. During the early morning and late afternoons, the sunlight has a warm tone that may convey happiness. This time could be perfect for your images.
  • Put the light source close to the subject: The further away your subject is, the harsher the light will fall onto them. Guarantee your subject stands close to the light source to illuminate the subject naturally

4. Use the Correct Zooming Techniques

If you use the correct zooming techniques, you can enhance your photo significantly. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your lens:

  • Reduce the ISO: You need to use the ISO feature if you want to make dimly lit scenes more clear. However, you shouldn’t use this feature when you’re zooming into your subject because it will reduce the quality of your image.
  • Don’t push the lens to the extreme: Even the best zoom lens has an optimal range. Range examples include 75 to 300mm or 70 to 200mm. If you’re using a 75 to 300mm lens, you’ll find the sweetest spot around 280mm. Ensure you experiment to find the optimal range.
  • Focus on one aspect: One of the main advantages of using a zoom lens is focusing on the details of your subject. For example, you can focus on their eyes, nose, and lips.

5. Composition is Key To Great Photography

Finding the best composition is essential for creating excellent advertising images, because proper composition enables you to tell a better story. But how? Here are some tips for getting the best composition for a photo:

  • Make sure there’s a clear distinction between your background and the subject
  • Know and implement the “rule of thirds” (for more on this specifically, read our article here)
  • Ensure you fill the frame and monitor the background
  • Don’t cut off any limbs
  • Make the most of lines and shapes
  • Look for patterns and symmetry
  • Create depth

How to Take Great Shots of Services

These techniques are all well and good when you’re setting up a product shot, right? But what about if you sell a service, such as health care, litigation, or cutting hair? If your business is offering a service instead of a product, there are some things you should consider when taking photos. It can be a little trickier to convey your message, so follow these tips:

1. Add Faces to Your Business

When people use your services, they will work closely with your team. Therefore, you should show your team members in the photo. You could display your customer service team or your leadership team.

Either way, put faces to your services, and your customers will feel more confident using your services. Ensure your staff smile, look happy, and appear welcoming.

2. Capture Specific Action Shots

Showing your team members working can be more effective than simply showing their faces. For example, show photos of your staff completing the work if your team offers home repair services. In addition, show images of your staff communicating with your customers if you provide financial services to your clients.

You’ll appear more authentic and trustworthy by showing your team performing their services.

3. Depict Happy Customers

Including customers in your photos is an excellent idea, but not if they look depressed. In addition, there’s a fine line between your customers looking ‘too happy.’

Try different angles and perspectives to ensure your customers look authentic and satisfied. What’s more, use action shots, portraits, or before and after images to show a happy customer.

4. Show Specific Points in the Deal

Many things go into offering excellent services to customers—including the planning stage, the working stage, and the bookkeeping stage. Therefore, choose the stages which are critical to your business. For example, most people don’t want to see the bookkeeping stage because it isn’t relevant to the deal.

You could, however, show an image of a handshake between customer service and the customer when they’ve reached a deal.

Taking Great Pictures of Your Storefront

If your business has a storefront, then getting a great shot of it is not as simple as taking a photo from the road, in your car, as a dog is walking by relieving itself. Rather, you need to be deliberate, just like with products and services, with how you showcase your store in ads and online.

Specific images will make your storefront appear more welcoming. Here are some tips for creating excellent store front pictures:

1. Shoot on Cloudy Days

Although you may think sunny days are the best for capturing your storefront, cloudy days are far superior. That’s because overcast days provide softer, more diffused lighting. As a result, there will be fewer shadows and no harsh reflections. (This little bit of advice, in fact, works for almost all kinds of photography.)

2. Ensure the Storefront Is Clean

You must be attentive to all the details when shooting a photo of your storefront. It must be clean, welcoming, and orderly. Ensure the windows and doors are sparkling clean.

3. Keep the Photo Straight

You should keep the photo straight when capturing your storefront. If you’re shooting on a mobile phone, use your camera’s grid lines to ensure the image is perfectly straight. You can also use a tripod to ensure your camera is straight.

4. If Possible, Adding People To The Scene

Including people in your shot—such as customers or staff—can make the storefront seem more welcoming. These can be candid shots whereby the photographer waits until someone approaches the store before taking a photo.

In Summary

All companies and brands need to use great photography to convey their image properly. You can create the perfect advertising photos by using the tips in this article, and reach out to Mandel Marketing with any questions, or if you need help getting your message to market!