How to Tell the Story of Your Business Through Images
Every one of my commercial photoshoots, regardless of the size or type of business or which package they have booked, has one important element in common and that is ‘Storytelling Images’. In this blog post we are going to look at how images can tell the story of a business and why storytelling is so important.
Why Storytelling Matters in Business
As human beings we have a deep rooted history of storytelling dating right back to caveman days, throughout history storytelling has not only been a means of communication but also a way to educate and form meaningful connections. As business owners we know that people do business with those that they know, like and trust. Telling our business story, through images and words, allows potential clients to feel that they know us and to form an opinion about whether they like us. Some people may decide that they don’t particularly like us, and that’s great. Genuine storytelling will act as a filter, engaging our ideal clients and filtering out those that are a better fit for another business.
Telling Your Story Through Images
To successfully communicate your story through a series of images you must to aim to answer the six fundamental questions - Who? What? Why? Where? When? How?
The easiest question is 'who' and can be answered with a portrait but it’s important to take the other questions into account when deciding on the style of portrait. An environmental portrait can also help to answer the question of where you do business and documentary images could be used to tell the story of what you do. A portrait may also send subtle messages about how you work. If your approach is very formal and business-like a photo of you playing with your children is not likely to attract the right sort of clients. However if you wish to tell the story of a business with a relaxed and friendly approach with family values at it’s core then this could be the perfect image. Take care not to fall into the trap of thinking that a relaxed portrait is the same as a quick snapshot taken on a phone at a family gathering. Images of a high standard convey a subtle message that you care about your business, low quality snaps tell a different story and won’t build trust in the same way.
First impressions matter, judgements are formed within a matter of seconds and images are the most fundamentally important part of creating the best first impression. Allow your images to tell the wrong story and your ideal clients will pass by without a second glance, tell the right story with strong on brand images and you will stop them in their tracks. Once you’ve engaged their attention with images you’ve made great progress towards building a deeper connection and can reinforce your story with words.
What About Stock Photography?
Stock photography is widely available, generally affordable and usually of a good technical standard but I am passionate about educating business owners to avoid them. Now I can imagine you reading this and your first thoughts will be, ‘But of course you would say that you’re a photographer’. But even if a business is never likely to be my client I would still advise them to seek out another photographer rather than rely on stock images. Stock photography will never tell the story of your business, it will only tell of a generic, bland, middle of the road business and no one wants that to be their story!