If you’ve been reading my blog posts or my posts on Social Media, you’ll be aware that I’m always going on about telling your Story!  

Photography to me is all about Story Telling.  If your image doesn’t tell a story it’s not doing the job it was designed for and it’s not serving you well.   The story you tell with your images needs to be one that reflects well on your brand and appeals to your target audience, drawing them in, creating interest as it does so.  Perhaps it reflects a situation in their lives that they can identify with or, they would like to identify with, such as a holiday in warmer climes when it’s pouring and cold outside, making them think of booking a holiday – perhaps with you after seeing your images.

Your imagery and story telling has to reinforce and support your brand, if it doesn’t, if instead, it lets the side down.  Which means that instead it’s doing you a disservice and it’s one that will cost you dearly in lost sales.  Remember you’ve less than 30 seconds to convince a prospective buyer that you are worth a second glance, before they’ve moved on and that sale is lost probably forever.

Now incase you disagree let me explain that I think even a simple pack shot can tell a story!  And it may not be one that’s occurred to you either ….

Have you thought about how your story telling via photos might be being received?

5 jars of choc nibbles in a row, all neat and looking pristine on a crisp white background. Story Telling for the product and the brand.

Good Story Telling using a clean, crisp, white background, all the labels uniform and pristine.

A badly taken pack shot can tell your audience several things:

  • That you don’t care enough about your products or services to be bothered?
  • That you have a very relaxed attitude to presentation and therefore what else?
  • That you are doing your photography on the cheap to save funds, so what else are you cutting corners on?

None of the above is going to help your business.

By a badly taken pack shot I mean something where the angle is wrong so the the vertical lines aren’t straight but veer off at angles (diverging verticals we call it in the trade), or the background is dirty and messy or perhaps the product has marks on or the label isn’t straight or it’s torn …..  Perhaps the background is meant to be white but isn’t and none of the similar products have been lit or positioned the same so it’s a bit of a mess and it’s hard to know if the products are all the same size or not.

It probably wasn’t meant to be a badly taken pack shot, it may have been in a hurry with a ‘this will do until’ thought attached to it.  It may be that you have little time, several jobs, ill health or a family and more to juggle, remember your audience may or may not be aware of such things and whether they are or not, this will not impact on what they think about what they see.  First impressions really, really matter.

Let’s explore good and bad story telling …

Now that’s just for a simple pack shot.  The plot deepens for lifestyle shots.  Imagine two second hand car sales people with a similar fleet of cars for sale.  Let us call them Bob and Ted.  Bob rushes out and takes quick phone images of the cars outside his lock up, he wants them up for sale asap, and once people see them those cars are going to fly out, or so he thinks.  So a few quick shots and he’s done, he’s not got time for anything else.  He’s a busy man after all.

Ted on the other hand, wants to really appeal to people, he’s valeted the cars carefully first and he’s driven them out to a nice location.  He’s still using his phone but he’s taking great care with regards to the look and feel.  He’s also taking lots of photos as he knows his buyers will want to know what it looks like from each side as well as the inside and he’s been sure to take note of any special features.  He then adds his photos to the same site for sale.   He’s aware of the value of good imagery to his business.

There’s a slight price difference in that Ted is charging a wee bit more than Bob.  What do you think the outcome will be?  Which of them would you rather buy from?

Let me tell you.  First assumptions count.  People will look at Bob’s images and see a second hand car sales guy and cars that don’t look anything special.  The photos aren’t well taken and the light is dire.  It all looks a bit shifty and it fits with their preconception of a second hand sales guy!  The chances are they’ll keep looking.

Then they come to Ted’s images, and are confronted by a different story that stands out in contrast to Bob’s.  The cars look tidy, he’s pointed out the good and the bad (building up the trust here!), but the photos are quite good, there’s plenty of them and it all looks clean and inviting.


The importance of getting your Story Telling Right!

The difference here is that Ted is doing his best to create a good impression of his business as much as he is his cars, he is showing care in what he does and he’s not hiding issues (which I’m led to believe is rare in car sales but I’m not passing judgement or picking a fight, merely trying to give an example of how things are or can be perceived to be and how it can have a really big impact on your sales).  So he’s building trust which is important as we humans like to ‘know, like & trust’ before we buy.  

Bob on the other hand …. not many photos, they look awful, shot in bad light in a grubby back lane …. do I even need to say more?   The price difference isn’t great, which one are people going to choose?  I know where I’d be headed and it wouldn’t be to Bob!  

Do you see where I’m going here?  There’s so much more to story telling than just trying to influence someone to buy, it’s about your whole shop window, whether this be a real window or a virtual online one.  How long is it since you dusted your shop window to the world down and made sure it was serving you well?

More importantly have you considered what effect your story telling could be having on your profits?

Where to go from here?

Do you want to get your photography branding back on track?  Then book a free consultation with me here or get in touch here.

Want to see more on the subject of Photography Branding then start with my last post here.
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