Why Professional Photography Still Matters

Indra Gardiner Bowers // May 6 // Insights

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Have you seen the latest Apple TV commercial? After a beautifully shot and edited series of images of people using their iPhones to shoot or edit, it ends with just one voice over line - "Every day, more photos are taken with the iPhone than any other camera."

Brands like Apple remind us that "everyone" is a photographer. Just add an Instagram filter and you too will feel like an artist. But just as all burgers are not created equally, neither are all photos. As we move toward a visual web, the imagery associated with your brand becomes more and more critical. More images, less words. Yet in the battle of quantity over quality, it is often quality that loses. And along with quality goes the value of creation.

Is Photography Becoming a Commodity?

Take a look at the new site, Foap. Join the community, upload your photos and make money from them. The premise is that with so many people taking photos everyday, Foap will provide fresh images from more locations. Foap charges $10 per photo. The photographer gets $5. The message is that photography is a commodity, anyone can do it and it ain't worth much.

I read about Foap in a recent issue of Fast Company. One page prior to the story about Foap, the Creative Lead from AirBnB explained that they now use professional photography for their listings, in fact, "…listings with professional photographers earn more than twice as much money as those without them." Hmmm.

Investing in Professional Photography

That random snapshot your friend took of you on vacation, or the selfie from your smartphone is not doing you any favors and does not substitute for a professional headshot. Our brains make judgements in seconds about what we see (see AirBnB quote above). When your face looks kind of…green, people have an instant negative reaction.

Investing in quality photography for you (your headshot is a big part of your personal brand) and for your brand is critical to conveying the image you seek. And I'd be willing to bet that Apple commercial wasn't shot by an amateur.

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