How to Take Professional Photos of Your Business (Without Hiring a Professional)?

When you’re just starting out or launching a new business, photography is probably the last thing on your mind. However, it’s a crucial part of successful marketing. But don’t worry: You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars hiring a photographer or investing in fancy equipment. In fact, with a quick trip to your local art supply store and the help of your smartphone, you can get started today. You can easily create a stunning gallery of images with what you already have. If you’re just starting out and don’t yet have a huge budget, you can still capture great shots with your phone and edit them with apps like Snapseed or Enlight. If you want slightly more refined photos, consider investing in a digital camera. The Canon EOS Rebel DSLR and Sony A6000 are great options for under $1,000. If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.

Imagine you’re painting a picture. What’s the focal point? What colours do you use? How do you express emotion? What details set the scene?. Consider these same questions when establishing your shots.

Here are a few tips for framing engaging business photos:

  • Include people’s natural emotions: faces, smiles, laughter, focus, bliss
  • Capture all the details: beads of sweat, shimmering hair, natural light filtering through the lobby
  • Catch candid moments: true teamwork, new friendships being made, that feeling of accomplishment after a great workout
  • Movement and expression: let the scene jump out from your photos, capture that true feeling of accomplishment, show the grit behind a great workout

Find your business’s “golden hour” and plan your photoshoot during it. Maybe it’s at 9 AM, when the morning light pours through the arched windows, rebounding off the polished hardwood floors. Or maybe it’s in the late afternoon when the autumn sunset illuminates your studio mirrors with a warm glow. Opt for diffused light or shade without backlighting whenever possible. For example, shoot against a solid background inside or below an overhang outside. If you’re shooting outside, look for an even light source in front of your subject to avoid uneven shadows. Overcast days, being naturally shadow-less, tend to create the best outdoor photo opps.

Channel your inner third-person narrator and capture the story from an outsider’s vantage point.

Take a step back and allow people’s movements and interactions to unfold without noticing the camera, capturing the natural vibe of your business—sans cheesy, fake smiles. And while you’re taking a step back, get a wide-angle, birds-eye view of your space so people can feel what it’s like to step inside your business. Looking for wedding photography Melbourne? Look no further! Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.

How to Maximise Image Quality in Photography

How to Take Professional Photos of Your Business (Without Hiring a Professional)?

In the past, I’ve written about camera settings in terms of optimization – pushing your gear to the limits in order to maximise image quality. Today, I’ll revisit those advanced techniques and explain how to combine them to capture the highest quality images you possibly can.

First, a simple premise: There is an optimal way to set your camera for a given photo. Not only that, but there is also an optimal way to set your post-processing software and export settings based on your output medium.

Sometimes, of course, you’ll need to sacrifice a bit of image quality in order to use the right camera settings. If you need to take a photo at f/1.4 for the shallow depth of the field, go for it. Don’t stop down to f/5.6 just because it’s the lens’s sweet spot.

But often, there’s some significant leeway in the settings you choose, and it can be tricky to know exactly which ones will give you maximum image quality.

That’s what this article is for. I like to think that it’s one of the more important endeavours I’ve attempted recently on Photography Life; it’s my way of distilling many previous concepts we’ve written about into an overarching explanation of maximizing image quality. And it’s pretty long, and it’s occasionally complicated, but it works. This is the process I aim to follow for every photo, though I certainly don’t always succeed.

The only big thing I omitted was flash photography. Flash is complex enough to merit its own article, and this one is already bursting at the seams.

Other than that, the information below should apply regardless of the subject or genre you are photographing. 

7 Steps to Ensure Your Photographs areas High Quality as Possible

One of the great allures of photography is that it mixes both art and science. The creative and artistic side is, of course, the most important aspect. Figuring out what makes a beautiful and interesting photograph is something that takes time and experience to master. But at the same time, your photography will go nowhere if you do not understand the science and technique that go into creating a high-quality photograph. It’s the uniting of the two that will turn you into a great photographer. Create lasting memories through your Yarra Valley wedding photography that will be cherished forever. 

So here is the technical process behind producing a high-quality photograph.

Sharpness

As Henri Cartier-Bresson said, “Sharpness is a bourgeois concept”, but only if you first understand how to take sharp photographs. Sharp photographs are 100% due to the work that you do in the camera, not in post-production. If you have to sharpen a photograph in post-production to make it look good, then you are doing it wrong.

Shutter speed

Shutter speed is the primary setting to consider in order to create a sharp photograph. If the camera is handheld, your shutter speed always needs to be divided by the focal length to offset your handheld camera shake.

So if you are using a full-frame camera with a 50mm lens, your shutter speed needs to be at least 1/50th of a second. If you are using a cropped APS-C sensor with a 1.6 conversion, that means a 50mm lens will actually have the equivalent of an 80mm focal length, so you will need a shutter speed of at least 1/80th for the shot to be sharp.

If you are photographing people in motion and want them to be sharp, I suggest a shutter speed of 1/250th of a second or higher for faster moving subjects.

Aperture

You will also have to consider what aperture you want to use depending on the image you are taking. Using a smaller aperture (higher-numbered like f/16) more often will allow more of your scene to be sharp. The only tradeoff to do this is that you will need to use a higher ISO if the light is not ideal and you are shooting handheld. A higher ISO will add some noise to the image, but in many cases, this will give you a much higher quality image because it will allow you to use a faster shutter speed and a smaller aperture simultaneously. You should be more afraid of using the wrong shutter speed or aperture versus using a higher ISO.

However, using a shallow depth of field (selecting a large aperture like f/4) can make a photograph look incredibly beautiful. For images like this, you need to pay even more attention to getting the focus right. Missing the focus with a shallow depth of field will ruin your photograph. You need to focus on the main subject, and you have to be careful about back-focused issues where the camera focuses on the background by accident.

Having a strong handle on all of this is the first step in creating a high-quality final print. If you do all of this well, then you will not have to think about sharpness at any other stage in the process.

Light and Exposure

How to Take Professional Photos of Your Business (Without Hiring a Professional)?

Yes, as long as you are shooting RAW, you can fix your exposure in editing, and a high percentage of photographs will need to be tweaked a bit in post-production. However, the better you are at getting the correct exposure in-camera, the more high-quality your final photographs will be. The tones and the colours will turn out better, and you will have a more accurate starting place to make a photograph look as good as possible.

Understanding light is incredibly important for getting the exposure correct in the camera. Everyone screws this up some of the time but understanding the situations where the camera’s light meter can get it wrong will help you to minimise these mistakes.

The light meter in your camera always wants to make things a neutral grey. For instance, if there are many dark objects in your frame, the camera’s light meter will often try to brighten the photograph to make those dark tones look like a neutral grey, so the resulting image will not look like the real scene. For scenes with many bright tones, such as a snowy day, the camera will often darken the image too much. A similar problem can happen due to your light sources. If you are photographing into the sun, your subject will be in the shadows while everything else will be bright, so you may have to brighten the image as a result.

This is where you need to use exposure compensation (or shoot in manual) to get the exposure as close as possible to correct. The closer you get, the less you will have to do in post-production.

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Composition

Strong composition is one of the most important keys to creating a great final print. I am not going to go into an entire talk about the rules of composition here. But suffice to say, it’s very important to understand that the idea of composition results from the aim of leading a viewer’s eyes through an image. A good composition will move a person’s eyes throughout a print in a logical and pleasing way.

Well-placed subjects, light, lines, patterns and even colours can be used to move the eyes. Also, it is important to know that a viewer’s eyes naturally want to move out of an image, so placing things in the corners can stop this and help the photograph feel more balanced. This is why cloudy skies are usually better than clear skies because the clouds stop the eyes from moving off the image. It is also why landscape painters will paint tree branches into the top corners of their landscapes.

Primary Post-Production

The post-production step is where many mistakes can happen. It is very easy to go overboard, particularly with sharpness, contrast, highlights, shadows, and colour. The result often looks like the photographer was trying to create a painting instead of a photograph. If you want to paint, grab a paintbrush.

When you start working on an image, the exposure, colour temperature, contrast, highlights, and shadows are the first things to adjust. If the photograph was captured well in camera, then you will often not have to tweak these much, but usually, most images will need a little tweaking.

The idea here is to not overdo it. Realism is important for a photograph to look good. You do not need to see every little detail in both the highlights and the shadows. If you want this, then you need to go out and shoot at the right time of day to create that look – early in the morning, late in the day, or on an overcast day. That’s how you get photographs with even tones. Creating even tones in images where that wasn’t the case in the original scene will make the photograph look fake. On a similar note, it can be very important to maintain some imperfection in your photos. Imperfections can keep an image feeling like a real, extraordinary moment instead of an idealised painting.

Vignetting is often an important final step in general post-production because it helps keep the eyes from moving off the image, and it draws more attention to the middle of the frame. However, it is so easy to overdo it. A successful vignette will often be subtle and unnoticeable, but it will make a huge difference to the final print.

Colours

Whenever you do any tweaks to a digital negative, it can affect the colours in the image. Adding contrast, changing the shadows or highlights, or changing the exposure will affect the colours and make them look less real. If you have to do a significant amount of work on an image, always pay attention to changing the colour. Sometimes you will have to reduce the strength of the colours (the Vibrance or Saturation) or tweak the colour temperature to keep the image’s realism.

It is important to make sure to have a colour calibrated monitor that you calibrate fairly regularly. It is impossible to edit an image correctly if the colours on your monitor are off. The photograph everyone else will see when you share it will be different from what you see on your screen, and that’s a big problem.At Wild Romantic, we have the best wedding photographer in Mornington Peninsula to capture every single moment on your wedding day. 

For printing, you always want to use the largest colour space available, so ProPhoto RGB or Adobe RGB should be used when making a print (check with your lab if you are sending it away, and make sure to use the colour space they recommend). Still, sRGB is the best colour space for showing off an image on a monitor. Always use sRGB for internet sharing.

Resizing

Resizing before printing is a very important step and must be done correctly. You never want to resize an image twice as that will affect significantly affect image quality, so always work with the original image and resize right before printing. I use On1 Resize for all of my enlargements and highly recommend it. I use Photoshop for reducing the size of a photograph and use the bicubic interpolation setting (I find that bicubic sharper, which is recommended for reductions, can over-sharpen the final image, but that is just my personal choice).

Sharpening

If you choose to add a final level of sharpening to your print, the time to do it is at the very last step, even after resizing. This will ensure the best quality for your final print. However, I highly recommend that you consider not sharpening at all in post-production, or at least that you do it very subtly. If you follow all of the steps to get to this point, your image will be nice and sharp already, and the final print will look great. If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.

So many images that float around these days are over-sharpened to extreme levels, and the result looks incredibly fake and crunchy. I rarely ever sharpen my prints anymore except for a few troublesome shots. If you have reservations about this, test it out and create side-by-side prints, one sharpened and one unsharpened. After years of sharpening my images, I finally concluded that sharpening was not adding anything to the prints anymore. I tested out a variety of prints at different sizes side-by-side with a sharpened version.