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How Professional Photography Can Boost Your Skincare Brand

woman applying skincare products in mirror

Written by Emily Cooper, Writer at Oliver Wicks


Developing a successful skincare and wellness brand involves clever marketing, hard work, and well-considered decisions. The quality of photography you choose is a signifier of the quality of your brand. Your readers will recognize premium photography, and associate that quality with your product.

 

Humans, whether we realize it or not, judge things on sight. The first impression a person will make at a new company is often decided as they stand in front of their closet and pick out what they’ll wear on their first day of work. Ditto for first dates – some of the most important decisions are made before drinks are even ordered.

 

Restaurants – especially fast food chains – are particularly well known for making use of this. We often decide what to eat from the photos we’re shown, even though we know that they’re unlikely to be a true reflection of the meal that will be served.

 

Creating an Eye-Catching Brand

The natural tendency for people of all stripes to focus on visual perception puts professional photographers in a unique position. They are far more than people with expensive cameras who snap shots in a well-lit environment. They and their products are an important part of a company’s brand.

 

If you work with a professional, whether you sell cupcakes or highly complex software programs, your images will be shot in the most attractive manner possible and then edited and retouched. With such attention to detail, your brand can catch the eye of your intended audience and instantly set you apart from the competition.

 

In a world of social media and technology, it is imperative to use imagery to capture your audience’s attention and stop their scrolling habits in their tracks. Next time you are on Facebook, take note of which images grab your attention, and ask yourself why.

 

Below is a screenshot of the website homepage for the brand Oliver Wicks, which produces made-to-measure suits and other menswear. Note how the image helps their customers imagine themselves looking great in a beautiful setting.

 

Images create a spark that enhances your customers’ excitement which, when executed well, means funds in your bank account – don’t underestimate the power of sight, or first impressions.

product photography example oliver wicks suit

 

Analyzing this photo allows us to understand the decision to pay for a professional photo shoot.

 

The background is blurred, highlighting the model, who is staged as if in-motion, interacting with his clothes. The look in his eye, the turn to his shoulders, the set of his jaw – none of that happened by chance. All of it was either directed by the photographer, or happened through a collaboration between the photographer and the model.

 

Later, the photographer will have made many edits and lighting adjustments to help make the image so pleasing to the eye.

 

Masters in the photography business can iron out imperfections with sophisticated retouching that cannot be noticed, resulting in a visually satisfying photo that maintains a natural look.

 

skincare product photography

Rise Above Your Competition

According to Moblvious, a website devoted to mobile photography, a whopping 1.2 trillion photos were taken worldwide in 2017, 85% of which were taken on mobile devices.

 

A professional photographer, with all the best equipment and editing software, will allow you to leapfrog over a huge percentage of the average photography that we see in our daily lives.

 

Whenever a potential customer is about to part with their hard-earned cash, they want to know that they will get good value for their money.

 

Imagine then, a scenario where two businesses are selling similar products. Both use reasonably well-thought-out website designs and the same pricing strategies, but one uses professional photography and the other displays camera-phone images shot in a dingy apartment.

 

When competition is strong, images can mean the difference between getting a new customer or losing them to a competitor who went that extra mile.

 

Another factor to consider is that professional photography can help your brand by increasing website traffic. SEO (search engine optimization) is a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to getting potential customers to your site, and your Google rankings will certainly be increased as a result of premium images.

 

Only Google will know the true answer, but most online research suggests that between 90-95% of people never make it to the second page of Google search results – which demonstrates just how important SEO is. Pay close attention to monetization and get your corner of the internet working smarter and harder.

 

bath bomb product photography

Find the Right Partner for Your Brand

If we’ve convinced you of the benefits of hiring a professional photographer, your next question should be, how do we hire a suitable professional?

 

A specialist in an appropriate field will likely get you the best results. Don’t hire a real estate photographer to create your skincare product album, for example.

 

Finding the right shutterbug for your brand is not always as easy as it sounds. Try to find someone who shows an interest in areas of photography that would help portray your products in an optimal way for your potential customers.

 

A good photographer will ask lots of questions to ensure that they mold their work to meet your requirements. Feel free to ask about their experience with the type of imagery that you need.

 

Quiz them by asking if they think they would face any specific challenges, if they’d use any filters or lenses, and what kind of changes they might make in post production.

 

Their answers will tell you their interest and experience in such work. A car mechanic with a vast collection of specialized tools and a precise description of your problems has more credibility than one who uses a hammer to fix every rattle.

 

woman taking a photo of wellness products on her phone

 

If a photographer is not willing to engage in this kind of discussion, it’s a red flag. They’re not likely to produce the best results or get the maximum potential from the photos that you would be paying for.

 

Request to see a portfolio of their previous work. Freelancers of all stripes – from web designers and architects to tattoo artists and even musicians – use portfolios to showcase their best work.

 

You can use this not only to judge the quality of the photography, but also to test the compatibility of their style to your image of your brand.

 

To get the greatest benefit from your investment in photography, it’s helpful to know what you need in advance, or at least have an idea. Prior to choosing a photographer, you can research online for images that match the style that you’re searching for.

 

This immediately cuts out expensive guesswork (a photographer may only need to take 5 images, rather than 20) and you can narrow down your field of suitable candidates from the get-go.

 

Aside from a good old-fashioned web search for professionals in your area, another promising starting point is to get in touch with a photography agency and allow them to assist you in your search based on your requirements.

 

skincare business branding photos

Main Points to Take Away:

  • Match the photographer’s expertise/style to your project.
  • Understand what you’re looking for in advance.
  • Ask questions and communicate.

 

On that last note, don’t get caught off-guard yourself – You should be readily anticipating questions from the professional such as:

 

“What are you photographing and how many final images are you looking for?”

 

“Is this an indoor shoot, or will it need to be at a given location, at a certain time of day, during certain weather? Will travel be necessary?”

 

“Are we photographing objects or people? If people, will we need to work alongside 3rd parties such as hair and make-up artists?”

 

“What is the timeframe for which the photos are required?”

 

Of course, you can’t expect to know everything, and some questions may take you by surprise, but just be prepared for the photographer to return fire and hit you with their own queries.

 

woman holding up a skincare face mask

Budget

As with any area of business, the amount that you are willing to invest will play a key role in choosing which photographer is best for you.

 

Estimate how much value the photos will bring to the table and the lifespan that they will be useful to you for.

 

Paying $2000 for a catalog of images that will set your website up for the future could provide better value than paying $500 for images that will only be used in a one-off newsletter… unless of course the newsletter is expected to bring in a high return.

 

While budgets are specific to the individual business and project, nobody wants to waste money. But professional photography is an investment in your brand. It’s one of those clever marketing strategies and well-considered decisions that will set you apart from your competition.

 

example of skincare product photography

How Much Should You Expect to Pay as a Small Business Owner?

A number of variables, such as where you’re located and what you wish to shoot make this tricky to answer. A good rule of thumb is to work out how specialized your needs are, so that you can determine the level of expertise required.

 

Beginners & Amateur Photographers

From pocket change to around $75 per hour. Don’t expect miracles at this level – You’re likely to be met with large amounts of enthusiasm, but not necessarily skill, knowledge, or quality. Consider what you could do yourself, if you had the equipment.

 

Student Photographers

$25-$100 per hour. Though inexperienced, these people are a tier up because they are receiving formal training. You can expect a better theoretical understanding of the trade, as well as some degree of skill, depending on how long they’ve been studying photography.

 

This is a budget-friendly option if you require basic shots carried out to a slightly better level than you could do yourself.

 

photography studio for wellness products

Entry-Level Photographers

$50-$150 per hour. This group have finished their formal study and are just starting out in their career. Expect similar restrictions as the students, but likely a deeper understanding of photography and at least some professional experience. These people have been in the game a while and are starting to prove their commitment.

 

Professionals

$50-$300 per hour. The broadest price fluctuation, as this category has the largest scope of experience – the guy/girl on the phone may have between 2 and 50 years of experience behind the lens.

 

These people should really know the specifics of photography, and be able to wow you with their extensive knowledge and portfolio. As a small business owner, this is likely your most favorable group.

 

Top-Level Specialists

$250+ per hour. This is where cost can become a bit abstract and based more upon what the customer is prepared to spend than calculated value for money. Individual photographs can sell for millions of dollars, rendering this category more for entertainment purposes than an actual small business consideration.

 

vintage cameras on white background

In Conclusion

Hopefully this article has demonstrated that there is more than meets the eye (no pun intended!) when it comes to the imagery within your business. With a careful approach, professional photography can aid tremendously in your growth and success.

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