by Simon Lord
last updated 20/05/2014
MAKING AN IMPACT
the importance of good photographs in franchisee recruitment
by Simon Lord
last updated 20/05/2014
During the recent franchisee recruitment session run by Jason Gehrke as part of the New Zealand Franchise Education Week, the subject of photography came up. As publishers, we are sent a lot of photos from people looking to illustrate their opportunities and we’ve formed some opinions as a result. Here are some of the lessons we shared with the group - roll over the photos to see why we think they are great.
The value of photographs
Good photographs may not be worth a thousand words, but they're certainly worth a hundred or so, whereas bad photographs will put people off. Good photographs attract attention and interest, are colourful, well-lit, in focus, and involve people doing something other than staring at the camera – serving a customer or painting a window frame, for example. Good photographs have simple, clear images.
Use people, not just products
Putting people in photographs has two purposes. First, readers are attracted by people – if they see someone doing something, they are more likely to read the article. Secondly, they relate to people – if they can visualise themselves doing the sort of thing that the person in the photograph is doing, they will be interested in what you have to offer.
Franchisees buy customers
Many retailers (or their designers) make the mistake of being so proud of their shop-fittings they forget to include any customers in the photograph. This is understandable when you have spent a lot of money on an eye-catching layout and design, but potential franchisees want to see a shop with customers who spend money. It can be hard to get a photo of real customers which is good enough, so be prepared to pose people or set up a shot. Try and avoid having anyone with an embarrassed grin – that always looks false.
Don’t be afraid to use action
Showing people shaking hands or looking at a piece of paper doesn’t engage the reader. Professional photographers will often pose people (for example, pizza franchisees) in such a way as to create real action – thrusting a pizza towards the camera, for example, or kissing the tips of their fingers in a flamboyant Latin gesture. A submarine sandwich franchise might show two people eating from opposite ends. Such photos are interesting, inviting and attention-getting. Be prepared to experiment.
Include your branding
If the photo is for advertorial or PR use, the photo is your chance to get your company’s image on the page – publishers are unlikely to include photos with big signs or Photoshopped logos in the background as they make the page look too much like advertising. Include your signage or packaging, uniform or vehicle in the photo.
Leave some space
One of the things which professional designers do when they lay the page out is ‘crop’ the photograph to a different shape to create the most appealing result. Leave some space around the central image to allow them freedom to do this.
Finally… Many people seem to think that owning a camera or a phone with a high megapixel count means that they have automatically acquired the skills that real photographers have spent years developing: skills like lighting, composition, colour, timing, depth of focus and so on. While a professional photographer may seem expensive, the difference they make to the impact of your photograph (and the effectiveness of your advertising) can be enormous. Good photographs are never wasted – they can be used in advertising, advertorial and press releases, and will always present your business in the best possible light.