If you have compared your catalogue against a competitor’s and found theirs to be better, your pictures might be at fault. Businesses which take their corporate pictures in-house tend to make five fundamental mistakes, according to professional photographer Julian Tay, who is the Founder of Camera-Crew Photography:
1. Distorted pictures. Resizing and cropping of pictures to the wrong proportion may mean that the picture ends up distorted or does not fit properly into the intended space.
2. Blurred pictures, or pictures which take too long to load online. Pictures may end up in the wrong resolution for publishing in the intended medium. They could be either at too high a resolution, or too low*.
3. Unfortunate compositions. The picture may not have been thought out properly. You may have the lamp in the office sticking out from the boss’ shoulder or head, for example.
4. Inappropriate mood. The clothing or setting in the picture may not be relevant to your product or service. A man dressed in a business suit advertising a sports item perhaps, or premium foods served on chipped plates.
5. Bad lighting. There could be too much shadow in the foreground or the background might be too dark.
6. Less-than-ideal camera settings. This can result in pictures which have a yellow or blue cast, or which are too dark or too bright. The camera can also end up focussing on the wrong spot in the picture, so that the subject is blurred whereas unimportant details in the background are sharp.
"Understanding what a picture will ultimately be used for, and in which medium, is critical to producing the best image possible. While good amateur photographers would be able to advise a business, good professional photographers make it their business to understand how to best show off a picture for a specific purpose, and to advise their clients accordingly," Tay said.
*Typically small image files will look fine online, but can be completely unacceptable if used for print purposes. On the other extreme, printing images which at larger than ‘life size’ would require an extremely high-resolution image.