Stock or Custom Photography?

Creating your online and marketing image

So, you’re about to launch or re-launch your web site. This time you’ve collected more content and purchased a better layout. Hero image holders and links soon to be full of information. Now you need to sprinkle some images around so it looks like a real site and not a simple text blog.

You only have 3 choices. Take your own photos, buy stock images for $20-$50 each or hire a professional commercial photographer for your project. One is free, the second is affordable but the third option can be expensive. You know the old saying “You get what you pay for.” This is true in most instances but the $30 hamburger in Times Square may not fit into that scenario. Hamburgers just aren’t worth $30 no matter where you get them!

Option 1. Taking your own photos is a bad idea on so many levels. It doesn’t matter what smart phone you have. It’s not that smart. If you’re not a professional photographer, you will fail miserably. What you photograph with your phone will never stand out among your competition. There is so much more to the process than clicking the shutter. Lighting, composition, depth of field and aspect ratio all come into play and you may not know anything about any of that. You may have taken some great vacation shots or even some cool nature photos. Well that’s not the kind of imaging you need in business unless your business is selling lakes and mountains.

Option 2. Purchase stock photos online. They are affordable, focused, look professional and are readily available at a moment’s notice. Click the mouse a few times and POW! You’ve got images for your site. Stock is filled with everything from conference rooms to brief cases, board meetings and dental offices. How can you go wrong?

So, what’s the problem with stock? The problem is that it looks like exactly like a stock image. The photos that appeal to you will have the same appeal to many others and therefore appear on many sites. No matter what your business is, people in the same business may have the same tastes and are trying to appeal to the same audience. How will you ever get noticed if you have the same look as your competition?

The reason you’re in business is because you believe you can offer more to your clients than your competition. Better customer service. Better product. More attention to their needs and a better understanding of their goals. So why plop an image down that is not as custom as your business itself?

Option 3. Contract a commercial photographer to create content that is unique to you and your business. A creative that clearly understands marketing, technology and can see your vision. The right individual(s) can give you a whole new perspective on your own business. They can visualize how to sell to your target audience. A perspective you may not have been able to see being so closely tied to your own operations.

Most company owners make the mistake of selling their business to themselves. They will always want you to photograph the new gizmo they just heavily invested in. What they don’t understand is that’s not really the picture they need. That machine or building expansion is what the customer now has to pay for. It will be reflected in their next invoice. GUARANTEED.

What needs to be photographed is the solution that gizmo provides to the customer’s problem. Customers always have problems. You need to solve them. The visuals you use need to show how you solve those problems and not how you spend their money.
Building your company on images not created with your brand in mind will do more harm than good. Yes, you may save a few dollars by using stock but you are sacrificing more than money. You have completely eliminated what makes your company or service unique.
Using stock photography is like having a bad hair piece. Everybody knows it but they just don’t have the heart to tell you how bad it looks.

©2017 Wayne Dion / Dion & Company

Want Your Trade Publication Cover?

You’ve got a great story now you need a great image to make the cover.

Getting the cover of a trade magazine is never a guarantee but without a great image to provide to the publisher, you’ll never even get close.
So how do you increase your chances of getting the cover? Hire a pro. A pro with the vision to see what you do, how you do it and what the magazine editors are looking for on the cover of their next publication.
A seasoned professional industrial / commercial photographer will have done their due diligence before designing the image. Yes, images need to be designed. Some of us will actually sketch up a drawing but others will write up a detailed description. Either way, this ensures everyone is on the same page.

The photographer will have researched your industry and the specific targeted magazine prior to submitting their concept. They will have looked back over the past year or so of magazine covers so they have a complete understanding of what appeals to the magazine editors. Although you’re marketing your company, this one needs to target the editor first. If they don’t like it, it will never be on their cover.

Besides the image, there is usually a story inside. Make this as good as you can. The combination of the two will either put you on the cover or be one of the top contenders. There may be a point in time when the magazine will actually solicit your company for the cover story and you’d better be ready. Know who needs to be called and be confident in their abilities.

Prior to each of these cover shoots, I did all of the above to ensure the image had the best possible chance of making the cover. Looks like it worked!
©2017 Wayne Dion / Dion & Company

The Look of Manufacturing in America.

What images you have and what images you need.

manufacturingEven if you have a sales force, marketing manager, social media expert or even an event coordinator they all need collateral materials to back them up. Your investment in machinery, technology and expertise will fail without the right visual images.

I have experienced first-hand, and often heard the quote “it’s only directed to engineers”. With this mind-set, customers have settled for cell phone snapshots. No light, no depth of field, no interesting angle and no visual impact. They say it as if the “engineers” don’t have eyes or emotions. For some reason, some of my clients think that the engineer is only interested in the materials, tolerances and reliability of a product or part being manufactured at their factory. To this they are correct but they also are drawn to things that catch their eye. They are human and are attracted to cool, visually stimulating things like the rest of us.

Another common approach to manufacturing images is that the customer wants to showcase the new $300,000 machine that just went online at the factory. So proud to have a new member of their high tech line-up. They usually never consider the fact that someone has to pay for this machine and it’s going to be the viewer. It’s part of the overhead expenses which are passed along to customers. Anyone can buy the machine and plug it in with enough capital. Working it to its potential is another story.

After years and years of experience in manufacturing photography I know and can easily convince the client that the machine is only part of the solution for their customers. By adding a technician and/or a manufactured part into the image, the viewer sees the operation as much more than just an expensive machine. They see it as the solution to their problem and the expertise behind the machine.

Manufacturing photography, plays a crucial role in attracting new customers or impressing old ones. Some factories are on the dirty side due to the processes they perform and some are clean.
An industrial photographer sees the overall factory differently than the machine technician, sales or management team. We see the art inside the machine.

The 3- dimensional alignment of shapes, textures and colors, highlights and shadows. When we look, we envision what can be done before it’s done. I will always take a walk-though prior to starting the day or even add a site survey to the project days before the shoot. Adding a key light, a colored gel, getting the right angle and choosing the right lens and depth of field will tell the story that the factory personnel never thought about telling.

Fresh eyes and a creative perspective from a professional industrial photographer usually surprises the client. It’s not form over function it’s the harmony between the two like a fine Swiss watch. Both are needed to create a dynamic image.

No matter how dirty or how clean your factory is, a professional industrial photographer can breathe new life into your visuals. Choosing the right one is important. Carefully navigate their online portfolios to find the one that’s right for your needs, has researched your industry and can create images that will not only grab more attention but build your brand while doing so.

©2017 Wayne Dion / Dion & Company

Promoting your CNC Machining Capabilities

A visual look at what happens when the doors close.

Close the doors, program the machine, hit START and wait. So what are we waiting for? The part? Coffee break? The weekend? No, we’re waiting for the latest custom CNC part to emerge from your machine that adds profit to your bottom line and solves the problem your customer had before they placed the order.

Deep inside the machine where milling oil, lit by fluorescent light, sprays around in a finely tuned choreographed dance, making your vision and technical expertise come to life. At times, the process is obscured by the endless procession of lubricant keeping the part and the tool cool and protected.

This is the business end of your business. It’s what makes you who you are. It’s why you opened the doors in the first place.

How do you extract a visual for your site, marketing materials and social media that will tell a story and impact the viewer so that they pick up the phone and call your sales rep who can close the deal?

One solution is to hire a professional industrial photographer who understands what you do, how you do it and for whom you do it for. Not a high end amateur or wedding photographer but someone who comes with the knowledge and appreciation of what is actually going on within the CNC machine, your company and industry.

A true industrial photographer will be ready to insert weather sealed cameras into the abyss that can be controlled wirelessly. They are not afraid to spend 2 hours cleaning the waterproof housing after the shoot. A photographer who is ready to create in any environment, under any conditions with the ability to deliver images that will add to your perception in the marketplace and help build your brand.

Contact Us

Wayne Dion
Dion & Company
Boston Aerial

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