What’s in a photogragh?

David Gough

Please enjoy this guest Blog from our member business owner, David Gough of David Gough Photography…some insightful thoughts on using great photography in your business… 

The idea that a picture is worth a thousand words goes back over a century and it still holds good today. Photographs are everywhere, from giant billboards to the small thumbnails in your Facebook account. They are so commonplace we hardly notice them, unless they stand out.

One obvious way they stand out is by their absence. Have you ever read a blog post, article, or advertisement without any photographs at all? They tend not to be so eye catching and the words have to work harder to gain attention, whereas a good photograph included along with your words gives them a lot more impact.

Another way for photographs to stand out is by their quality – or their lack of quality. A photograph lacking in quality has a quieter voice and doesn’t add as much weight to the message. If the quality is really poor it can become distracting and starts to tell a story of its own. Such things as poor focus, poor exposure, background clutter, and strange items growing out of people’s heads – lamp posts are a favourite – all detract from an image.

One thing that quickly gets my attention is a crooked horizon, they really jump out at me unless it is obviously been done for deliberate effect. Maybe that’s just a photographer thing. I once spent a while taking a long hard look at a poster at an airport. Was I interested in the product? Not really, and I can’t remember exactly what cosmetic it was advertising. It was a great portrait though and I was looking at the lighting to work out how the lights had been used to achieve it. In much the same way someone who makes delicious food will be working out what ingredients went into a dish eaten in a restaurant while on holiday. The average person will either like the food or not, the expert digs deeper.

The average person sees the subject in their camera viewfinder, whereas a more experienced eye is also looking at the other things in the viewfinder – the things that shouldn’t be there, how the light falls, the degree of focus, the relative weight in the overall composition, and how the colours work together. That photograph you see as a nice shot may even be the result of several images combined together to make a single image.

So what makes a good photograph? Well like the thousand words it tells a story and, like the products you are trying to sell, requires the same care and attention. Maybe your story is about your product, or it could be about the service you provide for your customers. It could even be the story of you working and the many careful stages you go through to make your work particular work of art. A chef might want photographs to illustrate a new menu. A carpenter might want to show the hand-crafted nature of his work. A holiday home owner would want to show her holiday let in the best possible light and make it feel warm and inviting. Well-produced photographs can tell your story more clearly and echo the words in your advertising rather than fight against them.

If you would like to find out more about how photography can tell your story please give me a call.  Contact details are below and on my web site www.davidgoughphotography.com. And if you are a Simply Staffordshire member check the current offers on www.simplystaffordshire.co.uk to see what discounts apply.


Footnote: Are you are new to photography, or maybe struggling to work out all the controls on that nice new camera you got for Christmas? Perhaps you are disappointed in the results you get from photography despite your best efforts. If this describes you consider spending either a half a day or a full day with me as your photography coach. Share the cost with a friend if you wish. These sessions will be tailored for you and the type of photography you want to do. Call or email for details.