With the advent of the digital age, when affordable, point-and-shoot cameras and other devices are available at a reasonable cost and photographic stock houses have millions of royalty-free photos available to purchase with a few mouse clicks, many marketing people are becoming responsible for providing photography to consumers, suppliers and vendors in increasing numbers.

Today, we’re offering a few tips to make your photographic experience a bit easier.

1. Who’s your target audience?

Who’s going to be seeing this? Who are you trying to reach? Always try to tailor your image to your audience. Will your image be viewed by end-users? Distributors? Other industry professionals? Each have their own levels of product awareness and so you need to develop a sliding scale of technical to eye-candy in your image selection.

2. What’s your end use?

Whether you are purchasing a stock image, requesting an image from a supplier or vendor, or producing it yourself, you need to consider how it will be used, and not just necessarily at present, but how it might be used in the future. If your space is vertical, you might want to stay away from horizontal images. Plan ahead and save yourself headaches down the road.

3. Size does matter

Following up on the previous point, if, for example, you might want to use an image for a booth graphic you don’t want to be limited to a low-rez, web-formatted image. Taking a large image and shrinking it down will not degrade image clarity, but trying to turn a postage stamp sized photo into a billboard graphic will render disastrous results.

4. Do it yourself?

Having either a camera or a device with image capturing abilities does not mean that you have the same qualifications of a professional photographer. However, sometimes time constraints or availability means a professional is out of the question. But if it is a question of budget, you have to ask yourself if having a professional do the actual photography will be more economical than having them in post-production “fix” an image which is less than optimal.

5. Look beyond the subject.

If it looks like you need to be the photographer, focus not just on the subject matter, but look beyond it. If the photographed object is going to retain its background, make sure that background looks as good as possible. Police the area. Get rid of unnecessary items. If it’s a piece of machinery, make sure none of it is cut off by the picture edge. If it’s a portrait, for PR purposes, make sure nothing is coming out of the top of the subject’s head. Beware of direct flash! It gives you black shadows, produces glare on reflective surfaces and washes out highlights.

Remember, if your images look amateurish so will your company.

Adequacy is the equivalent of failure.

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nationalmediamuseum/8386801860 via Creative Commons