3 Good Reasons to Update Website Images.

black and white headshot image of bearded man in suit facing to the right prefocus solutions logo down tunnel purposed to update website images for real estate entrepreneur near memphis tennessee to enhance conversion rates page views and improve seo rankings

Building a high quality website in today’s digital realm isn’t as cheap and easy as many would like to think. From structure, to development, design and messaging – it’s a lot to make sense of. Routine optimization and general maintenance aren’t a walk in the park either. This is why many business owners trust someone else with their money. But if you don’t know what you need, how do you know you’re not getting taken advantage of? Just think about it.

Advantages of Quality Visual Representation.

Any quality website producer should know the importance of original photography. If they don’t at least point out the opportunity, they don’t care. There are plenty of reasons to embrace authenticity and routinely update website images.

1. Meaningful First Impressions.

If you’ve followed any of my content in the past, you know how I feel about stock photos. No matter how you look at it, consumers want to see who’s behind the business and the way it works. Aren’t transparent companies a lot more appealing? Skipping over the chance to establish a unique memory that’s tied to your brand is ignorant. If there’s only one gal at the welcome desk, she ought to be on the homepage. If she doesn’t like being the center of attention, then maybe she shouldn’t be the first touch point.

There’s a sense of reassurance for customers when they’re able to see who they’re talking to or interacting with. Stock photography leaves a lot to be desired. To some, it may even communicate that you have something to hide. When you’re trying to sell me something, you can’t expect me to receive insecurity well. It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to update website images from your smart phone. Say hello, show your process, capture an interaction or how something works; you won’t regret it and visitors won’t forget you.

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2. Up-to-Date Photos Build Trust.

Out of date information is one of the biggest mistakes businesses make when it comes to website management. Look, I get it. Running an operation is a lot of work. Hiring and firing in itself can be strenuous. The last thing you want to worry about is setting aside time to remove photos or add new faces to the site. But it only becomes more of a hassle the longer you put it off.

Believe it or not, inaccurate communication can leave people misled or even lied to. When you take the time to update website images, (new and old) customers will know that you care about presenting them with accurate information. Even seasonal imagery is of value. You may view your website as a lead generation tool – but consumers view it as an extension of your experience. You expect your friends to posted updated pictures of their families on social media right? If they don’t, does it cause you to think something might be wrong? Think about it.

When Should Brands Update Website Images?

If you move to a new office, make sure old landmarks or location-specific visuals are taken down. Promoting the new place can be a content strategy in itself! It’s not always about selling. During new employee on-boarding (or orientation), add headshots and an “about me” questionnaire to the process. If you’re hosting an event or sponsoring something, take some photos and share them!

Like many things, having a plan always makes things a lot easier to manage. Routinely scheduling company-wide media updates is a good way to generate up-to-date information and reward the culture. If you care about value perception at all, you’ll make it a priority to update website images. It’s one of the easiest ways to stand out in crowded markets. Reviewing content and handing off adjustments doesn’t have to be a difficult process if you don’t want it to be.

woman crawling down blow up water slide tunnel during employee partner event near memphis tennessee for updated website imagery to improve seo and local reach with prefocus solutions

3. SEO Rankings Will Improve.

Many business owners forget that imagery is content as well. Every picture on your website has title tags, an alt text, and is tied to a certain page’s authority. While you may think you’re saving money by avoiding updated photos, it could actually be quite costly. $300 could be driving you an extra conversion every month for the next year. When you have the same image on multiple pages (or you purchase a stock photo many competitors are using), you’re limiting organic reach. The same is true for old photos that aren’t optimized.

Aside from the technical SEO, image file size plays a big role in SEO scores. A picture on your site may load fine on your desktop; but how does it perform on somebody’s phone – while they’re traveling? Not every browser is the same. When images are too big load times suffer. Slow speeds increase bounce rates (leaving in under 10 seconds) and diminish overall search authority. I think we can all agree more organic traffic is a great reason to update website images on a regular basis.

co workers of quality mechanic culture standing outside after a long day in branded attire back of truck black and white edit from low angle by prefocus solutions to update about content website pictures to garner more traffic and customer awareness memphis tn

Additional tips to Update Website Images.

Being purposeful and setting standards is extremely rewarding. When it comes to digital media, one of the best things you can do is establish imagery guidelines and editing styles for certain forms of content. Professional visuals with a “look and feel” that matches the brand identity create an even more memorable first impression. At the end of the day, background images on flyers are going to look a lot different than a featured images on blogs. So define these things!

If you want to implement a cohesive design (or series of designs) for social media posts, then formulate the template on the front end. Doing so has a number of advantages. If you’re in the habit of hiring different contractors when needs arise, structure ensures you remain consistent. It also saves you a lot of money over time. It may seem like overkill to constantly update website images, but trust me, it’s a hidden gem that keeps visitors on site, builds loyalty and improves conversion rates.

Creating a Shot List for Original HVAC Marketing Images.

When it comes to marketing a service-based business, an authentic approach is always best. When you think about it, nothing is more nurturing than media that paints an accurate picture of your culture, capabilities, and (of course) the experience. Potential customers love a good preview of what they might pay for. Even though sound pictures and quality videography can be easily developed internally, working with a professional to create a shot list presents many advantages. Here’s an example of an original HVAC marketing project I worked on a few years back.

Understanding the Branding.

Although the development of a media shoot may seem like a simple process, all things must be considered. After a few discovery sessions, I was able to get a good feel for what the company wanted to accomplish as well as what their capabilities were. Meeting all of the technicians also gave me an opportunity to determine who was best suited to be in front of the camera.

Since the family-owned business had been around for more than 30 years, I wanted to incorporate their traditional values as much as I could. While this usually has more to do with the editing (and content development) process, it’s still a good idea to know what you’re aiming for when writing a shot list.

Presenting a Plan to Leadership.

After gathering my thoughts, I drafted up a plan to present to the owners and management team. This included my core objectives and a pre-shoot checklist to review. After revising (and adding) a few things, everyone was happy with the direction of the brand’s original HVAC marketing efforts. Sitting down with everyone really gives us an opportunity to come up with some really good ideas.

As you can see below, we wanted to be sure to deliver a quality product and experience.

A smooth-running shoot takes a lot of work on the front end. While there is most certainly a lot for me to manage, an efficient process relies heavily on the participation of the business. Providing direction and making sure they’re prepared is usually appreciated by all parties.

Mapping Out the HVAC Media Session.

While a shot list is crucial to a successful shoot, structuring the flow is just as important. Since this original HVAC marketing project involved a lot of people, I wanted to give everyone a visual of where we were starting and ending the session. This allowed us to create overflow areas for participants when they weren’t needed

As you can see, we started at in the back lot (where the morning sun was best) and worked our way into the team meeting before capturing a team picture and the vehicles (in brighter light). We ended at the front of the building for a virtual tour and headshots inside the showroom (to avoid direct sunlight). All of this was purposed.

Shot List for Original HVAC Marketing.

Once the structure and outline was final, filling in the shot list was a piece of cake. Having extensive conversations gave everyone clarity on what we would be capturing and when. Nonetheless, it’s not uncommon for corporate photo shoots to get a little hectic. So I wanted to make sure we kept things simple during the first hour.

Upon arrival, there was definitely some maneuvering to do. So, I’m glad we structured the itinerary this way. As I briefed the entire company at 8am, my photographer was able to get some really good shots of team leadership in a meeting setting. The rest of the team had plenty to do to make sure the media session stayed on track. Without a plan, this could have thrown us off an hour or two – which then would have affected our lighting. 

As you can see, there was a lot of different angles and scenarios that we wanted to capture in a short window of time. The settings, placement and preparedness made it all possible. Since we had two shooters, we were able to produce tons of original HVAC marketing content for the client. 

During the last hour of the media session, I wanted to create a conveyer belt like experience for individual and department photos. As one photographer captured some of the equipment, tools and office space – the other managed the headshots. We had each team member walk through a series of different poses so there would be a variety of imagery for their about page and social media posts. You never know when you’ll want to highlight the personality of someone at the office!

Concluding the HVAC Media Session.

Once technicians were done with their individual portraits, they were able to head to work for the day. We then spent an hour or two interviewing the owners and helping them create some videos for form submissions and process overviews. All of the media from this project was implemented immediately across multiple channels.

Developing a Shot List for Your Brand.

If you live in the Memphis area and you’re looking for some help with your media, you can never go wrong with a PreFocus! Whether you hire me or not, I take pride in offering detailed feedback and direction that benefits any acquisition attempt. The more authentic your tactics are, the better they will perform. Nonetheless, I hope reading about my original HVAC marketing strategy blesses your efforts!

1 + 6 =

7 Tips to Create Original Photography Content Yourself.

memphis physical therapist photographer out of olive branch where patient is getting should evaluated on table at facility well lit experienced staff new location prefocus media

One of the most overlooked elements of branding and marketing is the weight of authenticity. This concerns me because most advertisements don’t actually depict the customer experience – at all. Is it really that big of a deal to create original photography content yourself? Unfortunately, many businesses use stock photos, models, creative directors and actors to make their product or service appear a lot more appealing than it really is. So why isn’t the customer’s subconscious being considered?

Why Take Pictures For Your Business?

Believe it or not, perception doesn’t stop at the sale. Marketing agencies and officials create a dwindling experience when they throw all their chips at the first impression. In their subconscious, the consumer constantly chases the promoted visual. While awareness does matter – a counterfeit culture just isn’t sustainable. A company that leans on originality usually doesn’t have to worry about low satisfaction ratings and minimal market share.

When I ask business owners and CEO’s why they allow fabricated pictures, the main response I get is, “Well, we don’t think our customers care.. Everyone else does it and they’re having success..” They usually believe their failed marketing efforts lie in a blog or media-buying strategy. There’s no desire to create original photography content.

However, succumbing to industry standards or basing decisions on competitor efforts basically means you’re OK with being average. I can’t work with that. I think it’s safe to say any human being would be lying if they said they weren’t interested in who’s making a product or offering a service they’re paying for. Original photography not only satisfies this subconscious desire, it also gives people a reason to browse your content. The amount of time people spend on your website is a major factor for search engine rankings (Google, Bing, etc).

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How to Maximize the Use of Your Original Photography.

If you’ve already been publishing a lot of original content on your social media profiles, that’s good. But you’ll also want to make sure some of the media is making it on your website and other local citations. Whether you like it or not, your business is plastered on all kinds of online directories that try to obtain traffic and send referrals your way. (Yelp, Mapquest, Apple Maps, Google Maps, Yellow pages, Houzz, Thumbtack, to name a few). Adding original photos here and optimizing them for SEO really helps with click through ratings.

The goal, at least with me, is to try to create a seamless experience that’s cohesive on all channels. Being consistent with your posts when you create original photography content gives you a chance to be recognizable when ideal customers are in the buying stage. While it’s not always a bad idea to have a go-to publishing platform, limiting your authentic reach leaves money on the table. Some of the photos you take might even come in handy for signage or display ads.

Who Would Really Benefit From Original Photography Content?

Medical practices, for example, are loaded with stock photos of doctors and nurses that are clearly fake. Has the industry lost touch with society? Do they really think all their business derives from referrals and insurance coverage? In reality, most patients stumble across the same pictures during their search. It can be rather discouraging when you’re already sick or in pain. Not very often do you come across a physician’s website that’s loaded with original photography content.

I haven’t met many people that like going to the doctor. It can be kind of a crap shoot picking one. When a patient can get to know a provider before meeting them, it tends to create a sense of trust and peace of mind. You can’t tell me this wouldn’t improve conversion rates.  Since turnover tends to be high in the medical industry, staying up to date on who’s in the office and why you hired them shows you’re committed to the patient – without having to tell them. So don’t tell me you don’t have the budget for it.

If you offer home services, showcasing your people and their capabilities is just as impactful. As a husband and father of 6, I like knowing who’s going to be entering my house. When you’re not able to communicate that online, it subconsciously tells me two things: You’re not proud of your staff or their appearance may detour me from the sale. Going the extra mile to show ideal customers who’s involved and what they can expect is a big deal. While video is far more impactful, it’s not hard to create original photography content.

founder of prefocus jordan trask directing client during branding photoshoot for purpose and passion in phoenix az consumer audience

7 Tips to Create Original Photography Content.

Once you understand the value of authentic measures, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with ideas. Most business owners that tackle something new often get stuck in the planning stage. So the main key is to figure out what you need to capture most and do it!

1. Get Going On a Gameplan Today!

You don’t need professional help to create original photography content yourself. While the quality may suffer, it’s better than nothing at all. Like I said, it shows you’re proud of the business and have nothing to hide. Everyone has a smart phone that can easily capture a product, team picture, happy customer or people at work. If you want to start with the culture, then schedule a company photo and some basic headshots (at least for management) right now! Don’t go overboard or it won’t get done.

Until you get into the habit of capturing original content, you’ll want to make short strides. You can plan out different types of photography down the road. In order to make the most of your time, take as many pictures as you can. Since you’re not a professional, it’s going to be hard to know what the best angle will be. Besides, somebody is always blinking, standing awkwardly or making a disgusting face. A plethora of options is always better than 2-3 standard poses.

If it’s just you or a small group in the photographs, then you can always find someone willing to snap away for free. When you finally decide to create original photography content, do your best to be resilient. You’re going to run into some snags and will probably receive some pushback. But follow through. If you have a web development team, you can ask them to put your favorite photos online right away.

2. Please Consider Your Presentation.

To be frank, I’m not a big fan of shaving or dressing up for people in order to garner likes or obtain their business. When you’re not being yourself, it can be toxic to the original passion. But that doesn’t mean it’s OK to not care if you look like you just rolled out of bed. Having some sort of respect for who you’re doing business with is definitely important. If you can’t pull off a solid presentation for the camera, what do you think that communicates?

Taking Pictures Helps You See How You Look to Customers

When you create original photography content, it really helps you see how you (or your employees) might look in front of customers. This is one of the major things I touch on in my PreFocus process. While it’s important to be yourself, it can be hard to see past yourself. If one of your employees has a sloppy appearance or won’t stop slouching, it needs to be addressed. A bad attitude or poor professionalism can impact the entire culture – especially if they’re tenured with the company.

If the business is your baby then treat it as such! While it may be tough to get a good photo with “the guys”, I encourage you to try to be as serious as you can. Leading the business to brand equity is a big step that pays dividends. When everyone is working towards one goal, it’s a lot easier to come up with some cool ideas for pictures. In most cases, photography is used to communicate trust, competence and familiarity. So it’s on you to be recognizable while on the job.

How To Present Yourself When Photographing Original Content.

Instead of taking pictures of material things or posing at events, showcase your work and everyone involved. The idea is to create original photography content that captures people in their element. When people just look busy, it’s kind of cheesy. So try not to stage a lot of things and overdo it. It also helps when you’re able to incorporate branded merchandise (shirts, hats, pens, coffee mugs, etc.). Just make sure when it’s all said and done that the company’s presentation is consistent moving forward. Don’t let the photos be the only interpretation.

middle aged business man talking on cell phone important call suit jacket no tie beard black and white with brick backdrop coming out of tunnel personal brand financial advisor memphis tennessee by prefocus solutions

3. Consider the Angles You Capture At.

One of the worst things you can do when taking pictures is place the camera low. Although a nice hero shot (aiming up from the side as pictured above) shows authority, it’s better to leave this to the professionals. Angling up someone’s nose can be risky. Unless you’re trying to give the perspective of a toddler or puppy, chest height or higher usually works best. But don’t spend so much time of profile and team pictures. Over the shoulder or “heaven” shots (angled from above) work well.

However, when you create original photography content, it’s more about real moments in time, remember? You’ll want to take pictures as if you’re a fly on the wall or getting a bird’s eye view. A good way to do this is to capture the corners of different objects that are in the frame. A fence post, tree leaf, computer monitor or even the back of someone’s head can really add perspective to the photo. Leaving a bunch of empty space in the photo also allows you to add writing to the photos for future posts.

Shadows are the last thing you’ll want to consider when determining your angles. If a line of light is streaking across someone’s face then you’ll want to reposition them. Also, make sure you ask if anyone thinks they have a “bad side”. The last thing you want is to post images that people aren’t comfortable with or approve of.

4. Lighting Makes a Big Difference.

Speaking of lighting, there’s really only one way to go about removing shadows. This requires a 5 light setup (front, back, both sides, and a fill) that basically brightens every area around the spot you’re shooting. Most businesses don’t have this capability or even the need to. While standard indoor lights do hinder image quality, adding a “fill” light on the floor will help balance things out. A simple lamp and a “daylight” light bulb is enough.

As long as there’s an even amount of lighting in front of the camera or across the object your shooting, you should be fine. Don’t overdo it. Too much brightness is distracting and will cause squinting. Lighting behind a subject can give your picture a glow or halo effect, but it can also end up looking really bad! The easiest way to set up sound lighting is to just shoot near a window or go outside. Mid morning or an hour before dusk are usually good times to avoid a glare.

5. Know What You Plan to Capture.

If you’ve got a decent camera and someone to push the button, it’s always best to get your culture shots first. While this can be done with a timer, it takes a lot longer. Company portraits, followed by group (or department) photos and headshots are a good place to start. If you’re feeling froggy, try to get some natural shots of people interacting while they’re grouped together. We did this for one of our HVAC clients. It helped them create original photography content for each of their service teams.

Candid moments can involve the act of thinking, leading, collaborating, preparing, focusing and any form of interaction. The main goal is capture real life moments and the authenticity of people at work. It may be tempting to take pictures of personal leisure time, but it’s best to stick to the business side of things. For the most part, ideal customers don’t care about your car or fantasy football league. If you have a location or office then showcase its features.

Any way you can showcase some aspect of the customer experience, do it. Even images around the house can come in handy. If you’re a plumber, then there are plenty of things to take pictures of for your website and social media channels. You don’t need a big budget to have your wife click away while you’re inspecting the drain.

man wearing metal hood blue flame molding weld for customer in desoto county mississippi american apparel product shoot by prefocus solutions

6. Know How You Plan on Editing.

At the end of the day, you don’t need supreme editing software to make pictures look good. But you ought to have some sort of consistency when it comes to your brand image. My point is, don’t have a super edgy photo one day then a soft black and white image the next. Knowing how you want to express the business is just as important as any general design. So before you go about spending time and money on an editing process, make sure you nail this down. Again, this is another important step to the PreFocus process.

Once you have image guidelines in order, anyone can take care of your editing for you. Most people on Fiver or Upwork will for it for a couple dozen dollars. If you want to keep things cheap, most smart phones and social platforms has enhancement options you can use before posting. Canva also lets you make some tweaks to photos. We personally use Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and Lightroom for our original photography content. All three cost about $50/month and give us some gnarly options when it comes to editing media.

7. Keep All of Your Photos in Order.

The last tip I want to leave you with has to do with future strategies. Once you’ve taken and utilized your pictures, make sure you’re organizing them. You can store them in desktop folders, your Google drive, a cloud or share them on your intranet or company CRM. Categorizing and labeling all of your content helps you access it if ever necessary. If you need to write a blog about drain cleaning, then you already have the photos your wife took. If they’re edited and optimized for publishing, you just saved yourself a lot of time.

This is what a PreFocus is. You’re either working in your business or working on your business. When you think things through, you avoid setbacks and perform at a higher level. Hopefully this article gave you enough reason to create original photography content yourself.

Rise Physical Therapy Marketing in Surprise, AZ

Physical Therapy Marketing Updates.

What’s been going on at Rise Since Their 1 Year Anniversary?

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Working with Mark over past few years has truly been a pleasure. Not only does he value some of the same things I do, but he’s committed to growing his business the right way. Far too many healthcare providers invest in bland methods to promote their solutions. For whatever reason, they believe this is enough. But like I always say, basic efforts cause you to be viewed that way. For the most part, patients select physicians based on convenience and availability. Even though a majority of them long for personalized care, not many providers are speaking to them this way. While I may never be able to persuade the entire medical industry to alter their approach, some healthcare solutions are taking note. So, when it came to developing a physical therapy marketing strategy for Rise, it was easy.

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Our style of marketing for Rise isn’t about sexy poses and attention grabbing posts – it’s about Mark’s genuine commitment to the patient. Since officially launching his business in 2017, he’s proven that authenticity actually works. He’s been open and vulnerable about the process and shown patients how much he cares by going above and beyond for them. Mark looks at the state of physical therapy marketing and laughs. He feels like it’s almost become another element of entertainment. He believes all patients want to go through the rehabilitation process with an experienced professional. To be quite frank, he’s absolutely right. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how many followers or “likes” you have if patients don’t feel a physical therapist’s compassion and competent understanding of the entire body

mark jagodzinski knows the entire body for physical therapy marketing strategy in surprise az

The relationships that Mark has built over the years are really the foundation of his branding. I personally worked with Mark and Shea while regaining strength in my shoulder after surgery. Aside from knowing their level of knowledge is supreme, I know their ability to connect with patients is real. Capturing and promoting this has been one of the main focuses of our PreFocus with Rise. As you can see in some of the picture below, Mark knows how to make his patients feel comfortable. Even when a camera is in their face.

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Why Authentic Physical Therapy Marketing is Hard to Buy Into.

Telling a business to invest in original means of marketing is tough. Everyone sees what their competition is doing. They’re compelled to compete and trump their level of engagement. The temptation to be cheesy is real in today’s world. But there’s no need to be something you’re not in order to attract potential customers. Eventually, people find out the experience is nothing like the marketing message. Loyalty derives from trust and if you’re not following through with this then you’re wasting your money. Moreover, you could be an amazing physical therapist but your marketing says otherwise. The message you communicate on a consistent basis is what creates your brand perception. Without this, you’re nothing but an option.

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To learn more about some of the methods we’ve been using for Rise’s physical therapy marketing campaigns, you can always reach out and we can chat about it. All of our discovery sessions are free. Otherwise, I’d encourage you to follow Mark’s journey on his blog or his social media channels. We’re in the process of mapping out some valuable content that showcases the culture Mark has created in West Phoenix. In the meantime, be purposeful with everything you do and always remember to PreFocus.

Real Estate Branding Photoshoot with Kevin and Fred

Our Realtor Branding Photoshoot

With Kevin and Fred in Tempe, Arizona.

Purpose: Brand Personality Imagery for New Website

Request AnalysisAbout PreFocus

Back in June, I was contacted by KevinandFred.com about doing a real estate branding photoshoot for their new website. They were looking for creative, candid photography that they could repurpose for content strategies and use throughout their copy. Their main focus was to capture authentic lifestyle images with space for text. These types of photos are ideal for website headers, slideshows and social media memes. You’ll see some of the pictures aren’t centered for this reason. I love working on projects where the client values quality content and wants to communicate who they truly are. One of Kevin’s quotes is, “By being authentic with people that is when the good stuff happens.”

Our “PreFocus” for the Session:

The first step of the proposal was determining the settings of the shoot. Communication on the front end was vital because their office was about an hour away from ours. Alexa did a great job of sending me photos of the property so I could determine how the creative direction would flow. I also invested in a discovery session and additional research to gain a better grasp on who these guys were. Come to find out, they’re pretty successful realtors and are well-known throughout Phoenix. Once I knew more about them, I was able to piece together a shot list that would suit their audience best.

Our shot list included:
  • Work Arrival – getting out of the car and walking into the office with a serious tone.
  • Personality – playful banter and laid back value with two ad lib settings (arch and skateboard).
  • Hero Images – the use of courtyard arches and walls to create perspective
  • At Work – in the office interacting with each other.

Front-end planning is what we’re all about at PreFocus. Brand photography is more than traditional poses and settings. We want our clients to stand out. Since we set the expectations beforehand, Kevin and Fred were ready to roll the day of. As we kicked things off, we focused on simple poses so they could get comfortable with who we are.

Editing Styles for the Brand Imagery

Our editing style with this shoot was fun. We needed to communicate seriousness but also showcase Keven and Fred’s laid back personalities – and the bond between them. We decided to go with a rugged approach for the serious photos and a “lighter” style for the candid moments. We also wanted the mood of each photo to match the setting. This theme was prevalent throughout the project.

As you can see above, the editing style matches the emotions being conveyed in each picture. One is more dark with contrast while the other is brightened to capture the smile. Visual elements help you get your message across with emotions people can relate to. When you add text to a photo, the image needs to speak with the emotions conveyed.

The upward camera angle showcases authority in what most call a hero shot. Looking up at you causes your audience to subconsciously view you as.. well, a hero. We also left space in the photo so it could be used as a website header.

Team Portraits with Personality

After getting some cool headshots and hero images, we wanted to keep momentum rolling. This is where Fred stepped in and lightened the mood a little bit. As I mentioned above, this is where we lightened up the editing style. Once they were done taking jabs at each other, we zeroed in on a few serious shots of them together. Mixing up the editing styles gives them flexibility for content. Candid portraits are good for social media posts and “about” content while the rugged hero images suit advertising and cover art best.

Arriving to Work with Intention

The next thing I wanted to capture was “work arrival.” We wanted to start getting them comfortable being themselves and walking with intention. I know it might sound silly but, it’s important to ensure your audience that your serious about your business. So, we did a catwalk type of thing which created some humor that I’m sure they’ll appreciate revisiting over time. Here are a few other images that turned out well.

I love how we were able to embody the work arrival mindset. Whether it was from a distance or close up, both guys did a good job conveying a “let’s get to work” mentality. These types of shots are great for social media posts that include a motivating message. Showcasing the entrepreneurial mindset is a good approach during a realtor branding photoshoot.

Once we wrapped up this awkward portion of the photoshoot, we moved on to close ups. We liked the lighting here and we thought the backdrop against the white wall would be perfect for added text. The main focus here was to capture a few “chill” poses with additional space for website copy.

Getting Creative With Landmarks

As I scoped out the property prior to the shoot, I wanted to find a landmark that we could have some fun with. There was an arch over a sidewalk by the entrance that caught my eye. After listening to Kevin and Fred crack jokes the first hour, I thought it would be funny to have them push each other into the arch as they walked through it. Here is a photo of me attempting to explain this “angle.”

As you can see below, these guys had some fun “pushing” each other. Since this phrase epitomizes who they really are, you’ll see that we used it again later on in the session. Their real estate brand is all about having fun while pushing colleagues and partners to be better – and do better. We also left some space to the right in some of the photos for header images and text.

After capturing them push each other around for a long minute, we focused on some poses. It was easy with these guys because they were working as we were shooting. I had them reenact opening up a shocking email and sharing it with each other. These turned into some solid candid photos they can use for their homepage slider. Capturing who people really are during authentic moments is what’s fun about doing branding photoshoots.

Using Kevin’s Tesla as a Prop

Now that we had some good headshots and candid moments with the guys, we wanted to focus more on lifestyle photography. Since these two spend a lot of time on the road together (some of their videos are even done in the car), capturing shots in Kevin’s Tesla was a no-brainer. What really made these images cool was that they were actually discussing work while we photographed different angles. Multitasking at it’s finest..

We even got some cool shots of them getting out of the vehicle. As you can see, we kept the camera angle low to create the same authoritative look and feel for branding purposes.

X-Games Preparation with Kevin

When we got to their office, we asked if there were any props they’d like to use. Objects with company branding on them always bode well for online content. Kevin happened to have a brand new skateboard one of his clients gave him. Since we were ahead of schedule, we were able to get creative.

Aside from Kevin riding the skateboard, we knew we had to incorporate Fred. As aforementioned, pushing real estate agents to be better is one of the main characteristics of their business. So, we viewed this as another great opportunity to communicate the message. After Kevin cruised around for a few minutes, I showed Fred how to give him a friendly shove. Even though it looks like he’s going to smash into that tree, no realtors were injured during this photoshoot. Click on the image for a closer look.

Photographing “At The Office”

To wrap up this real estate branding photoshoot, we wanted to capture Kevin and Fred in their element. Placing them in the meeting room instead of a small office allowed us to take advantage of different angles. The whiteboard also gave us a cool motivational backdrop. We asked them to start their day as they normally would while we took some candid shots of their interaction and facial expressions. Smiling headshots and perfect poses will never speak to your target audience like authentic moments will.

We altered the editing style during this setting for the same reasons as before. Having image variations allows you to repurpose similar images for different forms of content. Although most of these will be on the website’s about page, we edited a few with an edgy look for social media and promotions (like above).

Since our photoshoot with Group 46:10, Kevin has used a few of these pictures on his social media channels. When the voice of the brand embodies work ethic and strategy, these types of images carry value.

Looking for Branding Photography?

There are plenty of different marketing strategies available to business owners. But, nothing speaks louder than original content and authentic photography. We’d love to talk with you about some of the benefits and features of our content production services. Otherwise, thanks for checking out our recent real estate branding photoshoot with Kevin and Fred!  If you’d like to learn more or schedule a free consultation, you can follow the Calendly link or hit the button below..

Capturing Apparel Branding for Website Imagery in Buckeye, AZ

Behind the Scenes Look

at our creative direction and how we went about capturing apparel branding and website photos for American Stable.

Location: Buckeye, Arizona

ScheduleAbout

An Introduction to PreFocus Branded Imagery

Helping brands improve their website presentation has been a passion of mine since launching PreFocus almost 2 years ago. Far too many businesses overlook the impact that on-site content can have. They believe having a website is enough. They think publishing a few pages will get them found. But, even when customers find your business, you still need to convert them. The digital realm is an extra competitive place these days and failing to create a memorable first impression leaves tons of opportunity on the table. This is why I’ve teamed up with Bluesoft Websites to begin enhancing the user experience through actuality imagery. Even though I could build your site, it doesn’t really intrigue me. I’d rather help you wow your visitors with a compelling presentation. In order to explain how we create original content for your website, here’s how my wife and I went about capturing apparel branding for American Stable.

Securing a Location and Casting.

Client communication is huge when it comes to branding and marketing. Not only do I need to understand the business, but I need to know it”s ideal customers. I mean, how can anyone expect content to be effective if it isn’t relating or speaking to the right people? With this client, the setting needed to make sense.

Since their clothing line is flame retardant, 100% American-made and mostly worn by mechanics, ranchers and welders – we decided to photograph the apparel brand on a ranch. After rounding up some local welders, their trucks with welding rigs, some blue collars dudes and a bull rider, we felt good about the shoot.

Our Shot List and Creative Direction Summary.

We kicked off the schedule (or shot list) with the bull-rider because, well, he had to ride some bulls later on that night. I wanted to Arizona sun to be apparent in these photos so the “cowboy” seemed to be working. I also wanted to use the brim of his hat to shade his eyes.

Once the sun started going down, I wanted to start capturing some of the welders at work. I knew the flame would look bomb during the “golden hour.” After this, I wanted to get some shots of the guys wrapping up their work day while using the flare of the sun for portrait poses. Then, we planned to close the shoot with all casting together for some beers as if it was a Friday night “cool down.”

Having everyone on the same page on the front end created expectations that we ended up overdelivering on. When people aren’t standing around waiting impatiently, they’re a pleasure to capture. Here’s some details on how it all went down..

Capturing Apparel Branding Photography.

Once we got to the cattle ranch, we easily scoped out the areas we wanted to capture. Knowing we were limited on time with the first set of casting helped us focus on three specific shots with a change of shirts for our “cowboy.”

Shot 1: Broken down tractor in the shade.

This was easily one of my favorite shots. Since the sun was still pretty bright, we knew we had to find a shaded area. This broken down tractor was edgy enough to capture some serious “break time” photos with the editing style I had in mind. Since most ranchers spend a lot of time alone, reflecting on a hard day’s work is something I felt American Stable’s target audience could relate to. I love how we were able to capture Ryan’s style and made sure he wasn’t uncomfortable being himself. It added a little flavor to the pictures. I think he owned it well for a first timer.

We took a variety of shots in this setting so we could leverage different angles for multiple marketing purposes. When investing in a branding photo shoot, you have to make sure you’re not just capturing photos for the website. You’re going to need quality imagery for your ecommerce platform, social media, blogs, and print or digital advertising. At PreFocus, we take pride in helping you use different shots for specific channels. Keep this in mind as we roll through this article.

Shot 2: Cattle Grazing in the Arizona Sun

The next setting was a little less scripted, but required a little guidance. It was difficult for Ryan to walk naturally in space, so we had him concentrate on kicking up dust as he went. This created a nonchalant stroll that looked great in the end. It also took some of the focus off of the overwhelming amounts of dust caused by the cows. We didn’t want Ryan to walk without expression, so we had some of the other guys talking to him as he walked towards the camera.

We didn’t have many props handy (we thought there would be plenty on-site), but we found some bolt cutters in the barn. Holding something helped Ryan pose a little more naturally during the next set of photos. This is where we executed the shot of his hat shading the sun from his eyes while looking onward. The bolt cutters solidified the shot by causing viewers to believe he’s in the process of doing something – not just posing. Small touches like this create a non-scripted perception and makes the content more believable.

Shot 3: Adding a Little Pasteurization

For the last shot with the bull-rider, we wanted to shoot inside somewhere to accompany the lighter colored shirt. We knew that a darker background would create an attention-grab for the photo. We ended up finding an old pasteurizing station that had plenty of natural light. In order to continue the authentic trend, we focused on him exiting the stations while concentrating on turning the corner. Most of these shots will be used for blogs, social media posts and background images with an overlay.

Shot 4: Photographing with Fire

This portion of the photoshoot was by far the most fun. To set the stage, we parked the welding trucks so that the sunlight would creep over the top of the barn. Doing so created some gnarly sunlight flares in most of the images. We started by capturing angles atop one of the adjacent tractors while the welder prepared his gear. Getting him comfortable with being photographed was our initial priority. He was a little nervous but once we got him into a routine, it was easy.

Once we got some solid shots of the personality and his preparation, it was time to spark up the flame. We were right on schedule and the lighting was perfect. When capturing these shots, we started from further away in order to adjust camera settings as we moved closer. Without looking into the flame, we captured a handful of rad images while the welder was at work. By adding some dirt to his shirt, we were able to enhance the actuality of these photos. We also got a cool shot by asking him to engage in some trash talk with the other guys while putting his helmet on.

After we wrapped up the welding, I had another member of casting to jump in the cab of the truck for some candid shots. I asked her to take some jabs at the welder in a flirtatious way. We positioned her in the driver’s seat like she was waiting for him to finish packing up so they could head home.

Shot List 5: Hero Images with the Boys

Since we didn’t have a lot of time for this photoshoot, I knew we had to capture as many different settings as we could. We started off with a few guys putting on work shirts and adjusting their gear. From here, we had them pose with a different truck and a less-distracting background. Shooting from the ground up gave these guys an authoritative presence that’ll be perceived well by the ideal customer.

I really liked one of the guy’s facial expressions, so we decided to isolate him for additional modeling poses. The dirt road really enhanced the colors of the shirt while creating a cool perspective in the background. It ended up being a perfect shot for one of the header images on the website.

In order to capture other shirt variations, we sprinkled in other members of the cast while creating different vantage points. These are great for apparel previews (on ecommerce websites) and social media posts. We lined up all of the trucks and set up different shots that would be perceived as authentic. We were purposeful in the way we grouped casting and encouraged them to relax and act naturally throughout.

Capturing Product Photos for the Website.

The last step of this project required us to capture pictures of the product. Although we had a number of ideas for the background, we ended up going with solid white. This causes potential customers to view the product as a high quality option. We set everything up in our studio and resized all of the images to create a cohesive look on their website’s Shopify plugin.

I want to give Ryan McGary a shoutout for giving us the opportunity to help his apparel business grow. My wife and I had a lot of fun during the shoot and everyone involved was great. We take pride in personalizing the experience so that comfort levels are high and authentic moments come naturally. When you take the time to communicate creative direction and understand your client’s vision – the process is a breeze. Thanks for checking out our creativity at PreFocus!

Need Branding Photography?

We’d love to learn more about your Phoenix business and how we can help you improve your website. Feel free to visit our brand imagery page to learn more about our process and how we can help you convert online traffic.