One of the most critical elements of ecommerce, product photography has a definite bearing upon the way your site is received by visitors. Strong images convey trustworthiness and concern about the way your business is perceived. Experts agree original photography is preferred to stock for a number of reasons—chief among them their ability to help establish a unique identity for your online presence.
This is particularly true when your product is on the pricier side, like furniture. In other words, hiring the right photographer for your furniture site is key to your success. Here’s what to look for:
Personality and Professionalism
While it’s true a photographer doesn’t have to be a nice person to shoot great images, working with an affable individual is a lot easier than working with someone who isn’t. Pay attention to the way they present themselves during your initial consultation.
Are they open minded and enthusiastic? Do they listen just as much as they talk? Are they touting ideas before you tell them what you’re looking for? You want someone who will listen and strive to deliver what you need, as opposed to being intent upon shoving what they want to do down your throat. Are they comfortable with the timeline you set forth and the deadline you’ll need them to meet?
While we are well past the days of suits and ties in business, the nature of their attire does say a lot about how they are as a person. Does the way they dress indicate pride in their appearance? One school of thought says an individual decides what manner of being they wish to be taken for and dresses accordingly.
Ask to see a print portfolio in addition to the online one. Specifically request to see work they’ve done with furniture. This type of photography demands a high level of lighting and compositional skill. You’ll want even the minutest details to be readily evident.
As you’re considering how to start a furniture store, keep in mind these images will determine whether or not your furniture sells. You want to be certain the photographer you choose has a demonstrated ability to produce pictures capable of marketing your wares.
View the portfolio in the photographer’s presence, observing their actions as you’re looking at the work. Do they feel a need to explain every image, or are they confident enough to let them stand on their own? Remember, the photographer won’t be around to explain the pictures to your customers.
Get contact information for previous clients. When you consult these people, ask what it was like working with the photographer. Did they deliver within the agreed upon timeframe? Was working with them an easy and pleasant experience? Were they flexible and open to sudden changes? Would they hire them again? Do your best to get beyond the polite answers and read between the lines. In most cases, the photographer will only refer you to people virtually guaranteed to review them favorably, so you’ll have to do a bit of digging on your own too. Look at peer review sites like Yelp to see what kind of reputation the person has cultivated among clients.
Are they licensed, insured and bonded? Do they belong to any professional associations? Do they insist upon working in their studio or are they open to shooting on location? Do they have experience directing models? Can they recommend art directors, stylists and makeup artists? How does their quote compare to others you’ve been given?
Choosing a photographer for your furniture site based upon these considerations will help you find a capable professional with whom you’ll enjoy working.