How to choose a photographer for your marketing project

Stock imagery certainly has a huge place in the world, it serves a purpose, but you can’t beat authentic killer imagery that not only looks good but conveys the right message. 

Killer imagery can take your brand to the next level. Simple as that. 

Your imagery should be high on your list of considerations when you are designing your marketing collateral. Images are often the first thing your customers see when they visit your website. They are the centrepiece of your advertising around which your text flows. They are the focus of attention in your promotional literature.

When you have a snapshot in time to attract and retain customer attention, do they want to be reading a load of text to get to your point? Humans are inherently lazy and impatient, so the objective of your marketing is to deliver maximum impact in the quickest time possible. 

photography by Anthony Farran

My case and point; The picture above shows what this company does in one single shot. They make stuff out of molten metal. It couldn’t be simpler, and the lighting effect on this shot places the emphasis directly onto the process instead of the surroundings which were far from favourable.

So how do you go about choosing a photographer for your marketing project?


Everything comes back to your objectives. What are you going to use these images for? Your website? Your social media? 

Your website images might be more generic and corporate feeling whereas your social media images might be more informal, relaxed and fun. You may have a specific campaign in mind for a particular set of products. 

Think about what you are trying to achieve and then work on the best way to get there.

Planning a photoshoot goes beyond just selecting the photographer. What are you going to tell them when they arrive, have you got models in place? Have you got products ready to shoot? Is your backdrop appropriate or will you need the photographer to bring one? Do you need to go on location somewhere else to get the right feel to your photography? 

Tip: Have a look around at the sort of images you’d like to copy. Nobody needs to reinvent the wheel. 

Another option for your killer imagery could be illustration. The benefit of this is that they are timeless. They are still relevant as you age and can be tweaked easily without having to stage a photoshoot again. Illustration is also quite forgiving if you and your people aren’t particularly camera friendly. If you know what I mean.  

Decision making methodology

This method of decision making is something that has held me in good stead for many years. It uses a range of selection criteria and provides a scoring system that gives you a definitive result.

Step 1. Choose the selection criteria that matters most to you and give each one a weighting. The total across all criteria should equal 100. 

Step 2. Give each candidate a score of 1, 3 or 5 depending on how highly you rate them. 5 being best. 

Step 3. Multiply the score by the weighting which gives you a total for that criterion.

Step 4. Combine the totals for each criterion into a final score for each candidate. 

Take a look at the example; 

Candidate 1. 

You like their portfolio but didn’t like the person as much as candidate 2. They were quite expensive, not immediately available but they did have great testimonials. You can assume they would be pretty good. 

Candidate 2. – The winner

You didn’t like their portfolio quite as much as candidate 1, but they were really likeable, and rapport was good. They weren’t too expensive, same availability as candidate 1 and they had good testimonials. 

Candidate 3. 

You didn’t like their portfolio and didn’t think much of the person either. They were cheap and available, but this is probably because they’re not very good. They didn’t have great testimonials either. 

The next time you need to make a decision, try this method out!

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