Using Photos to Increase Your Business

Promote Your Business With Photos
A great way to promote your business is to make use of photos. If you can keep a digital camera handy in the shop, it will not take more than several minutes to shoot some photos of work you are doing before it goes out the door. When you have a nice collection on your camera, they can be downloaded all at once, labeled, and then there are all sorts of ways to use them to get the word out about your business.

If you have a Facebook page, ideally you are posting some type of content several times a week. An example of a job you’ve recently done can give your customers new ideas. Your Web site should have a gallery and ideally you are adding new designs to this page all the time. Every time you add fresh content to your Web site, you improve your site’s rankings with search engines. Consider adding a caption explaining the design on the shirt.

When working with customers helping them to come up with designs, it’s great to have a library of past examples to e-mail or show in a presentation binder to provide inspiration or illustrate a technique or look you are suggesting. These photos also can be used in promotional materials such as flyers, catalogs, or e-blasts. Make trade publications aware that you have a library of decorated apparel shots and you may find yourself getting contacted for photos that are needed for upcoming magazine articles. You will never regret having a library of design examples available.

Shooting Tips
It is recommended to always shoot high resolution (300 dpi or higher) photos. Print publications cannot use a photo smaller than 300 dpi, and they prefer them to be about 4 by 5 inches in size. Most point and shoot digital cameras will take a 72 dpi photo. This is fine for a Web site or electronic media, but doesn’t work for print. By taking a high res photo, you do not limit its applications. To set your camera to take a high resolution shot, go into the menu and set it to shoot the largest size photo it can shoot.

This may sound obvious to some of you, but make sure you have good lighting. If you are shooting something on a machine, you may need to use your flash or add a source of light to make sure it’s well lighted. Make sure you are focusing. Even auto focusing cameras often require that you semi depress the button. This allows the camera to focus and then you fully depress to take the photo. If your shots are coming out fuzzy, you may not be allowing the camera to focus before taking the shot.

If you are shooting a person or a shirt, fill the frame with that object. Don’t stand 10 yards back and have all kinds of un-necessary background. Focus on your intended subject.

Once you’ve downloaded the photos, see how you can improve them. Many graphic programs today have automated tools to increase the brightness, contrast, remove red eye if you used a model, and allow you to crop the photo to remove unwanted background. You do not have to be a professional photographer to take good photos. Experiment with your camera and related software and you may impress yourself!

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