Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Pictures Are There To Be Looked At

I have just returned from a string of meetings this morning, in which I was talking to clients about how best to display the photographs we produce for them. I say 'talking to' - it was actually more a case of educating them. And here's why.

People love photographs. Fact. Whether it's snaps of friends at the local pub or a corporate team-building day, we love to share stories and memories of the events which occur in our lives. Trouble is, a lot of people don't know how best to enjoy these pictures, and simply throw them in a drawer or onto a bookshelf in the corner of a room, never to see the light of day for years to come. And the worst offenders? [Shudders to think] Direct transfer from camera to hard drive - and we all know what can happen there. Shame on you!

So what options do you have? Prints - sure. Canvas artwork - yup. T-shirts - if you really want. But then... that's it, isn't it? NO! There are so many different ways to present your pictures, many of which people don't know about. Apart from the above, you could consider traditional albums, super-modern picture books, despoke frames, acrylics, aluminium and block-mounted displays, promo transfer sets, multi-item themed gift packs... you get the idea.

But just a second. A word of caution, by way of an old adage - just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Not every display method is suitable for every kind of picture. Likewise, not every location is suitable for certain presentation options (e.g. canvas prints can look terrible in spaces which are too small for them). It's all about considering the options and deciding which will work best for you and your pictures.

Now, before you jump to conclusions, I should say that such considerations do not apply simply to 'private sector' clients (weddings, portraits, that sort of thing) - they are also relevant to business and corporate customers, too. Why? Because photography can and should be used to your advantage.

For example, say you have company premises with a 'typical' reception area. When new or returning clients come in, what are they greeted by (apart from your super-friendly receptionist, naturally)? Blank walls and a few scrappy print-outs plonked on a coffee table next to the water cooler? That's the sight that often greets me when arriving to do a shoot.

Wouldn't it be so much better to create a strong visual impact right from the outset, the moment visitors walk through the door? Maybe some stylish photo-art or team/product shots on the walls to build your profile. Or a smart-looking picture book album documenting your factory facilities or your pro-active operations in the field. Both of these would not only create a good first impression, but a positive lasting one, too.

So... please, please, please, don't just file your pictures away where nobody can see them. Be bold, be proud, and most of all enjoy them - because they are there to be looked at!

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