Marketing tips in 2018

Businesses have adopted social media, direct email. blogs and a whole host of online ads to drive inbound sales to their business.

Is your marketing efforts working for you and are you wasting money with little results to show for the effort into creating a strategy with a compelling message.  A recent study of marketing in 2017 demonstrates that amongst noise and amount of online media content people are not reading everything that comes their way.   You need to find a new way to draw in an audience.

Business is done people to people and the best way to get someone to stop and notice you is via an image with impact and a word or a short message to incite interest and for them to learn something new.  Stock Photography is a great resource but finding the right image that aligns with your brand and style of your company can be hard to find.   Choosing popular stock images also runs that danger of just looking the same as your competition.   One great example of bespoke image creation aligning with the company brand and message is Lloyds Bank where they have created a series of lifestyle images with children processed in their unique green tint to ensure brand recognition.  To the extent that an image could stand on its own and you would instinctively associate it will Lloyds Bank.

Not everyone has the marketing budget of Lloyds Bank but choosing a good photographer with an understanding and vision for your company can produce just as impactful results if given the creative freedom to deliver your branded image library.  So go be daring and don’t follow the crowd, go challenge a photographer to create your vision and stick to your branding and you will see the results.

 

Customer Testimonial

People do business with people they know, like and trust.  In this digital information age how do you get people to know about you, your products your service ?

Social media marketing is great for spreading the word but so much time and money is wasted targeting the wrong clients.   First identify your ideal client and market to them but the trick is to find out where your clients go to search for your services.  Times have changed and we can only capture people looking for your product.  In my years for running my own professional photographer business traditional advertising works for large well known brands.  Traditional business listings do work but only when people are looking for you.  At the end of the day once people have learnt about you from social media, marketing, adverts or word of mouth they will come to your website to check you out.

Your website needs to look professional and engaging with quality photographs and videos.  Further more customer testimonials are vital to showing your prospects what you do and build trust.  Ideally sort out the skills of a professional marketing and PR service to help spread the word.  But be careful and ask them for references for someone in your industry and contact them to find out how successful the marketing and PR campaign was for the business.

Below images are examples of photographs I have created for a London based housing development company to display customer testimonials with professional photos create by Mark Dolman Photographer for Annington’s High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire development.

For more details see http://www.annington.co.uk.

Customer testimonial marketing PR photography

Testimonials Annington Homes

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/george-clarkes-old-house-new-home/on-demand/

 

Where to print photos

Do you know where to Print Photos ?

If you have recently got married or been to a special occasion and want to print off your photos at the highest quality then reed on.

Are you tired of the poor flat colours you get from the high street photo print kiosks.

When you compare high street photo prints from kiosk at Boot, Tesco’s or where ever you print to a professional photo lab you will see they are worlds apart.   Printing photos at home is great fun but I found when you frame the print and leave it in the day light for a number of months or years they will fade.

If you have experienced this then you need to find a professional print lab for best results.  I have tried most of the online print labs over the year and have found one that consistently give me great results.  When printing photos you do get what you paid for but you need to have an account with the best labs so this is not open to everyone.

Mark Dolman Photographer is now offering simple service to print your photos at our preferred photo labs.

You simply upload you images to our online gallery where we will ensure your photos are enhanced and calibrated for light correction, straighten and sharp.  Preview you images before ordering online.

Click Here to send us you digital photos now

Dont take a chance with your wedding photos.  If you want your photos to last for years then use our online print service with a 50 year guarantee not to fade.

If you need assistance getting photos off you phone or iPad etc then get in touch and we will be happy to help.

NEW PHOTO PRINTING SERVICE

Just upload and we do the rest

Delivered by courier direct to your door within 48 hours

Where to print photos in chesham, Where to print photos in Amersham, Where to print photos in Aylesbury, Where to print photos in London, Where to print photos in Reading, Where to print photos High Wycombe, Where to print photos in Watford, Where to print photos in St Albans, Where to print photos in Oxford.

Is your digital life safe ?

Protect your photos online

Protect your valuables

 

 

Do you know where all your digital photos are

Do you know how to protect your photos

 

 

Most people say that the most important thing they would save if their house was burning down would be their family photos. But what about the less dramatic incidents in life when you hard drive crashes or your phone is stollen.

If your computer is six or more years old then you have a 50% chance of its hard drive crashing. Hard drives will fail after time, this is guaranteed. It is also very easy to loose files and unknowingly delete them.

Police estimate 300,000 mobile phones were stolen in 2013. Thats 35 phones stolen every hour. A laptop or tablet is stolen every minute. Or 1 in six of use will loose our device.

If you have made a copy of your photos on CD then think again. CDs only have a shelf life of around 10 years and can easily get damaged.

Many people post photos to facebook and other social media services. There is no guarantee these companies will keep your photos safe. And what if Facebook closed down over night, would be able to retrieve your photos ? You get what you pay for in life.

With so many places to hide your photos, just finding them again can be a major task. Have you ever tried to find a photo from your holiday 5 years ago and could not remember where it is on your hard drive. One tip I have is rename you files as you save them with a unique identifier.

I recently decided to backup the phones of my iPhone and what I found was of some surprise.  I have had the same phone for 2 years now and discovered I had 3Gb of images to protect.  But there way problem.  How do you get your photos off you iPhone in one go.  Sure it is easy to share photo, email them etc one at a time but how do you capture everything in one go.  The tool I used was Adobe Lightroom to import everything and then exported the photos to my hard drive for sorting.

The system I use is create a folder for the year and in that folder create folders for each event and name them with the date and place or person in the photos. This way you can search you hard drive and find your photos.

To protect your photos I suggest using an online photo gallery system. There are many to choose from and the one I recommend is SmugMug which has unlimited storage and your can subscribe for 12 months from as little as £25. An online gallery will guarantee your photos are backed up and you can still share your photos with friend via Facebook is you wish.

Backup your photos, you are not immune and don’t wait until its too late.

Winter Wedding at Kings Hotel Stokenchurch

Winter Weddings are such a special time of year to get married.  Here is a sample of Rob and Jennifer’s wedding at the Kings Hotel, Stockenchurch, High Wycombe on New Years Eve 2013.  The weather was very went and dark all day so the entire wedding photo took place inside the hotel.  Space was a very limited but the hotel staff were very accommodating and moved furniture so we could create some lasting memories of the day.

The British weather is always a challenge but it has never stopped me from creating my trade make natural timeless wedding photos.  There are many trends out their for photo editing finishes which I can always accommodate if required but I like to keep adding photo editing to a minimum so they look good today, next year and in 50 years time when you are flicking through your wedding album with your grand children .

Kings-Hotel-Wedding-2
Kings-Hotel-Wedding-0 Kings Hotel High Wycombe
Kings-Hotel-Wedding-5
Wedding Kings Hotel Stokenchurch

Kings-Hotel-Wedding-3 Kings-Hotel-Wedding-6 Kings-Hotel-Wedding-7 Kings-Hotel-Wedding-10 Kings-Hotel-Wedding-11 Kings-Hotel-Wedding-15 Kings-Hotel-Wedding-16 Kings-Hotel-Wedding-17

View Wedding Photo Gallery

Rules on photographing wedding ceremony

Photographing wedding ceremony can be a challenge for photographer, some times we are not allow to move, many venues don’t let you use flash, and some dont let you photograph any thing.  When planning your wedding be sure to ask the minister or clerk what their house rules are on photography.

The house rules on photographing a wedding is becoming more and more restricting theses days.   Wedding official’s for Church services and even civil ceremonies have all become hardened by the constant clicking and flashing of the modern digital photographer.  And some churches will not allow any photos during the wedding ceremony any more due to distribution of taking photos.

My solution to minimise the disruption during a wedding ceremony is to keep to a maximum of 6 shots during the ceremony itself.    During the ceremony I wait for those cherished moments, a little look, a smile, and the exchanging of rings.  From my experience just 6 shots is enough for the wedding album as the scene is pretty static and generally the photographer is not allowed to move during the service.   Capturing the setting, guests and details should all be achieved before the ceremony starts.

When faced with officials that have strict house rules once I explain that I will only  just take 6 shots during the service they are pretty ok to let  me do as I wish.  If all else fails then I have the bride and groom pose at the alter the ceremony to stage some shots.  I think this is such a special moment when two people have just given their vows and standing at the alter it really dose need to be recorded.

 

Photography by Mark Dolman

Web Images for Business Startups

Commercial PR photography – gets you noticed!

Advice for business owners on using images to promote yourself.

This week in the news it was reported that new company formations totalled 40,000 in the month of July 2013.  An all time record as more and more people choose self employment as their new career.  The greatest challenge all us new business owners face is the skills to create and run your own company.  We are all educated from school to be employees but today the biggest type of employment in the UK is self employed,

While being a one man band may not sound appealing to most, what you actually find is an army of suppliers and business support services are on hand 24/7 to work with you on your venture and before you know if you are employing teams of virtual staff.

Sales and marketing is the life blood of any business and your web site is your front door.  All too often your web site is the first thing people see when researching new suppliers and services.   I have found even after meeting new clients face to face they some still want to go away and spend time on your web site to see your work in detail before making a purchasing decision.

With your web site being such a pivotal part of your business which will ensure success or failure for your new venture.  Portraying the right image is paramount and using the right images and photos on your site can win the hearts and minds of your prospective clients instantly.    Every business owner and entrepreneur dreams of creating a service or product that generates such desire and need to that price is never an issue.  Take Apple for example, you don’t need an iPad but you want one and why buy a MacBook when you could buy 2 or 3 PCs for the same price.

Buy now I am sure you get the importance of having the right images on your site.  But where do you find the right images ?

1: Can you use images free from the internet ?

Many people assume if images are on the web then they are in the public domain and free for all to use.  While in some cases this maybe true however as a business owner you need to make doubly sure images are free of copyright and you have rights to use the image for commercial use.   You don’t want the author of the work coming to find you and requesting royalties because you have used a picture of theirs across your whole marketing strategy in print and on-line.  This could prove very costly and having seen first hand the sums involved which would cripple your new business from the word go.

One pitfall of using images from multiple sources is that the look and feel of the images are very random and will create a poor image of your business and display a lack of quality and attention to detail.

2: Should I buy images from stock libraries

This is defiantly a good place to start and better then having nothing on your web site.  The down side of stock images is they are non exclusive and would have been used 100s of times.  Also unless you can find a set of images that meet all your needs from one photographer.  Then you fail to keep a consistent look across your site and marketing material with random looking images.

When buying stock images pay particular attention to the usage license for the image.  Many people will buy the minimum resolution and probably a one off usage license.  If using images in advertising for your business then you really should ensure your stock image usage license covers everything you need it for.

3. Web site template images

Many web site builders offer built in libraries.  While they are great to get you up and running quickly.  You will out grow the platform in no time at all and 12 months on your site will look tired and dated.  Also most of the images would have probably been purchased via a image library system and so have the same pitfalls as mentioned above.

4. DIY Photos

As your business develops many people turn to taking their own photos because the stock image libraries are not specific enough for you.  While using personal images is a great way to add personality to your business which I am all for and should be encouraged.   Step back and look at your entire web site images, marketing material and adverts with fresh eyes like a client would see it.  Be critical and ask yourself.  Do the images demonstrate what you are about and do they match your worth.  If you are charging a premium rate then your branding and the images you use need to match.

5.  Hiring professional commercial PR photography

Of course you are probably expecting me to recommend using a professional photographer for your company images.  Many will go through all the above and end up using a professional in the end and learn by experience and frustration.

What can a professional photographer do that I can not ?

Using a professional means you can create a brief for your photography to capture exactly what you want for you company image.

The look and feel of the images will be consistent with your brand.

You will be worry free knowing you are the only person using these images and will not upset anyone with copyright laws

The images will flow and look professional along side each other.

Your images should tell a story or and project you service, product and lifestyle in the first seconds of seeing it before the client even reads one word.

How to work with Commercial PR Photography experts

Always research your photographer and be sure they can create to look you want.

When briefing your commercial PR photographer think first about all the ways you use images.  If not now but in the future you will need advertising photos, marketing and PR campaigns, banner ads for web sites, directories and social networks.  Also consider a set of professional head shot portraits for media and press releases. Don’t wait until you need them as the media world works very fast and if its not to hand they may just grab an image of you from your friends facebook page looking all sun tanned and hungover.

Research you image concepts buy garbing screen shots on your phone or when out and about when you see something that inspires you.

Be clear how many images you need and in what format you need them.  Also list when and where the images will be used.  Set a time frame and delivery date for your project and find out if post production editing is included.  If it is how much editing and manipulation is needed and use this time wisely as things always crop up and editing a critical part of the process to get the quality, look and feel you want.

If you would like a no obligations chat about how commercial PR Photography then please call us on 01494 611 049

 

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Commercial PR Photography London, UK

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Fathers Day Gift

Amazing idea for Fathers Day gift. If your dad loves to take photos and you are stuck for an idea as he has all the latest gadgets then this may be the best thing you will ever give me.

People say the most important thing you would save if your house was burning down are your photos (after your family of course). These days this means lugging out your computer, scrambling under the table to find the external hard drive, searching the house for your phone, finding the iPad under the bed. Then fumbling through bags and coats for memory cards and of course your camera because you haven’t downloaded the photos yet.

Try this yourself, go now and grab all your devices in your house that store photos. If you are not back in 4 seconds then its game over.

As a pro photographer I use SmugMug to store all my clients and my personal images. You can too have a SmugMug account and chose the basic plan for personal photos and sleep safe knowing all your cherished photos are safe.

Whats even better is you can still share your photos to facebook or where ever via intelligent links so you know your images are safe and only seen by the people you want to see them. Even better is you can create one account for your whole family and post images via email from any device. SmugMug is very easy to use and they have real live people online 24/7 to help you with your gallery.

https://secure.smugmug.com/signup.mg?Coupon=q0p1njqaabmCU