Did you know?
The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. This is because humans are very visual creatures with over 50% of our brains dedicated to processing visual content.
This is probably why seasoned photographers like Destin Sparks have described photography as stories that could not be told in words.
Why it matters:
Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve had discussions about the best strategies and tools that brands can use to grow their businesses. From effective social media marketing strategies to the use of storytelling and storytellers to improve a company’s visibility and reach.
On this week’s episode of The Hub, professional photographer, Simon Shallangwa, shares his thoughts on the essential role of photography for every business and why it is so important for driving company-customer relationships forward.
“What makes you a branded person is when people tell your story whether or not you’re there. Therefore, bringing photography into branding—no matter what kind of business it is—is important,” he said.
Citing years of experience in the field, Shallangwa described ways in which brands and companies can sell their stories with the help of photographs.
The importance of photography for every brand:
• Simplicity: Having a brilliant concept to share with the world and having the right platforms to show it is no guarantee that people will understand or buy the idea. The world is currently swimming in a whirlpool of data—so much data to process with so little time. This is why Shallangwa suggests the use of pictures. With the right picture, brands can easily summarize concepts while simultaneously seizing the attention of their audience at a simple glimpse.
• Visualization: As the saying goes, ‘seeing is believing and the business of marketing and storytelling needs a lot of visualization to win the people’s approval.
He also added that “Before you can present your work to a prospective investor, they will need to see what you’re up to and that is where photography begins.”
• Documentation: Photographs have been described as means of capturing and immortalizing moments. This is why almost every event calls for cameras and photoshoots to document special moments. To Shallangwa, however, it means this and so much more.
“Pictures build your identity and raise people’s perception of it. It also helps build your portfolio. Whatever business you’re doing, you need to have a portfolio to document your work and this is what pictures do,” he said.
Why you need professional photography:
With the growing penetration of smartphones, the value of professional photography has been undermined. This is because almost everyone now has access to a camera and this access has made photographers of us all. So what difference does it make regarding who shoots the pictures?
“Not everyone can be a brand photographer because the profession is broad. There are many genres in photography, which include: wedding photography, documentary photography, lifestyle photography, landscape photography and so on. If you do not understand the style of each of these genres, I feel that you’ve already lost it,” Shallangwa said.
“While there are people who can explore all of these and still do well, others can only deliver in one style. So when hiring a photographer, you must first ascertain that they can deliver on your idea based on their style. That is why we have portfolios,” he added.
When can you use photographs?
“Brand photography is a continuous journey. It begins early with your business and grows with the brand over time,” Shallangwa said.
Photos compliment texts in posters, articles and banners. They also act as main features in billboards and social media stories especially on Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp which provides the right amount of exposure and reach.
When coupled with the right platform(s) and just the right amount of persistence and dedication, he believes that photography is key to unlocking human emotions as it resonates with human psychology. He says it gives people something to relate to and engage with and this is the kind of reception that every business needs.