Is Professional Photography Actually Important for My Business?

Imagine this: You’re holding job interviews for an open position. You’re expecting two qualified interviewees to show up any minute when you hear a knock on the door. 

Both walk in, smiling, with resumes in hand.

One is clean and prepared in a polished pencil skirt, heels, and a crisp blouse. The other is wearing old workout clothes.

Wait, workout clothes?!

BEFORE you open the resumes and BEFORE either one says a word, you’ve already formed a big first impression. 

It’s clear that only ONE applicant is taking this seriously.

Workout clothes? To a JOB interview? It’s unprofessional, unpolished, and indicates she is not really invested in landing this opportunity.

EVEN if this CrossFitter/SoulCycler/Yogi has more experience and better recommendations, it’s going to be impossible to overcome the immediate first impression she’s given off – especially compared to her competition, who is doing everything she’s not. 

But how does showing up to an interview in workout clothes relate to your business's photography?

Is investing in professional photography really worth it for your business? Or is your business better off with amateur photography? What about food photography or interior shots? Do you really need a pro photographer? The answer might surprise you. Click through to read. | Hoot Design Co.

Here's how. Think of it this way: 

You’re hungry AF and checking out the websites of two new restaurants that just opened to decide where to go. 

One of them invested in professional photography. The other didn't.

Which grilled salmon fillet with lemon is more appealing?

Or, which plate of penne with grape tomatoes and arugula do you want to try?

The choice is pretty clear. 

Despite contents of these dishes being very similar, the photos representing them are VERY different. One has been styled with care and photographed with technical skill. The other was snapped by an amateur.

To put it in other terms, one just showed up for the interview in a pencil skirt and crisp blouse. The other is wearing sweatpants.

EVEN if the amateur dish actually tastes better, the perceived value of the food takes a nosedive thanks to its muddy, poorly lit, poorly composed representation.

Whether it’s on your website or social media, amateur photography makes your business look AMATEUR.

Even if you have a nice camera, and even if you can snap a decent image for your Instagram, your photography will still be identifiable as amateur. It's not that you can't take a decent picture. It's that you don't really know what you're doing.

Technical knowhow, proper lighting and equipment, strategy, and composition are all highly specialized skills – and unless you’re a photographer first and foremost, snapping your own images will hurt, not help, your brand.

Amateur photography SCREAMS unprepared, unprofessional, and unpolished, and can even look like you don’t really care about landing the opportunity to work with your viewer. It’s the epitome of bootstrapping your business – in a bad way. 

And just like the interviewee who showed up in sweatpants, you WILL NOT be able to redo the first impression of your business. 

To wrap this up, let me make it crystal clear:


When your business looks like crap, your audience will think your business IS crap. Potential customers begin to question your professionalism, competence, and commitment to quality. Viewers think that what you offer is worth less than it actually is. You're turning them away before you can even get them in the door.

If your photography is complete amateur crap, your business is going to be perceived as far less valuable and professional than it actually is – no matter how badass your branding is.

It's not an overstatement: You can't brand your way out of bad photography. This is a BIG deal for us to say as brand specialists. We don't create photography because we know we're not professionals. But if we don't have strong photos, it's as if our hands are tied. So we routinely parter with amazing photographers like the team at SilverBox Photographers and Drew Piester. Sometimes, getting high-quality professional shots is a requirement in our contract with clients. Our hands are that tied.

So do yourself a favor and invest in professional photography from the get go. Don't show up in sweatpants.

And guess what? You're going to thank us later. High-quality photography is a gift that keeps on giving. The same professional photos you use throughout your website pull double duty in online marketing campaigns and triple duty running as print ads.

So please Book that photo shoot asap.

– Kristen

Are YOU attracting the right crowd?

Hoot Design Co. is a marketing, branding, and design agency located in Columbia, MO. We specialize in creating a custom and comprehensive marketing strategy centered around your business's unique strengths and educating you with the tools you need from day one. From logo design to brand identity, website design and execution, and social media marketing strategies in-person and through online courseswe're focused on your business success every step of the way.