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It's an old cliche, but a picture can be worth a 1,000 words. But it takes a professional photograph to bring out the emotion that can close the sale. Photography is more than pointing a smart phone at an object and hitting the button. No matter what ‘camera’ you use, great photos begin with:


  • Making sure your subject is framed properly

  • There are no extraneous objects in the background

  • The lighting is pleasing and proper

  • You don’t see the reflection of the photographer in the picture

  • Brightness and Contrast are just right

  • Your subject is sharp and in focus

  • Electronic files are as large as possible allowing for great photo editing

Can you use smart phone cameras?


You sure can, but will you have enough control over all the aspects that turns a picture into a photograph? Some of the newer phones have great built in apps that allow you to control several features as well as take high resolution images.

Giving someone the keys to an Indy 500 car doesn’t mean they can win the Daytona 500!

What makes a picture a photograph?


Here’s what a professional photographer will keep in mind before taking every picture:


  • Framing the subject correctly so there’s flow to the photo

    • Will the viewer’s eye stay within the photo or be directed off the page?

  • Lighting is very important

    • When taking portraits

      • Consider hair lights, 60/40 lighting, fill flash, back lighting and more

    • Do you need a lighting tent

    • Reflectors and/or gobo’s

  • Brightness and Contrast

    • Yes, you can control this in photo editing software, but it should exist in the original

  • Color balance – this makes sure whites are white and not off color

  • Depth-Of-Field control using the aperture to control how much of your subject is in focus

  • Sharp focus on your subject

  • Purposely blurring the background to add visual focus

  • Freeze or Blur action with shutter speed control

  • What’s in the background

  • Hotspots when shooting shiny, highly reflective products

  • What type of file will be needed in the end?


The last bullet point is very important. Professional cameras can shoot in RAW. While JPG images are okay, they are limited in the full spectrum of lighting that an original photo was taken. The RAW file allows editing software to bring out great details in shadows and highlights as well as control color, brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness and more.

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