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Images get higher social media engagement with your content.

Images make your content more interesting.

Outside Lloyd's of London, City of London, Financial Services sector.
Greetings outside Lloyd’s of London in the City of London. By Michael Wayne Plant

Working in the Financial sector, we tend to prioritise numbers and data over images, because at the end of the day this is what we perceive our clients worry about. However, if you want to get your marketing, social media and PR efforts to have an even higher engagement, you need to consider the use of images. Photos get people engaged, at a both higher rate and they remember the content better with visuals.

  • This an example on www.socialmediaexaminer.com of the long tail in advertising, in a post from 2014, when twitter had a character limit of 140, “You can get a 150% increase in retweets just by including images“, (there are also some other great tips in this post on how to use Twitter).

or

  • “Research has shown that when people hear information, they are likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.” (https://www.hubspot.com)

To stand out, it is important in a crowded marketplace to have a message that resonates with your potential client. If your competitors are not using images, then using them, will make your Marketing, PR and Social Media more successful.

We do not work with companies we work with people in companies that is why so much effort goes into building relationships, as companies do not have relationships people do. Visuals have a way of personalising the relationship for your potential customer.

 

Entrepreneur magazine has a great article called 7 Ways to Improve Online Engagement With Visual Content  that features tips on how to use images which is well worth taking the time to read.

  • Avoid stock images. The lady in a business suit giving you a thumbs up won’t get you any digital attention.” Lyndsi Stafford on Forbes.com

If you do not want generic images you need to hire someone who is sensitive to your needs and the industry that you work in, that is where we come in. We have your interests in mind when making images and have spent the past 10 years learning about PR, Social Media and Marketing so we can create images that are visually interesting, on brand and relevant to your customers.

 

 

Streets of the City

Photographing the City of London presents challenges and is a great way to show what it is like working in the City of London. Having spent the last 18 months photographing the streets of City, we have learnt a lot about the City, how it functions, where numerous companies have their offices and which cafes have great coffee and wifi connections.

In producing this portfolio, we have been photographing candidly the life of the City, which has let us see things in the City, that unless we take the time it passes us by. The City of London, is a fascinating place and it excites us, to be able to make images in such a wonderfully diverse and visually exciting place.

Check out the new gallery on the our website by clicking on the image below:

or follow this link: www.photofinance.org/tw-portfolio/city-london-streets

“What lighting equipment should I have?”

It takes more than lighting equipment to make an image.

I recently left my teaching post as a photography lecturer, to concentrate on making images for financial service organisations. Last week, I got an email from a former student of mine that goes to the heart of what had been a series of thoughts about how I make images for clients of Financial Services Photography by Michael Wayne Plant.

The question was.

“Hi Michael,

It’s AXXXX from the “Developing a Photography Project” course.
How is your freelance photography going?
I’m going to start my portrait photography business. I’m planning to take portrait pictures for start-up companies, on location.
I would like ask you for your advice. What do you think what lighting equipment should I have?

Thank you.

Regards,
AXXXX”

Now, at first I thought how cheeky to be asking me this,  just as I’m re-establishing my own professional practice. But on reflection, I thought about it for a while and realised that what is to some is a simple question is actually quite complex. It goes to the heart of why it can be difficult being photographer. To give you an analogy it’s a bit like asking what car should I buy, because in asking this question, I do not know about budget, aesthetic preferences, taste, etc in other words what type of image do you want to make, what type of location, so on and so forth. I could have answered this was giving my former student list of equipment that they should rush out and buy, but that doesn’t really answer the question/s that are being asked by this question.

Now the reason why I am turning this into blog post on this website is that, it is something not that dissimilar to the process that I explored when deciding on what my aesthetic style I would use in my work. So let’s explore that process a little, so that you can understand the reasoning behind what we’re doing with our photography here for www.photofinance.org

The first part is what lighting equipment should I use? My answer is simple, whatever lighting equipment that will enable you to make the images that you have in your mind’s eye that will suit your clients (or potential clients) needs. That lighting equipment needs to be, reliable, dependable, easily usable, if you’re going to locations transportable and you have access to electricity or will you need to use battery power.

My solution to this question is quite simple, I have Sony battery-powered portable flash, which I can use on location with various light modifiers, however this may not reliable enough as it relies on batteries, especially when I’m photographing where I need to be able to make lots of images in a short space of time. Consequently, I need to work with lighting equipment that uses mains powered electricity. My solution to this was to buy a new monobloc studio light (like this Profoto studio light) that can go into a rolling camera case (like this by ThinkTank the added advantage is that I can also include my camera inside as well). The photographer also needs to think about what sort of lighting modifiers they will use. This is important because different types, will give different qualities to the light and some are more portable, others are quicker to set up and they all alter the light quality created by the studio lights.

For a professional photographer, some things should be important as an example; I think it is important to be efficient with your clients time, dependable with the images you’re making and these images need to be repeatable, when you’re working with multiple subjects. Often when you’re looking through photographers portfolio and you see something you like, you will want to be able to have something similar for your own image needs, so it is important that photographer can recreate the lighting and mood of the images in their portfolio or website. This consistency will only be achieved if they are working in similar ways each time. It helps if the photographer is familiar with lighting and is using similar lighting to be able to recreate with different participants and/or locations, images that reflect what they show in their portfolios.

The Second part is? Probably best answered by asking the question; What type of images do you want to make? for Financial Services Photography by Michael Wayne Plant my answer is simple, I aim to make images with the least amount of intrusion into the working environment, while respecting the security of the work place. I also aim to fulfil the image requirements of both my subject/s and the organisation/s for whom I’m photographing. I make editorial style portraits, because of my background in fashion, beauty, advertising and editorial photography. Because of my experience, I am able to direct my subjects, to enable them to relax within themselves, while in front of the camera. This for many people, especially someone not used to being in front of the camera, is actually the hardest part of being photographed. It is also in my opinion, the reason why so many people feel that, they are incapable of having a good photograph made them most of use do not know how to relax in front of the camera. We all have our own insecurities about some aspect of our physical appearance, it is a good photographer who seeks to understand what these are and to minimise them, within the photographic portrait. With experience of making portraiture, photographers develop strategies and techniques for working with subjects and overcoming insecurities that we all have to produce images, we can all be happy with.

At the moment the images that I have in the various portfolios on this website are still works in progress, as we develop connections within the financial services industry and create new images, we will be updating these portfolios.

LinkedIn success

Today, I made 500+ on my LinkedIn Profile. In November, I attended a Social Media and Digital Marketing course at Goldsmiths college, University of London and one of the things that came out of that course was the importance of building your LinkedIn profile to be over 500 connections as it then meant that people did not see how many more you have. As once you get to this magic number LinkedIn only shows the number of connections as 500+ this is a great thing for using LinkedIn for marketing and locating contacts from professionals within our industry.

To see my LinkedIn profile go to: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/michaelwayneplant

 

 

LinkedIn for connecting with prospects

The power of LinkedIn

Do you use LinkedIn if not why not? is my question. Of all the social media platforms it is the one that most easily lets you connect with others in a professional capacity. There are also ways of downloading the contact details (namely email addresses) of all your LinkedIn contacts. See this video for how to do it by Ilise Benun.

I have realised that when I am searching for people to show my portfolio to, that LinkedIn is really helpful for finding out who has what job. As an example, I was looking for the art director for a Magazine, whereas once upon a time, I would have had to have brought the magazine, to find out about who it was I was looking for and often the magazines did not put this information in their masthead (most did). Now all I do is Google “who is the art Director at …” and invariably up comes a LinkedIn profile for the position that I am looking for. This makes it a great resource for finding potential leads. I am guessing that this will be helpful in finding the people I want to work with in the PR and Marketing agencies who will be my clients.

I have also been told that it is important to try to grow your network beyond the 500 number, because once you are at 501, it only shows that you have about 501+ connections. I like this, as with both Twitter and Facebook, it becomes a popularity contest. We do not need thousands of followers to make money, just a few dedicated customers each month. This is the case for most of us in business, we need who we need, to make our careers successful, and the rest help with our sense of vanity.