Whether you like to admit or not, a poor marketing campaign and website often fail because of poor photography. It may be hard for web designers and developers to come to terms with but images can inspire, invigorate, intrigue, and communicate so much more and faster than words can. Face it, guys, it’s a visual world, more so every day.
Good images have to be attention grabbers. They must grab and hold on. They need to communicate a compelling brand and message. Images must tell a story about your institution. Most of the time, real life isn’t that interesting. Great images show reality how you wish it were.
When creating images for your website, just do not grab them where-ever you can. To create a better vision for you school and create a brand reality you need to scout, plan, set, and art direct the setting, the lighting, the subject, and the details to create attention-grabbing images to tell your brand story.
Here are our top tips for creating great campaign images:
* Always use “brand images” for publication covers, ads, web landing pages, and major section or page headers in important print/electronic materials.
* Brand images should reflect a consistent and differentiating style, tone, and treatment that conveys your brand position and personality. The brand images should be strategically developed through careful scouting of locations, planned shot sheets, wardrobe, and props, lighting, and painstakingly selective choice of subjects.
* Imagery has to tell the brand story visually. But more than that, it should set a mood and generate strong emotional response from the viewer – surprise, delight, unease, intrigue, insight, amazement, joy, amusement, whatever. Go for emotion!
* Never ask your subjects to do something they're not capable of. After all, they're not professional models! Your photographer will need exceptional communication skills to put subjects at ease and to "draw out" the personality of each subject.
* Primary brand images need to be backed up by “supporting images” that tell the rest of the story by displaying your campus, showing activities, capturing events, and so on. Solid, professional photojournalism techniques work for these support images.