27 September 2016

BUSINESS - Taking & Marketing Great Photos of Animals

Nothing sells like a great photograph.

Photos show personality, evoke emotions and prompt action - like adoption or a purchase.

The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Professional  recently published a four part blog - Hit ‘Em With Your Best Shot: Taking Great Photos of Shelter Animals.

Their tips and tricks will not only help animal rescues and shelters, but can also be used by businesses who want to create photos to promote their products or services, and even by pet owners who are hoping for an amazing shot of their best friend.

Part One focuses on getting to know the animal before pulling out the camera.

Some pets are shy of people, some are shy of cameras and it’s important for them to be comfortable and relaxed.

Noises, toys and treats are all part of getting the pet’s attention, but they shouldn’t be used all at once.

Get technical in Part Two with tips about lighting, flash, background, composition and editing - don’t worry, even the most simple of cameras works wonders if the shooter knows about strong composition.

Dogs have more predictable responses to people, don’t mind a change in location and often know some basic obedience which is great for the photographer.

Cats? Not so much, which is why Part Three is all about taking photos of felines.

Patience is what working with cats is all about. Tips include the importance of forward ear positions, waiting for the perfect cat stretch, playing with toys and getting action shots.

After creating all these wonderful pictures, the next step is to post them and get lots of traffic to a website and/or social media page.

The tips in Part Four can “help get 'em from your homepage to their new home.”

Learn about what photos generate interest online, optimal sizing for different social media channels, which image works best for thumbnails and the type of information that should be included right on the photo. 

One relevant addition to the tips provided by the ASPCA: for some advertising campaigns, it's necessary to leave space in the photo for written information about the product or service. This is not usually the case when showcasing a pet for adoption.

Why are photos so important?

Hubspot’s blog post, 37 Visual Content Marketing Statistics You Should Know in 2016, touches on just how vital visuals are to any successful marketing campaign.

A few of their stats:
  • Researchers found that colored visuals increase people's willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.
  • When people hear information, they're 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.
  • Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.

People are influenced by visuals, adopters are moved by visuals, purchasers are motivated by visuals.

So get out that camera and start shooting - if you can't do it yourself recruit a volunteer or hire a pro - in today's digital world, it's worth it.

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