A photographer’s view on connecting with customers

The headline is a bit broad, but I’ll clarify it a little;

“How to engage with your customers through photos” might be a better title

To sum it up, I think people, expression, emotion and connection are the best way to create engaging photos and content. Even if its a dog with an expression, or the connection between a person and a watch or a car. Showing these within your business' content is key.

It might take some explaining but by the end of this hopefully short post you’ll get what I mean.

This isn’t a sales pitch but instead I want to share some of the things I’ve found to be true throughout my time photographing businesses, sports teams, cars, people and even dogs. There’s a fair chance you’ll already know or understand what I’m going to say but I’ll say it anyway, because I think it’s so true and hopefully it’ll click for someone who doesn’t.

Businesses often spend too much time selling

This one might sound weird given that’s how people make money and that’s why most people are in business. It’s fine to a point, but that’s not what people want to read or see. Who wants to spend 5 minutes or 5 seconds reading about why they should buy the latest product or service? Granted I do sometimes if its tech related and I love getting into the specs, but most people won’t, most of the time.

On top of that, I’d guess it’s not the real reason you’re still in business. If you’re running a company now and you’re going strong, you’re probably helping people save time, save money or creating something meaningful for people, not selling them as much stuff as you can.

Your content needs to reflect that mindset

If I asked you what do you do? You’d might respond with “I cut hair” or “I print things” or “I’m an accountant” and those are all fair answers. They are what you actually physically do. What you really do for people isn’t sell them haircuts or prints or accounting, they come to you for a reason a level deeper.

You might have a great connection with your hairdresser and their chats and the way they make you feel, or to connect with that photograph of your family that you want printed on your wall, or to make sure your business is running well so you can keep doing what you like in the business, not stressing over your tax returns being correct.

What’s engaging in photos then?

For me, I’d say I’m a photographer. I love photography, but I’m impartial to the actual taking of photos. What I really like doing is capturing people’s emotions and passions and connections between people, pets or even objects like watches or cars.

If I was running a hairdressers as an example, I’d be focusing on the connection between a barber and his customers instead of just someone getting their hair cut.

We as people like seeing connection and are way more drawn to it than someone cutting hair for example. Getting photos of both the customer and barber laughing or talking or with some serious facial expression is going to be far more engaging than anything else you could do I think.

It’s also going to make people think “Do I want to experience that?”.

If its a photo of laughter they’re going to think back to a time they felt happy or laughed and they’re going to relate that to the image and associate that with your brand or logo or in this case the hair salon.

Emotion is engaging, often way more so than product photos. Whatever business you’re in, there’s going to be some interaction between people in your business and your customers, or at the very least customers and your products.

Capturing that in photos is a way better move than showing off your product alone. A mix of both is best, but its way harder to capture that emotion than a stationary product.

The gallery at the top has just a few photos I’ve taken that show emotion in both people, pets and connections of people and other people or their passions.

Cheers for reading this far,

Samuel W Lacey
sko Media & Photographer