Do you need to do a professional photoshoot each week? No. Plan a day and a list of photos and yes have a professional come in every so often but many photos can be done by someone on the team using a phone or up your game and have a good camera on hand in the building. Here are some more quick tips:

  • Lighting – do make sure that you have overhead and maybe support lighting to make sure you can see the person or product.
  • Background – Have a consistent background if possible. If you have a logo or really great wall, use that each time so your team photos are consistent.
  • Product – use a soft box or white poster board to help make the item really pop.
  • Have a quality camera but also don’t be afraid to take lots of photos with a phone camera.
  • Balance professional setup shots with raw in the field shots. Not every photo will need to be staged but there are times where you will want a staged or want spur of the moment photo.
  • Plan – know what people, teams, products, food, etc. you are going to shoot that day. Know where and when and how much time you have so you can make sure you use your shoot time properly.
  • Use them in your social media and like in E140 last week use them to support your marketing, Google My Business, Google Posts and Local SEO.
  • Use the photos and photoshoots to tell your story and answer questions that people may ask. Think about what questions people have and do you tell your story and answer those questions on your Facebook, Instagram, Google My Business, and website.
  • We also suggest you check out past shows around photography and images for your website and social media.

Product Photography

Have a professional but also have your own DLSR, point and shoot and phone camera ready to walk behind and get shots of various angles, behind the scenes or just different looks.

The goal is to get all the photos you may ever need at that time of the product and setup that you can.

LinkedIn & Headshot Photography

Focus on headshots from shoulders up. To see the Avalaunch branded background that is below head to the About Page.

Think about branding, consistency, being fun, or whatever you want but this is just another way for your team and business to leverage the photos in multiple ways.

Restaurant Photography

Not every week or special requires a photoshoot but when you do them make sure you supplement the pro photos with more raw ones from your own camera or phone camera.

The goal is to have a mix of user generated content, professional photos and more raw camera/phone camera images available for your website, social media and marketing at all times.

Internal & Business Photography

As we stated in the show, plan out your day, have people dress and give them notice/examples, mix in action shots with head shots with candid photos of teams and people working.

If you are a service business that does landscaping, flooring, handy services or anything along those lines make sure your in the field staff take before and after. Work permission to use photos into contracts and ask/get for permission to help create an endless supply of possible photos to use when you need them.

Photography Tips & Links

Full Transcript

Matt Siltala: [00:00:00] Hey guys, excited to have you on another one of these businesses, digital podcast. Uh, looking forward to chatting with you about this one, especially today. This is something that’s, uh, near and dear to my heart and right up my alley.

But before we get into all that, Hey, Dave, how’s it going?

Dave Rohrer: [00:00:25] It is going, sir, do you know, you know a bit about this? You know, a bit about this one? I am a complete amateur when it comes to photography stuff, but you are not.

Matt Siltala: [00:00:36] Well, um, and again, you know, Dave just, uh, Dave just shared it. But basically what we’re going to do today, guys, is just kinda go over a little bit of, uh, some tips with photography when it comes to business, uh, photo shoots business, uh, whether it’s, uh.

Professional headshots that you’re looking for, whether it’s, you know, the food shots, if you’re in the restaurant industry, [00:01:00] um, you know, whether it’s just re, just anything, anything and everything related to

Dave Rohrer: [00:01:06] products for your Google shopping, Amazon for your Instagram,

Matt Siltala: [00:01:12] all that stuff.

Dave Rohrer: [00:01:13] Yeah. All, all the photography stuff, all the stuff we just talked about recently with, you know, Mike.

And about, you know, your Google posts and the different stuff you should be doing on your Google local stuff.

Matt Siltala: [00:01:25] Well, I thought it was a good way to start this or tick this off as something that you had mentioned when we were chatting beforehand, how beneficial some of this could be too. And critical almost for some small business owners.

For example, there’s a, a group that I’ve been working with that my, uh, you know, the restaurant that my son, his first job, um. And I took a bunch of their pictures and I got a notification from Google the other day that, and again, I took them with a nice a DSLR and I, you know, specifically made, made a point to have the right lighting and to make them [00:02:00] look good and to set them up where they look good.

Um, but I didn’t do anything special other than that. I mean, I didn’t have a special photo shoot for it. I just brought the nice camera and I made sure I had some good lighting. I knew what I was looking for, uh, in the shot, and I posted them. And I got notification the other day that, Hey, this particular image is making a difference and it’s already got 5,000 views.

And you know what? This is the kind of stuff that is crucial for a small business owner, especially opening up a restaurant when, you know, people are searching, looking for information on them, looking, you know, trying to decide what they want for lunch, trying to decide, um, if something’s going to be a good, uh, you know, spot or not.

And they’re looking at these photos and that’s helping them make this decision. Um, in fact, this business owner had told me, she said, um, I can’t remember exactly how she put it, but basically someone had come in and showed him the picture and was like, I [00:03:00] want this. And so she was like, I know that your photo is, is making a difference because people are coming in and saying, you know.

This is what I want. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know what you’d call it, but this is what I want. And so again, you know, that’s the kind of stuff that’s going to help these, these businesses. Now, um, it’s not to say that when other people take photographs of your food when they’re there, um, that they’re not going to be beneficial or they’re not going to be helpful, or people aren’t gonna be able to research based on them.

Um, but it just goes to show you that the. The more quality ones, the ones that, uh, that we’re thinking about for the business, whether it be, you know, if we’re the, the business minded ones taking the photographs, we’re gonna care that that sandwich has put together nicely, we’re going to care that it’s not like got a bite out of it or two bites or half eaten.

And those are a lot of the pictures that you’ll get from just a normal people that are uploading that. And, uh, I can guarantee you that those kind of [00:04:00] pictures won’t get those kind of, uh. Searches or notifications like I got from Google. And so, um, it just reminds me also day of, of one that I got from, you know, one that I took, uh, from the lodge, uh, that I go to in Alaska every year.

And, uh, basically this photo has gotten viewed like over several hundred thousand times. And the owners have told me many times that. People come to them and say, I saw this particular image, and they know exactly which one does, but they’re like, I saw this one and I’m booking because of that particular one.

So those are just a couple of my opening thoughts. Uh, I don’t know if you had any opening, uh, or any other thoughts to add to that, Dave. Um, but, uh,

Dave Rohrer: [00:04:49] I think the, any business should balance professional. Photos and hiring someone every so often with, you know, you can use your iPhone or [00:05:00] your, you know, Google pixel or whatever it is, pixel, whatever.

Um, or you know, like a Samsung or, you know, just a normal phone. Um, I think there should be a balance. You don’t have to do a photo shoot every week with your specials, but I think there is a time and a place for like head shots. You know, if you have an agency or an internal team and you want to show that we’re a real company and that we have real people behind us, you know, just doing the half arsed kind of photo shoot where you just kind of walk around, no, have a professional come in, declare a day where you’re going to do photos and take them for everyone

Matt Siltala: [00:05:38] and set them up in front of your logo.

Uh, that’s in the background. And that’s one of the things like I’ve always done. And, uh. And I’ve always made a point with, um, you know, with avalanche and, and, uh, every one of those, uh, people that, that share everyone of the employees that share the image or share the picture or use it as a profile or whatever.

It’s good branding for us as well.

[00:06:00] Dave Rohrer: [00:06:00] Yes. From LinkedIn, you know, everyone will have it, um,  or if they use it on Twitter’s LinkedIn, you know, anywhere that’s a professional type of. Social network, and they use it. There’s your logo, there’s a good headshot, but then there’s also your logo. And it also makes it so that as people come and go and you keep hiring new people, there’s a consistent background that people can always use.

Matt Siltala: [00:06:26] Yeah. Well, absolutely. And so, um, there’s, again, there’s, there’s lots of different tricks and tips and whatnot. Um, as far as lighting goes. Um, again, if you don’t have any kind of special equipment, um, what I would probably recommend is getting in one of your rooms that has the lightest room, lots of windows, lots of natural light.

Um, but if, and again, you know, we’ve kind of addressed this whole issue with backgrounds, but there’s lots of different [00:07:00] types of backgrounds. Like for example, one of the things in one of our offices, we have what’s called the Yeti wall. It’s this massive wall. That’s basically a mural of a really cool, cool design type Yeti.

And so a lot of people want to get their pictures behind that. And, and that’s branding as well. People know that. They associate that with avalanche media as well. And so, um, you know, as far as backgrounds, like always pick something that can help you with branding. Lighting always makes sure that the lighting is right.

So you have, um. You know, so those photos look good. So you get that, that really good. Um, you know, just that, uh, the crispness and crisp miss, is that a word in their face. And, um, there’s lots of, you know, there is different, uh, if you do, um, have access to any kind of lighting gear, um, obviously setting up some sort of, of soft boxes, um, on the left and the [00:08:00] right, or if you just have one of them.

Make sure you have like a, you can even use something as simple as a, um, like a poster board that’s white, the for the, the, you know, the whatever side. You don’t have that soft box on and it can reflect the light and balance the shading and stuff like that. And so, um. Typically on something like that, you’re not going to need to do any kind of tripods.

You’d be able to set it up, you know, again, if your lighting’s good, you’d be able to just handheld it and get the exact kind of, uh, you know, zoom in how you want. Typically, again, for, um, headshots, you know, that are going to go on LinkedIn or you’re going to use professionally. Um, you don’t really need to do a whole lot of the body.

It’s typically just the head, maybe a little bit of the shoulders and chest, but, uh, typically that’s what it’s like. Now, again, if there’s other situations, like, um, you know, with, with us, with the Yeti wall, and we’ll give, you said, uh, I’ll give you some of these [00:09:00] examples that we’ll throw in the post, but, um, you know, it might be a little bit different, but.

Um, I dunno if there was any other specific questions that you, um, were thinking of Dave. Um, as far as regards with lighting, backgrounds, timing, uh, things like that. But, uh, if not, we can, we can move on to something

Dave Rohrer: [00:09:19] else. Well, I think dress professionally or dress how you do in the office, you know,

Matt Siltala: [00:09:23] make sure that everyone,

Dave Rohrer: [00:09:25] if you’re going to, you know, if you’re going to hire a photographer or a team to come in.

And I, I w I’ve worked at places before and agencies where, you know, sometimes it was, you know, ad hoc, like if you start and there’s a InBetween, once a quarter, they would have someone come in or once a year, depending on the turnover and your hiring rate, you know, you don’t always have everyone at the same time, but if you’re a big enough company and you can go and buy just a basic DSLR.

Have that spot. Like you guys have it at avalanche. Have it set up where someone starts. You know, first thing you do [00:10:00] is what? Even if you’re not big enough where you need quote unquote badges, or there’s something like that, maybe you just pretend you do. Like, all right, first day we’re going to do photo shoot.

You know, we assume most people on their first day kind of overdressed a little bit. Um, tell them you know what to come in wearing. And saying, Hey, we’re going to be doing, we don’t have badges, or we don’t have this, but we want to get your photo up there. We want to, you know, send it out to the team internally and blah, blah, blah.

And start from there. And then, you know, if you always have a spot, you always have a camera. Someone just busts it out, set it up. And it’s always like, you know, even frame it in and say, okay, we always have this and this. And then it’s a consistent. So you, when you look at the agency or you look at the, the website for the team.

Um, you know, everyone’s got a consistent background, consistent thing, and then they can update their, when they update their LinkedIn and you know, and say, Hey, I started a new job. It’s pretty cool so far. It’s only day one. Uh, they can update their photo too for free. And then again, like you said, [00:11:00] you can use the branding and stuff.

Matt Siltala: [00:11:02] And, you know what I was thinking while we were talking about all this, it doesn’t have to be too expensive, but I was thinking about, uh, you know, a photo shoot we did for products. You know, there’s a, there’s a company that I’m a part of, um. You know, beard oil and uh, surprise, surprise. And, um, we did a photo.

Yeah, we did a photo shoot for some new products that we had going on. And, and the only thing that, that, uh, makes our photos look professional. I mean, obviously we use good cameras, but we have taken ones with, uh, Google pixels as well. Um, but, um, you know, the DSLR, I just have access to cause I have it, but.

We have used just the phone camera before, like on the pixel, and it’s turned out phenomenal. Um, because we’re, we’re just dropping these products and putting them in a light box, and you could get a light box for fairly, um, you know, super cheap. Um. It was just like a little square box, depending on how big the products are that you’re offering.

But you could go and just [00:12:00] do a little search on Amazon. You can find them anywhere from, you know, 40 bucks all the way up to a couple of hundred bucks. I think the one that we use those like a couple hundred dollars, but um, it has lighting built in and it has zippers makes it easy really to. To, uh, surround it with nothing but light.

And you want to find those kinds that don’t have creases. And it makes everything, you know, like with, if you go and look at products and they have a really nice white background and you’re not seeing any kind of creases or anything, it’s because they’re using some sort of a, of a light box. And, uh, and then just keeping that, um, and this is where I would recommend using some kind of a tripod.

So all of your, um, distancing with your products and everything that you have and what you put on the website, it all looks. Um, consistent. So you, you know, no matter what they’re looking at, they’re looking at it about it from the same, um, advantage point, if you will, Dave.

Dave Rohrer: [00:12:54] Yeah, that works well. And also, you know, we keep saying DSLR, I think even if you have a [00:13:00] professional photo shoot going on where they’re coming and taking pictures of, you know, the tables or your new product that you’re launching or.

You know, you’re doing whatever it is, or you know, you’re on a, you’re on site. If you’re a contractor of some sort in your onsite, and you ask, you know, make it part of your permission. And say, Hey, when we’re done with the job, you know, there’s a little thing here. Are you okay with us taking photos and have the guys and gals that are out in the field take photos?

And sometimes they’ll come back and you know, maybe the photos aren’t going to be great, but then you’ll have a whole, you know, maybe you’re doing carpentry stuff. You know, if you do five projects a month of one type and five of another and five of another, maybe each month, one of those will turn out really great.

Matt Siltala: [00:13:47] Yeah.

Dave Rohrer: [00:13:48] Or it will be relevant to what you need. And now you have all this content that’s been taken over time.

Matt Siltala: [00:13:54] Well and, and I liked something that you said earlier too about, you know, it doesn’t always have to be the [00:14:00] counselor cause cause I was thinking, you know, like with the restaurants for example, and a lot of the stuff that I have them do with their social media, um, you know, you don’t need that high.

I mean, what are you going to have to do? What are you gonna do with a high resolution DSLR image anyway, Dave, you’re going to strip it down and make it work for web. And so, um, a lot of times just whatever you do with your phone, uh, is perfect for the stuff that you do as social. It’s more about like with Instagram for example, and building that following, getting people to follow it for the reason that it’s not, they’re not coming and following you because they want that high resolution perfectly can picture they’re coming to you cause they want information, they want to know.

What Dillon am I getting today or is that your special dessert for today or are you open? Are you out of like, I follow a little miss barbecue and I follow them because, you know, there’s times when I’m like, I want to venture out to Phoenix today, but I want to know that they’re going to be open and I want to know that when I’m looking.

You know, they do a very good job of letting people know when they’re out of brisket or they’re out of this or that. And so it helps people like us, you know, if we’re going to [00:15:00] make the venture to not have to waste time. And it’s like super helpful. And that’s the kind of stuff that we’re looking at. The photos are awesome and the photos benefit, but it’s almost like second nature with that kind of stuff.

Cause if that makes sense.

Dave Rohrer: [00:15:12] Yeah. And for them, they could easily create a car, get one good photo of brisket and then, you know, use some sort of Instagram app or Canva or any of those. And just create. W w only a couple of left hurry up so that they can drop it into their Instagram and Facebook stories whenever needed

Matt Siltala: [00:15:33] or we’re out of it.

Our pictures and episodes. What’s that perfect example of what we do with our pictures in their episode numbers?

Dave Rohrer: [00:15:41] Yeah. Yeah, and I have it basically tested like we use the one photo. It’s boiler plate. And I, we just, you know, keep swapping in the same thing, but then like to your point, if they run out of stuff, it’s like, Oh, well I’m going to go there.

Let me see if they still have it. Oh, they haven’t posted yet that they’re out of X, Y, Z. yeah, [00:16:00] let’s go.

Matt Siltala: [00:16:01] Exactly. And that’s the thing that I try to help all the small business owners that, that I, that I, well, yeah, just use that, use it, reuse it. And, and, uh. But figuring out the different, uh, you know, techniques or the different, like you were talking about with, with the wording and canvas or Canva makes it very easy to do stuff like that or whatever program that you’re using.


Dave Rohrer: [00:16:26] I use Canva and relay that. There you go. Most of my stuff are for my clients,

Matt Siltala: [00:16:32] and like we said, we’ll drop this on the writeup for everyone that’s listening, so,

Dave Rohrer: [00:16:36] and you can just use it when, and sometimes I’ve even just, you know. Sometimes when I Snapchat or rarely, sorry. Um, you know, you can create stuff in Instagram and then I save it.

And I’ve used that as opposed before too. And I’ve seen other people do it where they repost it themselves or they, they’ll screen capture their own Instagram post and then post it as a story. Yup. You know, it’s all about [00:17:00] reusing content. And I think the other thing that we haven’t mentioned, unless you did, and I missed it, or maybe I did, um, is plan out your day.

Matt Siltala: [00:17:08] We’ll find out your shit.

Dave Rohrer: [00:17:10] Yeah. Like if, you know, if you’re a restaurant or if you know, um, you’re some sort of seasonal business and you know, that, you know, coming up, it’s spring, people are gonna want yard work done. What kind of content would we need? Or do we have it already? Or if you have a new product launch, you know, I would think that you’re, you know, it’s gonna be for this orange or it’s gonna be for this target audience.

You know, for hikers or whatever, what kind of photo shoots, what kind of internal, external, you know, what, what do you need content wise? What do you need visually and plan it out?

Matt Siltala: [00:17:47] Well I’ve been thinking about like what we’ve done in the past, how, you know, we’ve talked about sessions that we know that we’re going to be speaking out together and so, you know, we’ll plan out, um, we’ll wear the same kind of themed shirt cause we know people are going to take pictures of it and [00:18:00] we know people are going to take pictures of us together.

And again, that’s content that we’re gonna put out there. On these different channels. It’s like we’ve used one image forever cause it’s so perfect that the both of us, but we create these other ones because there’s opportunities where we’ll use them again and again. But that’s something that we’ve found out in like, Hey, let’s, let’s do this.

What are you going to wear? What are you going to write? You know? And so there’s just all kinds of opportunities for stuff like that.

Dave Rohrer: [00:18:24] Yeah. And I’m just trying to think what else have we missed? Um, talked about LinkedIn profile photos. And you talked about lighting. Um, I think framing the shot, like I have some friends here in Chicago that are graphic designers and they work with a lot of restaurants and every so often there’ll be posting like behind the scenes photos of them taking, you know, like, like influencer type photo shoots.

And it’s kind of funny because they’re like, uh, she was like recent one was, she was standing on a chair over a table with, you know, the camera and stuff. [00:19:00] And that’s to do, you know, you need to plan it out, whether you go local and find a photographer, whether you know someone that is, you know, perhaps more professional photographer than me because you’re going to get what you pay for and you’re going to get bad experience, but it doesn’t, I don’t think you have to hire one, but you probably should at least for some things.


Matt Siltala: [00:19:19] absolutely.

Dave Rohrer: [00:19:20] Um, and I think if you do ever professional coming over and you’re taking photo and they’re coming over him or her or whoever it is. Also grab someone that has a good eye and ask them to take whatever the best camera or the camera phone you have and have them spend the day like following them and capturing additional photos.

So you get different angles and different quality and just different angle, you know, just different everything. So that that one photo shoot, that one day spent where your close your restaurant or you’ve got all these people spending time, make sure you create enough content that you can possibly use on or off for.

You know, the [00:20:00] next, I don’t know, month, six months, quarter year. Yeah. You know, and make the most out of it. And then, you know, as we talked about with Mike, you know, you can slowly drop those into your. Um, Google posts, which will then feed into your Gogo, you know, the images that show up for your, your restaurant or your local business, international business at different locations.

Matt Siltala: [00:20:23] And we’ve all been noticing how much more prevalent those are becoming. Like they’re just there. They’re becoming more and more of a search factor, especially with mobile going more and more. And so.

Dave Rohrer: [00:20:34] Yep.

Matt Siltala: [00:20:35] Well, awesome. I, you know, the only final thought that I had was just kind of. I’m piggybacking onto what you were talking about with just taking advantage of, of your different locations and stabbing as many pictures as possible.

I remember back to when we did our mattress photo-shoots. Okay. Um, we had multiple locations and, you know, just different Colac in rooms and, and we, we snapped as many [00:21:00] pictures as possible because we wanted every kind of a different scenario. And.

Dave Rohrer: [00:21:06] With people without people alone in a room staged. Not staged.


Matt Siltala: [00:21:12] exactly. And so in something like that, you know, and in those situations we did have, I mean, those were professional shoots you have to get. There’s nothing you could do about that, like in, in certain situations. And so if you’re in the industry or if you’re in a business that. That requires, you know, do that, but take, but like Dave said, take, you know, take advantage of it and make the most of it and snap as many pictures as possible.

And cause, you know, I know that for years we used the, those type of images. And, uh, it was, it was just a good thing. So those are, those are my final thoughts. Any final thoughts Dave?

Dave Rohrer: [00:21:44] Think about what questions you can answer visually. Like, is your location good for groups? If you’re a restaurant or a brewery or some sort of gathering place, um, use your photos to show the large seating or small seating.

Um, use it to tell [00:22:00] your story of, you know, your dog friendly, your kid friendly. Um, you know, it’s bring your own beer. Um, if you’re some sort of contractor, show that you have a wide variety of projects that you work on. Um, if it’s, you know, whatever your businesses think about what questions people ask and think about, do the photos on the website, do our photos on our Facebook, on our Instagram, on each channel.

Do we tell that story? Do we answer those questions? Um, cause a lot of times I’ll be like, well, I don’t know if there’s anywhere that I can work cause I like to work remotely, you know, I know I can go to Starbucks, but I don’t drink coffee. Um, so there might be other restaurants and I don’t know if it’s new to me.

And it’s in a different town. If I’m traveling, I don’t know if there’s a spot where I can sit out of the way, not impact other people, or maybe if I have a group, you know, like many years ago, we were in, um, Hawaii, and suddenly we realized that there was going to be about 30 or 40 of us for dinner on Valentine’s day.

I was at Valentine’s day or mother’s [00:23:00] day. Yeah. And all of a sudden I realized that I wasn’t speaking then. And you were, and all of a sudden I realized that there was going to be 30 or 40 of us. So I started looking online and I couldn’t figure out who was going to be able to take on a group of probably 30 to 40 people.

And so then I started wandering around based on the photos and talking to people and managers. But I use the photos and what I found on Yelp and what I found on their websites to help guide me to answer my question. So that’s my biggest thing is plan. Take more photos than you ever could dream of. It’s easy to just delete them.

This isn’t film, it’s digital. Um, and try to tell the story and answer questions.

Matt Siltala: [00:23:39] Beautiful. Alright, well you guys, I appreciate you sticking with us and listening through this one. Um, as always, if there’s any questions that you have, feel free to reach out to us. A small reminder, go and give us a rating on iTunes.

We love the five stars. If a, this happens to be. What are those five-star [00:24:00] listening podcasts for you? Four or five. Let us

Dave Rohrer: [00:24:04] know why.

Matt Siltala: [00:24:05] And uh, you know, yeah. So Phil, Phil, that’s good for us. And so, yeah, no dog barking today, but for Dave Rourke with Northside metrics, I met, sold to Louis avalanche media, and we appreciate you guys joining us and we’ll catch you on the next one.

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