Shooting Small


posted on 15th of march, 2007

The current Dreamstime assignment is to create images of the owners and customers of smaller businesses. Companies with less than 500 employees generate a sizeable percentage of world wide annual revenue. And they purchase more goods and services from large national and multinational firms than any sector except local and national governments.
Florist
Chips
Companies, both large and small, need images that speak to small business owners, entrepreneurs and their customers.
Dress Shop
How are these images used? Financial institutions, large office superstore chains and insurance firms want images for their websites that depict a variety of business needs. Business owners need images for their own flyers and web sites. Neighborhood retail stores and local construction services also need to reach the public with friendly faces as spokespeople.
Builder  Project Manager Tradesman
Agent showing flat location
Graphic designers create menus for family owned restaurants and web designers create sites for landscaping services.
Food Service
Gardener Illustration
Some of the types of companies that are served by the "mom and pops" are regional fitness centers and home based daycare facilities
Fitness center fit man smiling
Family
Some real estate companies are owned by nation-wide public corporations but local agencies are very strong in many markets as are the web based For Sale by Owner franchises. The residential new and resale home realty industry provides many shooting opportunities. The resulting images can be versatile "cross-over" images: they work for both promotion and editorial uses.
The news this week has been dominated by stories of pending doom in the US housing market. (Not a comfortable story for me as we have our house in Florida for sale so we can relocate back to Seattle).
Agent showing flat
Open house sign in front of a home
A possible pending disaster for me could benefit photographers as this news increases downloads of images about the real estate sector.
Car mechanic
Diverse architects - caucasian and asian
A comprehensive amount of data and stats about the U.S. small business community is available at http://www.bizstats.com. It's a good place to nose around for shooting ideas.
Couple in a shoes shop
Access to shoot in corporate owned stores and establishments could be difficult or cost high location fees. The further out you go from your circle of friends and family, the more difficult it becomes to get location permissions. Even those of you who are full time advertising photographers often call on acquaintances as models or use a friend's house or business as a location. (Although not now required by Dreamstime, it is always a good idea to get a property release for locations).
Master Tailor
Dry Cleaners
Dreamstime has a number of images of specific businesses but with no people in the picture. Sometimes this is what is needed but the real opportunity is in getting people (or parrots) in the pictures. There needs to be something or someone that can "speak" the message. (And this is key for the current assignment).
Blue & Gold Macaw
Female Healthcare Worker with Dog
Tips:
If you use employees with uniforms in a restaurant or gym, make certain that the logos are hidden or removed before submitting.
Stay away from wild colors and patterns in clothing if possible.
Avoid overly posed models.
Avoid trademarked items in the store or shop. For an image of a bartender, for example, shoot from the side rather than dead on to avoid showing all the labels on the bottles behind the bar.
Adjust make-up to the situation. It's expected that a woman salesperson in a dress shop will have make-up. A fitness instructor should be wearing very little.
Compose the image and position the models with the assumption that you are shooting an ad for a bank that wants to loan money to the business owner. Then try to shoot the image as if it was appearing in an article.
Comments (5)

Posted by Ellenboughn on March 24, 2007
Hi Ellen, you have alot of helpful info! As a new photographer to Dreamstime, I have ALOT of questions! Do you have any suggestions on what to say to a business owner when asking permission and getting them to sign a property release on let's say, ... for example, I have a good many photos of statues in a cemetary of Jesus and angels. I've uploaded a few for Easter and I am sure I will be told to get a property release but what do I say when requesting this? I am afraid they will refuse it in fear of having the photos posted in an offensive manner or they may not like the fact that I could earn money from the pictures. Have any good suggestions for asking this permission? Thanks for your help! I am really looking forward to having my pictures accepted here!
Business owners often need images for their own websites and will give you permission to shoot in exchange for usage of a few images.
As for cemetery statuary: most likely the owners of the cemetery don't have the right...(More)
Posted by Lisacarolsdreamshots on March 24, 2007
Hi Ellen, you have alot of helpful info! As a new photographer to Dreamstime, I have ALOT of questions! Do you have any suggestions on what to say to a business owner when asking permission and getting them to sign a property release on let's say, ... for example, I have a good many photos of statues in a cemetary of Jesus and angels. I've uploaded a few for Easter and I am sure I will be told to get a property release but what do I say when requesting this? I am afraid they will refuse it in fear of having the photos posted in an offensive manner or they may not like the fact that I could earn money from the pictures. Have any good suggestions for asking this permission? Thanks for your help! I am really looking forward to having my pictures accepted here!
Posted by Shootalot on March 15, 2007
Are cleaning ladies and house maids eligible for this assignemnt? My wife has a maid's uniform.
Posted by Richardhertz on March 15, 2007
I noticed you subtly included dry cleaning as a small business. The dry cleaning industry is dire need of new, creative, interesting images. Oh please guys, all kinds of dry cleaning shots.
Posted by Cathysbelleimage on March 15, 2007
Thanks for the tips, Ellen !



Comments (5)

This article has been read 7782 times. 8 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Andres Rodriguez, Caraman, Bobby Flowers, Gary Beet, Forca, Goce Risteski, Dennis Owusu-ansah, Jill Lang, Jolande Gerritsen, Lorelyn Medina, Pavel Losevsky, Photoeuphoria, Norman Pogson, Amy Walters, Robert Lerich, Showface, Franz Pfluegl, Toddmedia, Clipart Design.

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