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What impression are your photographs giving of you, your business or your team?

Neil Moore is a professional photographer who works in Swindon, Wiltshire and across the UK and also has his own small studio in Marlborough.

He particularly likes photographing gadgets, products, buildings and architecture, all things farming and boating and also has a passion for the Wiltshire landscape. He works with companies across the UK to provide them with high quality imagery. He has an extensive archive of his own stock shots which can also be purchased. For more information visit https://www.moore-photographics.com

Business owners increasingly understand the importance of strong visuals in their marketing. From photographs on social media, through to imagery on their website through to the image they’ve taken of their staff at that recent event.

With society becoming even more visually-focussed and more likely to read an article, or a post if it has an accompanying image – taking photographs has become something we can all do, every minute of every day.

Taking the wrong photographs or not considering the impact of an image – can actually be detrimental to a business or even an individual.

Clever companies realise their imagery needs to match their brand, ethics and product. A quick snap on a smartphone to showcase a £1,000 gadget doesn’t cut the mustard for potential buyers.

If they want to spend £1,000 they want to trust the gadget is worth that kind of spend and poor imagery can instantly turn them off. Those companies should always consider working with a professional photographer.

However a big brand celebrating an unpredictable ‘human’ moment like a birthday celebration in an office – or an unexpected thank you bouquet from a client – that’s the type of thing that can be done with a tablet or smartphone.

Even doing this requires a little thought – sharing a photograph of a ‘moment’ which is really dark, blurred or shows inappropriate background detail – can still have a negative effect on the impression a company is giving about themselves, their team, or their environment.

Little things can have a big impact on how a consumer feels about your company, service or product – and you may not even know it.

With that in mind I thought I’d share ten tips on how to make the best of those ‘moments’ in business or life.

1. As for all makes of cameras, make sure the lens is clean. A gentle wipe with your finger or cloth will be sufficient in most cases even with a smartphone.

2. All mobile devices are set to full automatic mode when you use them for the first time. This will normally give you great results as the factory settings will have been tailored specifically to your phone or tablet.

3. Take time to learn what you phone can and can't do – this can lead to better results in different environments. Adjusting the camera settings manually is where you can take more control over the type of photo you would like to take. Look at the next tips to understand what I mean.

4. White balance – a mobile device will automatically choose a colour range it thinks is best for the photo. I have found this can sometimes change the colour of the finished photo from what you can actually see. Unless you are happy with the auto result, quickly retake the photo using one of the standard manual settings such as cloudy, sunny, flourescent lights, or tungsten light bulb.

5. ISO settings - these are derived from the days when film was used in the camera. The simple rule is the lower the number (ISO 100) the sharper (less grainy) the image will be, however these will require more sunlight and a slower shutter speed. Experiment to see what ISO setting you think gives acceptable results.

6. Shutter speed - used to freeze the motion of the subject. Most people can't hold the phone stable enough for a sharp picture below 1/60th of a second (which is the standard speed used for flash photography). Any slower and you will need to rest the camera on a tripod or anything that won't move. You will have learnt from testing the ISO setting what your phone can and cannot do to get the best possible result.

7. Digital zoom - as a rule you will find using a digital zoom makes the finished photo look more pixilated, so I don't recommend it. However, older phones don't give you any option so use with caution. Some of the new phones come with lenses that zoom in the same way as an expensive camera does. These do not use digital cheats and can give a very usable result.

8. Framing the picture - you need to make sure you have composed and framed a picture properly. What you see on the screen of the phone is what you will get as a photograph, sounds obvious however this can have unexpected consequences eg. confidential information in the background, missing a person’s ear etc.

9. HDR - most phones have this set by default to brighten the shadows to better match the overall brightness and give a more even look to the photo. Turning this off can help you create very dramatic photos where you want to show the more dramatic contrast between darkness and brightness.

10. Don't forget you can usually improve most photographs using photo editing software either on your phone, on your PC or laptop.

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