Small Business Photography: Level up Your Content

Photography is one area that is often overlooked by small business owners. Unless it is an area of expertise or a personal hobby, most people don’t have access to the latest DSLR or mirrorless camera technology. However, there are plenty of budget friendly options available to assist you in creating unique content that will make your business stand out. Continue reading to learn about some of these options, as well as some tips and tricks to level up your photography game.

Plan Ahead

On the technical side of things, photography requires the manipulation of a multitude of factors. Something as simple as proper lighting and a background that compliments your subject will bring that extra bit of pizazz to your work. But how can you ensure that all of these elements are in order?


When it comes to lighting, the general rule of thumb is to avoid any harsh light behind the subject. If the light is too harsh, a simple diffuser such as this one will provide some softer tones. Because photography is a very creative art form, you will find that it takes time to develop your own style. The mood you set with lighting is certainly a contributor to that style.


For photo background, you usually want to keep it simple. Avoid making the mistake of having too much going on outside of your subject. Use selective focus to draw attention to what you as the photographer want the viewer to be drawn towards. As a rule of thumb, darker backgrounds are complimented by harsher lighting. This is particularly applicable if you are doing product photography and can create a perfect environment where your subject is inanimate.

Product/People Involved

Does your website need new headshots? Are you preparing to photograph a business event or meeting? No matter what the case might be, make sure the people involved know they will be photographed. Proper planning for your photoshoots will ensure everyone is looking their best. When the participants are comfortable and confident, the photos always turn out that much better.

Find Inspiration

Over 3 billion images are shared online everyday. So, finding inspiration for your own photography should come easy with proper research. To find these images, consider doing some Google searches, browsing Pinterest, or even conducting a bit of focused analysis of your competition.

Look at your competitors

Have you ever looked at a social media account or website with photos so crisp they look realistic? Personally, I have bought clothes from a retailer simply because the model made the piece look astounding. Leave your ego at the door and observe what some of the industry leaders are doing when it comes to photography. While

I am not suggesting you explicitly copy their strategy, lessons can be learned and possibly incorporated into your own creative process.

Photography Equipment

Now, you might be thinking – this is all great advice, but I don’t have the right equipment to make it worth my time. That’s where you’re wrong. Smartphone camera technology has come such a long way over the past couple of years. Even the iPhone X, which was released in 2017, will take some excellent photos with its 12-megapixel wide-angle camera. Additionally, it can also shoot 4k video.

Camera Phone

In 2022, everyone is a photographer. Smartphone cameras these days are capable of capturing some seriously high quality footage. Hold off on purchasing that new camera. I would suggest that you first ask whether or not your cellular device is due for an upgrade. Notable camera phones include: the iPhone 13 Pro Max, Google Pixel 6 Pro, and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Entry Level Cameras

While camera phones are great, nothing beats the flexibility of a digital single-lens reflex DSLR or mirrorless camera. If money isn’t an issue, consider making this investment. With something like the Sony a6000, your photographs will save as RAW files and can be manipulated much easier in post processing. The Nikon D5600, the Olympus OM-D E-M10, and the Canon EOS M50 are some other cameras worth mentioning.

Photography Editing

This can be an excellent opportunity to correct some mistakes that may have been made during your initial photoshoot. Using programs such as GIMP or Lightroom, adjust simple settings such as brightness, contrast, and crop the image appropriately. Avoid overcorrecting the image and making it look artificial and fake. Also, always keep an original file available…just in case!


Written by Zachary Balla, Pennsylvania SBDC Lead Office Marketing Team

Zachary Balla is a graduate assistant at the PA SBDC and current MBA student at Kutztown University. He is from Exeter, Pennsylvania and enjoys reading and playing the piano in his free time.