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Today, as we welcome the congregation to Gold Coast Graphic Design’s ‘Church of Logic’, let us ponder the self-evident answer to one of marketing’s most needless questions;

Should businesses contract an amateur or a professional photographer for their imagery? Let’s dig in!

The public’s perception of your brand is everything. Everyone has heard the old adage that ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression’. The lesser-known second half of that adage is ‘And if you’re lucky enough to win a repeat customer, try to at least show up with pants on’. Both of these wisdoms should be taken as metaphors for every aspect of your marketing - from brand identity through to marketing, photography, and their application in your web design and print design.

Put more simply - if you don’t take your own brand seriously enough to invest in it, how can anyone else be expected to?

We are now living in a new age, in which human attention spans have been reduced to less than that of a goldfish.

Studies have shown that a brand has just 3 seconds to reach potential customers - so now great copywriting is not even an option for many target markets.


Only an image can communicate effectively in 1 second flat.




Before // After - Johnny Francos at Murwillumbah



Before // After - Johnny Francos at Murwillumbah



Before // After - Johnny Francos at Murwillumbah




The mating-call of the thrifty optimist


You may say: “But I have a friend who has a fancy camera, seems to have a pretty good eye and is really passionate about maybe becoming a photographer”.

We may say: “Come in off the ledge and let’s talk about this before you slip and fall”.

A good professional photographer (such as our recommended photographer) will be used to working closely with graphic designers and will be able to anticipate a designer’s needs - whether by instruction, or just an ability to presume the kind of marketing collateral that the images will be applied to.

Take for instance Paul Williams’ below shot of bliss balls. There is plenty of ‘negative space’ (design speak for ‘breathing room’) for the designer to place text against, such as the client’s logo and a call-to-action (marketing speak for “Hey you - check this out then do this”)! A pro photographer will be sure to shoot multiple angles and compositions to ensure that you’re not restricted in the usefulness of your images.

By way of comparison, below is the amateur version for the very same product:



Before // After - Bliss Balls for GoodMix

Below are further examples of photography shot by a professional photographer and the very same product shot by an amateur photographer:



Before // After - Rockks Band




Top 6 take-aways:


1 - If you’re selling products online, eCommerce sellers achieve exponentially higher sales conversions by showing clear products that have been lit professionally - and from multiple angles.


2 - Clear images manage customer expectations, therefore drastically reducing the number of returned goods and dissatisfaction (and we all know that reviews make or break businesses)! A great case study is here.


3 - Brands now have just 3 seconds to connect with customers. Over 80% of people only read news headlines now. The importance of professionally-shot photography cannot be overstated.


4 - Photography shot with pro gear that has been professionally-lit and exposed properly IN-CAMERA (ie: not fixed in Photoshop), is more usable. It can be printed at larger sizes without noticeable degradation. Without getting deep into the technicals, iPhone shots look great on an iPhone screen - but beyond that, they’re largely useless to marketers.


5 - A pro photographer will be able to execute your graphic designer’s vision, ask the right questions of you and contribute valuable input to allow your brand to look the best that it can.


6 - And lastly, your friends and family won’t look at your marketing and say to you “That’s good” in an oddly high-pitched tone - a clear indication that it looks as cheap as it was. “That’s gooood” in a lower, vaguely grunty tone is what you’re after. And is precisely what we deliver at Gold Coast Graphic Design. ;-)





Before // After - GoodMix Recipe



Before // After - Green Drink Mix for GoodMix




Thankyou so very much for your wisdom and image comparisons Paul Williams from


We continue to be impressed by the professionalism of his work and the advice and eduction he gives to our clients. PLEASSSSEEEE give him a call if you are looking at photos to represent your business/brand/products/or you.


Pauls Bio

Paul Williams is a commercial photographer, based here on the Gold Coast since 2014. Before relocating here he established himself as one of the most sought-after Commercial Photographers in Dubai. His portfolio of clients included Rolls Royce, the Qatar and U.A.E. Governments, Samsung and DHL. The majority of work he is contracted for is commercial, for a wide range of companies and creative agencies. On assignment, his work has taken him from Egypt to Pakistan, Beijing to Bahrain. We are so lucky to have him here on the GC :)



Paul Williams - 0474 111 797




Before // After - Chris Bent Musician