No More Stock Photography with Jason Pang Gallery’s Angie Ho Pang
Lights. Camera. Action! That’s pretty much the world that Angie Ho Pang rules. Angie is the Director of Strategy & Marketing at Hong Kong’s Jason Pang Gallery, on a mission to get marketers, entrepreneurs, and business owners to use good stock photography to grow their business and she is here to share her story with us.. sit tight!
You probably are used to seeing the cliché business board meeting where everyone is giving a concerted high five. Or the odd elderly couple walking hand in hand on the beach. These images aren’t just boring. They’re the precise reason Angie wakes up every morning and works until past midnight. From both a marketing and a branding standpoint, Angie says these stock images achieve just the opposite of what entrepreneurs want.
What’s Wrong with Stock Photography?
Most entrepreneurs will typically reach for a distinct connection through their website, social media, or other means that tell the world they exist. It's impossible to achieve any measure of distinction by using the same stock photo as others in the same or a separate industry. It diminishes the ability of desirable prospects to connect with your business. They wonder who's really behind the product or service brand.
If you’re going to be using stock photography, you’re also going to be losing the authority and influence you might otherwise have earned. The reason is simple: you’re not showing up enough.
Personality matters when you're going a brand, and you're not yet on the level of big players like Apple, Disney, Pepsi, or Microsoft. As an independent brand, people want to connect to your back story first.
Photography and Brands
One of the first steps people take in starting a business is going social. So, they get a Facebook page going and ask friends and fellow entrepreneurs to hit the Like button. People want to support, but there’s a problem: each one of them gets several invites daily.
The invites are not bad news. In a bid to spur some engagement, these new business pages would have a few not-so-thoughtful posts along with a few stock images. These images hardly lead to relevant engagement [from those you expect to patronize you].
Realistic images of artists painting in front of a camera, or a musician repairing a guitar or strumming chords on one, are far more inspiring than some of the stock photos people opt to use online. Thankfully, a few brands are catching on to this, and it's a clever trend, according to Angie Ho.
Brands should aim for authenticity rather than ease when it comes to photos. Angie further recommends that a great strategy as businesses grow in size is to use their in-house teams for exciting photo concepts. You can show your team sweating it out behind the scenes. It may be a group or just one person in a unique pose or setting. This idea also works for videos, and you can extend to those. It all makes for a more lasting impression than stock photos or footage. These are just a few ideas; it's definitely good ground to explore your creativity. People actually expect such creativity online.
Getting Past the “I” Syndrome
Some people think they prefer stock photos because they want to take away every ounce of attention from them. They'd rather not come across as one bragging or showing off by using custom photos.
However, as much as no one likes people who come off as boastful, everyone enjoys people they can connect to. Angie urges clients to work around this by highlighting success stories or telling fun and interesting stories through these visuals. It's even more interesting if you feature a customer – unplanned. A photography business might feature a client they shot on a specific day.
There's more credibility with this strategy if the customer is an academy or school founder. They usually have events where they need plenty of photos. That's the perfect place to promote or share your brand. The key is to take off the limits of your creativity. Once you do that and promote something of meaningful virtue, you possibly can't be repelling clients as you'll be engaging them with this positive post instead.
Thriving Photo Entrepreneurship – The Jason Pang Gallery
The Jason Pang Gallery has interesting beginnings. Founders Jason and Angie have a minimal history as photographers. With a combined experience in the finance industry exceeding 35 years, both should have looked like fish out of water in the photography business. They thrived instead.
Their motivation began with following their passion for photography and videography by doing it full-time. Then, Angie and Jason felt like doing it on their own terms. And finally, they get a chance to partner with a charitable cause providing free photography and videography services. That's probably the more fulfilling part of the business for Angie and Jason.
Perhaps the best work for the Jason Pang Gallery is working with entrepreneurs and business owners. They’re always willing to offer sound advice concerning the visual part of their work. Being in Hong Kong enables the team to work with businesses from Australia, Europe, the US, and several other places around the world. These businesses are happy to see how custom photos can take them where stock photos struggle to. Every brand needs supportive photography for a better business model.
Angie Ho points out that while the gallery still does traditional commercial photography, their true passion is to help entrepreneurs talk to their audience in more effective ways.
Making Photography Work for Business
If businesses would do away with stock photos, it’s essential to ascertain who the audience is. Then, conversations around company values and goals can proceed. Those are the elements that need to shine through photography and is something absent from stock images.
On a website, the products page or sales page should feature photography that evokes the actions visitors should take. The Jason Pang Gallery Facebook page features some of these in action. The website also has visual fun stories with positive messages that any entrepreneur will enjoy.
If you’ll like to read more posts like this that inspire entrepreneurs, visit www.UpMyInfluence.com.
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