VIBE the mysterious subconscious feeling that you get from really great photography
Do you use STOCK photographs? Read-on and I will challenge your thinking!

Excellent ‘copy’ can create a vibe; but that’s only if there is time to read it.  Nielsen research established that on average only 20% of words on a webpage are read; but on the other hand images grab your attention and work … very fast, without having to read a word.  ( in fact our brain processes visuals 60000 x faster than text)

If you’re willing to read more than 20% of this page, I’ll show you some convincing evidence for creating more effective photography.

Would you like to improve your memory?  Most memory techniques use picture association. That’s because our brain is wired to prioritize sight,  so we will remember what someone looks like but are less likely to remember what they said. Great photography creates that important 1st impression and forms a subconscious link to your product.

Not convinced. What’s your dream car? Is it a BMW, which has a great product image synonymous with high quality( and always with amazing photography) The odd thing is, I did a Google search, found published statistics from ‘’ and they placed BMW 10th from worst out of the main 38 manufacturers. Wow!  BMW has a successful marketing image somewhat out of sync with what owners actually experience;  that’s because it’s all about perception – so if it looks high quality…  we expect it will be high quality and in our mind the impression is established.

Your customers will do their best to rationalize their purchase decisions; quality, functionality, reliability and price; but at the end of the day, ‘Gut feeling’ is what they run with. Research[Marcus 2002] shows “emotional reaction to stimulus resounds more loudly in our brain than our rational response”, so if your images have impact they will deliver results. Most importantly everyone responds to the real-ness of a photograph.

What’s the story with STOCK photographs; those stereotyped, feel-good pictures from the international photo stock agencies… hmm, well that’s the problem- there is no real story, no actual link with your product or service.

So why is stock used so much? The big Stock agencies sell hard and it’s quick, cheap and easy.

But frankly, if your product or service does not appear in your promotional material you will have lost the trust of the customer and missed out on an effective connection. If we are to believe that an association can actually be formed between a product and a stock image, then the smartest move a competitor could make is to use the very same image in their own marketing (did you know they usually can! )

It is all about authenticity. Images which contain your product connect and resonate.

Then, of course there’s that obvious ‘stock look’ which makes your marketing material look just the same as everyone else’s; (enough said)

If you’re a New Zealand company producing a great product, then that’s a real achievement -but it’s also important that your marketing material gives the impression that it’s great.

I’ve been around a while. I’m not into arty stuff for the sake of it. I really want New Zealand businesses to grow and look damn good in the process. Check out my portfolio pages; the images speak for themselves.

Note to creatives:

I like to feel that I am a partner in the creative process, not just a supplier. The greatest images happen when Art director, Marketing manager and photographer collaborate and we achieve a level of excellence unattainable any other way.  Are you an Art director/designer that is new to directing photography?  maybe you’re a bit unsure about how to get what you need from a photographer? Just give me a call. We’ll chat about the process of working together; helpful starting points like a visual or example images and what we are likely to discuss as the image is created. You will get the satisfaction of creating original class leading work and your client wins with an image uniquely their own. So why put yourself through hours of searching for a half decent stock shot ?