Name: Tania Salitra
What brought you to photography as a career?
Photography has always been a passion and so it was a natural progression from the another creative field - Fashion. I decided that I wanted to learn as much as I could about photography and so undertook the Diploma Of Photography at Ultimo SIT
What do you like most about your work?
Not only do I photograph but also style the shots, so the challenges and the creativity that entails/come into play are very exciting for me. The variety is great – no two days are the same – photography has given me some great experiences but also being able to help people achieve what they want and need for their business is a real kick for me. The look on clients' faces and feedback I get is a really wonderful feeling that I have given them something that they can use to show their product or themselves beautifully and better than they had imagined it. Being able to meet and then exceed my clients expectations is very important.
Is there a typical kind of person or business with whom you work?
Not really. My clients vary as the need for good photography to market business, whether it is a product or service, is so essential it is wide reaching. I do love working with small business and sole traders, no typical customer as such but similar situations - they all need great images to help sell their products and services.
What role does photography play in promoting a business effectively? What about service businesses – can they use photographs to good effect too?
Photography allows a person to see straight up, exactly what they are getting or who they are engaging with. When it comes to service providers, potential customers are interested in seeing who you are - Is the person genuine? Are they going to be someone I can relate to? Will they understand me? are all questions that can first up be answered with an image of the person.
So for head shots, it is important the photographer understands what it is that the person needs to convey – trust, reliability, confidence, care – all can be shown far better with one image than any words.
For products, including restaurants, customers want to know, Is the product what I want it to be or was thinking it was? What can I expect it to look like? What will I be getting? Will it suit me? Am I going to like this? Great images help push the decision making process along and encourage your potential clients to take the next step/convert.
Are there common problems you see in how businesses sometimes use images?
The two biggest and most obvious problems are using stock or the DIY images. To me, the use of stock images makes a customer wonder what your business actually looks like – and why you don’t want to show it for what it really is. Yes, it can be an easy and cheap quick fix to needing images on your marketing material, but it is a compromise on quality and a compromise that your customers will see before you get a chance to interact with them.
I often hear customers say ‘I’ve got a great camera’ however, if you don’t know how to use it properly, what lighting works best, what background to use, how to make the person being photographed feel comfortable, and everything else that goes into making great images, then it just doesn’t matter how good the camera is. DIY photos of products, staff and premises just look cheap and nasty, it detracts from the professionalism and polished service or product you want to provide. It looks like a business ran out of budget or aren’t that fussed about how their customers perceive them, not to mention how the staff must feel with mug-shot style photos.
If selling a product, then crisp clear images of that product and brand imaging are essential - it is a chance to make a customer want to buy - make it work.
What would you suggest business look for when showcasing their products?
Make sure you have a clear understanding of what your product is and how you want it represented, who your target market is, is also very important as you need to communicate on their level.
Be true to who you are and your brand – don’t try to be like everyone else. Don’t be afraid to do something different, that way you will be guaranteed of standing out from the crowd.
Businesses are often looking to scrimp and not spend money when they don’t have to – does it cost a lot for professional product photography?
Considering what goes into the photography session, and the benefits a business will gain, no it doesn’t. Marketing is always the first to suffer when times are tight, but that is when it is most important and you need to ramp it up. Great images are an integral part of a successful marketing strategy.
Great photos display really well online. What are some other places besides a website where your clients have been able to use photographs with good results?
Business cards – this is a great place for images – not only does it make the card more interesting and so makes people actually read it before putting it away, but it also immediately connects the person with what you do rather than just words.
Flyers, brochures, blogs, any form of advertising, avatars for social media such as Twitter and FB, wall art for offices and public spaces – the list for how you can make your images work is endless.
Do you have any tips for businesses looking to hire a photographer for product images?
Of course, first step is to check out their website/portfolio, see if you appreciate their style, then meet with them to see if they ‘get you and your product’ and they are a person you would like working with. Make sure they are listening to what you are saying and what you want first, then they can offer suggestions to build on this or offer advice if they think it could be done better.
Like any creative service – your photographer needs to ‘get’ you and your business to best be able to capture it.
What location do you service?
Hunter Valley, Newcastle, Central Coast, Sydney… Australia wide, Worldwide.. I am very lucky to love what I do and am happy to travel pretty much anywhere I am needed.
How can people reach you if they would like to discuss photographs for their products?
I would love to speak with you about how I can help your business and your image needs.
You can call me on 0409 249 609 or email me: tania at luxephotography.com.au
You can find Tania’s work displayed at: