The past couple of years have allowed for much more work to be handled remotely and in this digital age, a lot of things can be done worldwide from your laptop.
One of these amazing new things is virtual virtual photography for entrepreneurs as it allows them to get cost-effective branding photography from various locations, in their office and on the go AND having the same trusted photographer at their side. Or in their pocket.
If you want to see an example, here is a little testimonial for my of virtual photo session with behind the scenes peeks and resulting photos.
So what is virtual photography?
It’s when the subject and photographer are connected via the internet and can take photos regardless of their location in the world. The subject uses their phone, connects to an app and the photographer can control the phone camera via that app, download the images and edited remotely before sending the results back.
If you want to give this a go, book me as your virtual photographer!
What are the benefits of virtual photography?
In its essence: it’s flexibility and convenience.
As long as you have internet, the downloaded app and a good phone camera, you can bring your trusted photographer with you, have photos taken professionally and don’t even have to leave the house if you so choose.
Let’s dive more into the many benefits for entrepreneurs. Here are five key advantages to working with a virtual photographer:
If you ask me, good portrait photography feels utterly empowering. I used to feel so self-conscious about having my photo taken and my selfies never looked quite right. If you are on social media all the time on top of that, self-doubt easily creeps in.
But once I started taking more self-portraits, trying to capture different moods and facets of my personality, I started appreciating myself much more. Photography has become a form of self-care to me. And now I create a calendar of my favourite images every year.
Not to be vain, but to travel back in time to those shoots and feel that feeling of power, of sexiness or joy that was the focal point of the respective shoots. Plus, I look badass and that’s a great daily reminder of what I’m capable of, especially on low energy days.
2. Flexibility and Convenience
A pro of virtual photography is its core flexibility in terms of scheduling and location. Entrepreneurs can coordinate photo sessions at their convenience, without having to align with the availability of a photographer’s physical presence.
You can also operate in various time zones, change times zones between you scheduling and attending the date of the virtual photo shoot. As long as you show up, that’s all that matters.
This flexibility allows for greater convenience and ensures that photography fits seamlessly into their busy schedules or can even accommodate different photoshoots in different locations with ease and on a tight timeframe.
Virtual photo sessions eliminate the need for travel expenses, studio rentals, and other logistical costs associated with traditional photography. You don’t have to buy equipment nor does the photographer have to bring it to you, or you head to their studio.
Busy entrepreneurs can save money by connecting remotely with virtual photographers and receiving guidance during the video session without incurring additional expenses other than the photo session and editing process involved.
By utilizing virtual photography, entrepreneurs can save valuable time by avoiding the need to schedule in-person meetings or photo shoots.
They don’t have to commute or travel to studios either, cutting down the transfer time. Traffic jams can be entirely forgone if you stay in one place!
Photography clients can connect with photographers remotely, discuss their requirements, and receive real-time guidance, all from the comfort of their own location.
Before my own virtual photoshoots, I always have a video chat, which I call Creative Call. It’s to see what the wishes and ideas of my clients are, how to best realise them within the constraints of their location, the time of day, wardrobe and equipment.
Having a trusted professional by their side, we can work resourcefully that way.
5. Faster Updates
Already by itself, the process of virtual photography is quick. And this in turn allows for fast rebranding or simple brand image updates.
As entrepreneurs, we constantly reinvent ourselves and if you’re on the path of authenticity, self-actualisation and shadow work, then you know things change fast and real. And you become a slightly different person.
Why should that not reflect in how you appear online? It shouldn’t, otherwise there’s a disconnect to who you put in so much work to level up from.
Virtual photo sessions make it easier and more affordable to update visual content as needed. And even having seasonal updates to stay relevant and ahead of content schedules.
So yes, entrepreneurs can quickly connect with photographers to refresh their product images, showcase new offerings, or capture seasonal campaigns.
6. Global Accessibility
The most obvious advantage to virtual photography is that it’s limited in essence only by lack of internet access.
Entrepreneurs tend to have good and recent phones, which they use for their work anyway. And new models come with brilliant integrated camera and multiple lenses, too!
So in essence, virtual photographers can breakdown geographical barriers, increase their reach and continue working with their regular clients regardless of changes in location.
This also means that entrepreneurs can work with professional photographers located anywhere in the world, expanding their options and allowing them to find the best match for their specific needs, a particular style or even budget. And it offers the opportunities to access a broader range of skills and knowledge.
Plus, they can experiment with different creatives and styles. And experimentation in content is always wise to see if engagement can be improved by changing things up. If you don’t try, you never know. Not everything can be strategized in advance because you cannot 100% control the outcome. Otherwise, everyone would be viral.
This global accessibility opens up new possibilities and perspectives for their visual content, business branding and timely updates.
7. Location Independence
Digital nomads and solo travellers especially will appreciate virtual photography to allow for freedom of having your photos taken anywhere (where there’s internet).
It’s important to support local businesses and photographers as well and to get different styles and play around a little with visual language and fresh content.
But many times, you may be in locations that you cannot find a local photographer in your area, your schedules don’t align or the travel to one another might not be warranted.
There are online platforms, such as flytographer, but they come with a predetermined set of visual types of photography (it’s built-in in the photographer screening process), which doesn’t always allow for creative portrait photography and more experimental and fresh visuals that stand out from the group. And those are great marketing!
As an entrepreneur in the online space, regular content is key. And visuals are valuable content. However, churning out fresh new images on the regular is exhausting and evergreen content should be used in doses and not be the only strategy.
Especially if you are prone to changing your looks, your hair, your style, your wardrobe or are undergoing a rebrand, you HAVE to reflect that in your brand imagery as well.
It can be a confusing experience for prospective clients to jump on a video call with you after consuming your content, just to see that you look entirely different from today’s post.
It’s not very conducive to heart-based businesses to forego changing up your brand and your look to keep a consistent brand image through your evergreen imagery. We’re all changing. Don’t limit yourself!
9. Collaborative Experience
Through virtual photography, entrepreneurs can actively participate in the creative process.
It’s essentially co-creation as the client can choose how much or how little they want to show of the space. They have the physical power over the phone, can move it, put it on a tripod, change rooms, etc.
The photographer can direct, point out great spots, check for better lighting, poses, etc. In this way, both parties are actively participating and the client can also get direct access to what the photographer looks for.
It can be a very insightful learning experience that way.
The client learns more about photography, staging, posing, creative thinking, framing, etc.
The photographer learns more about their client and gets resourceful and creative about the limitations of having someone else steer the camera.
Both can communicate their vision, receive real-time feedback, and contribute to the image composition and styling decisions overall. The photographer then adds the final touches with professional photo editing and retouching where necessary.
This collaborative experience fosters a stronger connection between the entrepreneur and the photographer, resulting in photographs that align closely with the entrepreneur’s brand identity and marketing goals.
10. Continuous Support
If both parties have great rapport and ease with one another, they can continue working together.
This means, you can have your very own professional photographer travel with you.
You can book them on your travels for hands-free tourist selfies, solo travel pics or get insights into how to improve your travel photography.
You can set up your phone to take candid photos of you at an event, such as giving a workshop, speaking or attending a gala.
You can have office or home photos without anyone having to come over.
With virtual photography, entrepreneurs can establish ongoing relationships with photographers. They can schedule regular sessions to capture fresh content, ensuring a consistent flow of visual assets for their marketing campaigns and can grow their business more effectively together as they already know each other well.
11. Remote Team Collaboration
But not only can photographer and client built a lasting business collaboration. Virtual photography can facilitate collaboration among remote teams in other creative fields, such as wardrobe, hair and makeup, props, location rentals, event spaces, destinations, etc.
I personally come from a background of destination marketing and travel content creation, including travel photography and videography. And travelling to new places while also having your trusted creative conceptors or location scouts available to you remotely, is extremely liberating and convenient.
Further, this can also mean that entrepreneurs can involve their team members, designers, and marketing professionals in the virtual sessions, enabling efficient decision-making and ensuring everyone is aligned.
Especially with holistic branding and marketing, you don’t just want to have the photographer’s signature style everywhere, but co-create it seamlessly blends into your styling while utilising the expertise from your freelancers and creatives of choice.
And when you collaborate with multiple photographers simultaneously from across the globe, you not only get ever fresh input, which avoids ad fatigue. But you can produce more content and more often.
At the same time, by keeping trusted virtual photographers on board for the long-run, you ensure a consistent and cohesive brand image across various projects. They are already familiar with your brand and voice.
Plus, by not directly employing a photographer who is there with you in person at all times or an in-house photo person, you allow them to run their own business, get inspiration from outside sources, which they then also bring back in into future projects.
So in short, virtual photography allows entrepreneurs to easily scale their visual content production.
13. Risk-Free Experimentation
Since virtual photography can be rather affordable and with a fast turnaround, busy entrepreneurs can experiment with different visual styles and concepts without the financial risk typically associated with traditional photo shoots.
They can do more brand photoshoots for more content, which means they can also experiment in their content strategy and then adjust accordingly.
So many business owners suss out a social media strategy and religiously implement it or, at the other end, remain terribly inconsistent due to lack of continuous content. But social media trends are ever changing and you might never figure out what your audience might respond to better unless you try it.
Through multiple virtual photography sessions, you can test various ideas, visual prompts and stories to find what resonates best with your target audience, what converts and what gets engagement.
Don’t play it safe, be engaging, be contemporary, be creative!
14. Increased Efficiency
With your content and brand photography being more streamlined, enhanced and co-created, it drives overall efficiency as well.
You don’t have to overthink the process of content, it is mostly taken out of your hands. Just show up as the brand ambassador, take on what resonates and focus on your core business dealings.
In short, virtual photography allows you to streamline workflow by reducing the time and effort required for coordination, planning, and execution of traditional photo shoots.
Not only is having a virtual photographer more sustainable business-wise because you can have someone on retainer or easy call as needed regardless of your whereabouts and travel plans.
But neither of you having to travel solely for a shoot also reduces carbon emissions and environmental impact as well as physical resources associated with traditional photography.