The Enduring Power of Professional Photography in a Video World: Why Small Businesses Still Need It

In this day and age of small business owners having great success posting authentic, raw and often un-polished content on TikTok, you could be forgiven for wondering ‘Why do businesses need professional photography?’

Well I’m here to explain that, while TikToks and Reels absolutely have their place, professional photography remains an invaluable tool to enhance your business’ perception, showcase your products and services and create a diverse and engaging content strategy – and if you’re making TikToks and Reels already, then it’ll all help to complement and drive your engagement too.

A photo of Katie, the photographer at Moments by Katie Mitchell Photography. She is sitting in her studio with photos of babies on wall art behind her.

Building a Strong Brand Identity and Consistency

Professional photography plays a vital role in establishing a cohesive visual feel to your brand by ensuring consistency across all your marketing materials, alongside – and complementary to – your logo, colours and the fonts that you use.

High quality photos will help to convey professionalism, trust, and attention to detail, as well as creating a positive first impression with your potential customers.

While TikTok videos and Reels can really resonate with your audience on a specific platform, it can be hard to build a long-term, memorable brand identity across various channels that way; professional photographs can help to tie all of your content in together and develop a strong brand identity.

A professional brand photo of a business coach in the Forest of Dean, leaning on her hand in front of a laptop and smiling at the camera.

Showcasing Products and Services in Their Best Light

For many product-based small businesses, product photography is the first and only visual interaction potential customers have with their offerings. Professional photographs can capture every detail, allowing customers to get a feel for the quality, texture, and functionality.

Imagine browsing an online store with blurry or poorly lit photos. Would you feel confident making a purchase? Professional photography will instil trust by providing a clear and accurate representation of your products, allowing your customers to make an informed decision.

The same goes with service providers. With no tangible product to offer, service providers rely more than ever on building trust with their audience. Think about it: would you be more inclined to spend £1000s with a business coach who had only generic selfies on their website, or someone who obviously invested in their business to give off a more polished and credible impression?

Have you ever heard of the Halo effect? It’s where our brains assume positive qualities such as competence, based on other positive qualities, such as having a professional appearance. Professional photographs convey a sense of investment, care and attention to detail, and thus can trigger the halo effect, making clients more likely to associate you with other positive attributes like being competent, reliable and trustworthy.

Presenting a polished business image through professional photos does more than just make you look good. It’s a reflection of your commitment to quality, attention to detail, and overall professionalism, and gives customers the message that they can expect the same when they come to experience your customer service.

A professional photograph of a business owner sitting at a desk doing something on their phone.

Content Versatility and Multi-Platform Use

One of the major advantages of professional photographs are their versatility. High-quality images can be readily adapted for various platforms and marketing materials. They can be used on your website, social media (including TikTok!), email marketing campaigns, printed brochures, and even presentations.

TikTok videos are more challenging to translate to different formats and channels – and of course they can’t be used offline. Professional photos give you a vault of readily available visuals you can use wherever you need them.

Enduring Value and Longevity

While trends on platforms like TikTok come and go, your photos will be relevant for a much longer period, meaning they offer a more sustainable return on investment.

Your professional photos can be used for months or even years, depending on your products and services (and how much you change in that time!). They require minimal upkeep compared to editing and having to adapt your videos to keep pace with ever-evolving trends.

A small business owner wrapping a gift and smiling at the camera through an open door.

Enhanced Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Optimising your website images with relevant keywords can significantly improve your search engine ranking. This is because search engines like Google will use image content to understand the context of your website.

Professional branding photographers worth their salt will understand SEO best practices and should be able to help you to optimise your images with relevant keywords, making your website more easily discoverable by potential customers who are searching for products and services like yours.

Appealing to a Wider Audience

While some customers may appreciate the raw, unfiltered aesthetic of TikTok videos, some others might perceive them as less professional.

Professional photography helps your business appeal to a broader audience who expects a certain level of visual polish. This is particularly important for businesses catering to audiences who value professionalism and trust.

Professional Photography vs TikTok Videos: It doesn’t have to be an either/or choice

It’s important to understand that professional photography and the videos you create on TikTok/Instagram do not have to be mutually exclusive. They can be powerful tools when used strategically and together.

Here are some ways to integrate both into your small business’ marketing:

  • Create “behind-the-scenes” TikTok content from the professional photoshoots you do. You can capture the process and include fun or interesting candid moments from the session to add a human touch and build stronger connections with your audience.

  • Use your professional photos across your website and social media platforms. These polished visuals can act as eye-catching anchors, drawing your viewers in and providing a foundation for your brand’s consistency, while your raw video content adds that extra layer of personality and insight into who you are.

  • Use your images to leverage video trends and create engaging collages or promotional videos to break up your other video content.

A photo over the shoulder of a woman focused on the phone she is recording a video on.

To finish…

Remember, with all of this, authenticity is key, but it doesn’t need to be at the expense of professionalism. Professional photography helps small businesses strike a perfect balance, providing a foundation for a strong and credible brand with the flexibility to adapt to a digital marketing world that is ever-evolving.

If you’re ready to take the leap with professional photography for your small business, or need a refresh of your current images, get in touch.



Fantastic experience! I took my family for a shoot with Katie & she was amazing from start to finish. My toddler was a terror and my daughter a diva but some how she worked her magic and we have beautiful digital photos, prints and a lovely big frame for the wall. We had a lovely viewing where we were able to select the photos we wanted, we couldn’t possibly chose from them so we bought them all! 🙂 She made us all feel very welcome and my children and even my husband enjoyed the experience. Highly recommend! I will be back for more photos as my family grow. Thank you Katie