Spending £400 on pictures could be your best investment of 2023

George Oliver

Jul 8


min read

Think about what influences you to read a piece of content. About what stops you scrolling through your LinkedIn timeline.

Is it that you admire the author as a thought leader?

Or a strong hook on the headline pulls you in?

Or is it that it has an eye-catching picture alongside it?

One of the first things that 1284 encourages new clients to do is invest in a fresh portfolio of professional pictures.

We suggest a mix of portraits and informal shots that capture the essence of what your business does and what you want to be known for.

We are fortunate to have a number of high quality image professionals to call upon. 

Many of them are former news or features photographers, trained to work fast and get the best out of people from all backgrounds in all situations. Take a look at the work of our colleagues Beth and Will.

They produce brilliant results. But why should you invest for your business?

The initial connection

Research shows that people rarely read online - they’re far more likely to scan than read word for word. This hasn’t changed in 23 years of study.

For example, look at the Backpacker example here. The reader starts at the page name, goes through the picture, then reads the headline.

It’s not just digital. It’s why newspaper front pages are designed with an anchor image - how often is the splash headline considered before the reader views the upright alongside it?

The Times' poster front marking the death of Elizabeth II

It's why newspapers use poster fronts. If there's news of magnitude with a strong image, they will clear the front page for the picture to tell the story.

If it's particularly significant (think also the Coronation this year), and they have a strong landscape shot, editors will wrap the picture round to the back page too.

This translates to business. In an environment built on connecting and engagement, the visual power of strong marketing images cannot be overstated. 

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Enhancing credibility

High-quality images serve as a tacit endorsement of your product or service quality. 

They reflect your commitment to excellence and detail - thereby enhancing your brand's reputation and credibility. 

You are unlikely to know how clients respond to weak pictures. Therefore, consider when you yourself have seen a grainy cameraphone image used on a business website. What was your feeling?

A professional image should capture and communicate the story of your brand, creating an immediate emotional connection with your audience that words alone might fail to achieve.

Gaining attention

Ours is a visually-driven world where consumers process visual information 40% faster than text. Its also a fast-moving world where the click, Like, or call is often instinctive.

High-quality images captivate attention, encouraging users to engage with your content. 

Increased engagement not only boosts your conversion rates but also reduces bounce rate, contributing to higher website traffic, and the opportunity for call-to-action traffic.

George Oliver and Amy Orton at Leicester Innovation Hub (Picture: Beth Walsh Photography)

Optimising SEO

There is a further potential advantage in supporting the optimisation of digital platforms.

Websites with relevant, high-quality images - with strong captions and metadata - contribute as indicators of a site's quality. 

This could improve your website's visibility, attracting more organic traffic among your keyword audience.

Impactful social media

In the realm of social media, where visual content dominates, high-quality images are a must.

Consider, for example, how much time is spent preparing thumbnails for viral video on YouTube.

Pictures have the power to make your posts stand out in crowded feeds, boosting your social media engagement rates and expanding your reach.

There’s an awful lot of noise - what tends to cut through is the quality, the considered, or the authentic.


Investing in high-quality images is fundamentally an aesthetic choice.

But 1284 would suggest it also represents a sound business communication decision.

For around £300-400, a business can gain a half-day of a photographer’s time. 

A professional will use that to visually capture the essence of who you are and what you do.

What’s more, a good photographer will then provide you with a portfolio of 40-50 strong images.

As a content creator (working in digital or print marketing) this is going to be an invaluable resource as you tell the story of your brand over the following weeks and months.

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