It’s not commonly known, but great photography can boost your response.
Here’s a question I hear all the time in my seminars and bootcamps: What exactly is great direct response photography?
The answer is simple: Great direct response photographs are pictures that enhance and complement your copy without distracting. Remember, the heart of any advertising and marketing is effective, driving copy. Your photographs should be a key supporter of that copy.
But don’t think of your photographs and graphics as just decorations. They should guide your prospects’ eyes through the piece, framing and highlighting your main sales points.
And the right photographs bring a sense of realism to your piece. This realism instantly increases your credibility.
The difference between a good photograph and a bad photograph could be 5%, 10%, or even 20% of your response rate. If your photos are fuzzy, washed out, cheap or phony, you could be killing what would otherwise be effective copy.
Just look at the picture I created for my client Health Alert. It’s a “newsalog” (see video brief on newsalogs here) with a powerful photo that reinforces the copy.
Health Alert newsalog
Here are 6 essential keys to great direct response photography:
1. A good picture should be sharply focused on your subject. Stylized shots are best saved for your art collection. The same goes for fuzzy and out-of-focus shots. You want a clear photo that supports your copy, not draws away from it.

Clear pictures won’t distract


Fuzzy or stylized photos will call too much attention

2. A good picture should have a central point that emphasizes the subject. Your photograph is meant to guide copy, not distract. Busy images with multiple subjects will draw the eye away from sales copy too much.

A central image is often the best choice

3. A good picture shouldn’t distract the prospect from the copy. The picture should only be dramatic if it serves the purpose of the piece. An eye-grabbing picture will be wrong for most pieces. An exception to this rule might be a fund-raising campaign where you may want to use images to stir emotion.

This image will draw your prospect away from copy

4. Closeups are better than wide shots. Closer shots are warmer and help establish trust and connection.
Far Away

Distant shots are colder


Closeups improve credibility

5. Every picture should tell a story that complements your copy. Great direct response photography will assist your sales pitch and add flavor to the copy.
Locked Out

Locked out: A picture tells a story

6. Don’t forget captions. Every photo should have a caption. Captions aren’t just descriptions of the picture. They can be another opportunity to make your sales pitch. They need direct response copy. Remember captions are the most-read copy.
They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. Used correctly, your direct response photographs can be worth $100,000… or more.
Need help to improve your campaign? Call me at (310) 2121-5727 or email me at