Jim Gallagher communicates excellence—professionally.
“Sure, I could go out and do everything myself. I could create my own website, put a couple of Polaroids on there and say ‘look at me.’ But how am I going to grow my business that way?” says Jim Gallagher, president of Partytime Productions Inc. in Addison, Ill. Gallagher started the now hugely successful, high-end tent and event rental business in 1985 when he was a young college student. Its success is due at least in part to his belief that a company needs to let potential clients know the quality of its work through quality photographs and a quality website.
Gallagher hires freelance photographers to capture the projects that the company provides services for. “As soon as I was able to afford to hire [a professional photographer] that’s what I did,” he says. Now, the company has four or five freelance photographers that it uses. “We’ve pre-interviewed them,” Gallagher says. “They know the angles we’re looking for. They know we’re looking for the interior of the tent and not close-ups of the champagne flutes and china.” Essentially, Gallagher is looking to capture in photographs as much of the work that the company has produced as possible.
Once the work is captured by the camera, Gallagher puts the images to good use by creating upscale print portfolios for the company’s sales team to use with clients. The company also had what Gallagher calls an “over-the-top” brochure created. And though it’s now four years old, the brochure is still relevant. “It has a great shelf life because we’re still using it and it looks like we just did it,” he says.
The company also puts the pictures on its website, and once again, Gallagher invests in the success of the company by hiring a professional to design the website. “Over time, I’ve learned what a workhorse the website is for us,” he says. “We get a lot of hits from it and over the last few years, the quality of the hits has improved significantly.”
Having those quality visuals—whether they are in the sales portfolios, on the website or in the brochure—helps communicate excellence and possibilities to the clients.