Before we can define brand photography, we have to understand what branding is - whether that be personal branding, professional branding, or business branding. One of the definitions I like to use in my guest speaking that will help us lay the foundation is:
“Branding is the ongoing process of creating, establishing and communicating
a clear statement of image of who you (or your business) are to others.”
One of the ways that we can communicate a clear (and consistent) statement of image is through photography. Brand photography is professional photography that authentically represents the person or business it captures.
As with most things in life and business, custom and quality practices or items require effort, creativity, and financial investment. Brand photography is no different. My business and my clients’ businesses are proof of the value that brand photography can bring to your career and business. Besides financial gain and increased business, brand photography can be very valuable.
VALUE OF BRAND PHOTOGRAPHY
(the real ROI)
CONNECTION is the key to gaining and KEEPING customers. Words can communicate but a picture can capture attention, create connection, and evoke emotion. Let’s not fill our websites, print materials, digital ads, and social media with words or stock photography. People connect with people and know when your photos are from stock photography. So let’s incorporate branded photography that represents your people, business, and brand.
CONSISTENCY is important in ALL areas of business. So why does photography not get the same respect and attention? We ensure consistency in customer service, processes, accounting, production, communications, etc. because we want a reputation of competency and we want to make the job seamless for our employees and customers. The same applies for branded photography. Branded photography creates consistency for your marketing, communications, advertising, sales, and design departments. Brand photography builds consistent brand awareness which supports the stickiness effect - sticks in people’s minds. And don’t you want your brand to be STUCK on their minds?!
You may be thinking “If I spend money on brand photography …
WHERE & HOW CAN I USE IT?”
If you are going to spend time finding a photographer (consider us!), preparing for a photo shoot, and paying the costs involved, you need to be able to use the photos in multiple places for multiple reasons to support your business.
We have created a FREE Brand Photoshoot checklist
to help you create a list that is appropriate for your business and brand.
Below is a list of the 5 main areas you can use brand photography.
The Free Checklist and the list below may spark ideas for other pictures and places for your business.
Your website provides validity for your business and can instill trust in the potential customer. The human element of having pictures of your people creates connection. The customized professional pictures (coupled with a well-designed website) shows quality. Here are the pictures we think are most important on a website:
Picture of your physical location so people can find it easily and you can add it to Google
Pictures of your branded items or signage or inside your office to show personality and the brand
Pictures of your team to make your business more human
Pictures of you or your team working to build trust
Pictures of your products and services to educate
Before and after photos to convince potential customers
Pictures for your blog to capture their attention
2. SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media may be the customer’s first impression of you or your business. Social media needs to remain social. Meaning that in-the-moment / day-to-day occurrences should be posted in order to encourage engagement (being social).
Social media should have a mix of planned professional content (headshots or product photography) and in-the-moment photography edited on your cell phone. The in-the-moment photography should appear consistent with your professional photography by using filters, natural lighting (if possible), and a good cell phone camera. (we will share more tips on this type of photography later in the month)
Check out the Free Checklist for the complete social media photography list.
3. MARKETING & ADVERTISING
People connect with people. So show people who you are and what you do!
Some of the best marketing and advertising materials are the ones with large visuals and limited text. People don’t want to read paragraphs on a billboard, on a magazine page, or on a screen. Pictures are more memorable and will hold attention longer than detailed text.
You know the saying - “a picture is worth a thousand words”. If you believe this to be true, let brand photography say it for you.
As you look at the list of photos to capture for marketing and advertising, you may want to talk with your graphic designer or ad agency. Let them know you are planning to take pictures. They may suggest the types of pictures that may be best for your items and business. We tell our clients to take pictures with good blank space on the top, bottom, or sides so we can incorporate text or logos with the visuals.
4. PRINT MATERIALS
Every business (and professional) needs some type of print material to communicate who they are and what they have to offer. For a business, you may need headshots on business cards or a picture of your product, team, or location in a brochure/booklet/flyer/post card. For professionals, you need a headshot and professional photography of your work for a portfolio. Your materials will be read and understood quicker if you incorporate a good balance of text with imagery.
5. EXTERNAL REQUESTS
Don’t miss an opportunity to be showcased by someone else because you don’t have good brand photography.
When you engage in sponsorships, collaborations, or memberships, you will be asked for pictures of you or your team.
If you are spotlighted in an article, you will want to include a photo of the team. You will also want to be able to show your product/service so readers understand and remember what you do.
I hope this content has been helpful as you think about the photography you need for your business or personal brand. We have found that is hard for businesses to think of creative photography on their own. If you need help with creative strategy or photography, visit our services page to learn more!