After choosing a name and purchasing a domain name, do you know what the very first thing was that I did when I was starting my new business? I started planning a brand photoshoot. It was literally the second thing I did. I knew I would need brand photography to promote my work online and to fill my website (and to make me look legit as a business just starting out).
In this post I’ll give an overview of:
- what brand photography is
- why it’s important
- a few bonus tips from a seasoned brand photographer
What Is Brand Photography?
Brand photogaphy is strategic, professional photos that visually represent you, your brand, and your brand story. Typically, brand photos include photos of you, your team, your products, candid photos of you working, your process, and photos of what makes your brand unique.
Brand photoshoots need to be planned in advance and every detail well thought out. From outfit selections, to location, to prop choices, and photography style — everything should compliment and represent your unique brand. If any of these things feel off and are not consistent with your brand, your photos won’t feel right and they won’t resonate with your audience.
For a brand photoshoot to be successful, you’ll need a wide variety of photos (in composition and subject matter) so that you can use them across all your marketing platforms and really stand out. It’s not just about taking pretty pictures of your products or services. Brand photography is about creating a visual representation of your brand’s personality, values, and mission. It’s about showing your audience who you are, what you do, why you do it, and what makes you different.
Why Is Brand Photography So Important?
Brand photography is an essential investment for businesses of all sizes looking to build a strong visual identity (hello,branding) and stand out in a crowded market (aka talk to the right people). Here are a few reasons you should invest in a brand photoshoot for your business:
1. Brand Photography Helps You Stand Out
When I work with brand photography clients, I start by asking them a myriad of questions to determine basically one thing: what sets them apart. We incorporate this into their photos in all kinds of ways — again, by focusing on the details that cumulatively make them look and feel unique.
Brand photography can be used to tell a story about your brand, showcasing your unique personality, values, and mission in a way that resonates with your audience. By working with a professional photographer who understands your brand and overall vision, together you can create images that are tailored to your specific audience and marketing goals.
2. Brand Photography Builds Trust and Confidence
People buy from brands they feel connected to. People buy from brands they can trust. And people trust brands that look and feel consistent. (We’ll get into that in a minute).
If you’re a service-based business, like a photographer or wedding planner, showing your face is especially important. People want to connect with other humans. When you use brand photography, it can help to put a face to your brand and make it more personable. It builds a personal connection and creates a sense of familiarity. This connection can be particularly important for small businesses that are just starting out, as it can help to build trust and credibility.
In contrast, bad photography can have the opposite affect on your brand and sales. People have a hard time trusting brands that have either little to no photography or just crappy photography in general. Invest in a high quality photographer! It makes all the difference.
3. Brand Photography Creates Brand Consistency and Recognition
According to a study by Forbes, businesses who used consistent branding across all channels saw a revenue increase of up to 23%. That’s huge! By using consistent branding and imagery across all channels, you can make it easier for customers to recognize and remember your brand. And that can lead to increased sales and customer loyalty.
When looking for a photographer ask to see a full gallery from a brand photo shoot. This will give you a good feel for their style and if they can deliver a wide range of shots. You need a photographer who understands how to take photos for social media and websites as compositionally there should be some differences.
4. Brand Photography Attracts Higher End Clients
This point goes pretty hand-in-hand with point number 2. Professional photography not only builds trust, but it can help you create a more polished and professional appearance, which can attract higher-end clients and customers.
Whether you’re a new business or you have been at it a while, well-executed brand photos can immediately make you look more professional and give you instant credibility and confidence. Having professional photos of you and your work builds trust among your audience, whether they’re scrolling through your website or stumble upon an instagram post.
5. Brand Photography Gives You Lots of Content
Not sure what to post on Instagram? Need to introduce your team to your followers? Want to talk about your process in detail? Website photos looking a little stale? Brand photography helps support your marketing efforts online by giving you a huge library of photos to choose from when posting.
These photos are YOUR photos — specific to you and your business. This is huge on instagram, your website, and other social media platforms because people LOVE to see your face and how you operate. If you’re running out of content to post or need to update your website, you might consider a brand photoshoot!
It’s a good idea to do new brand photos every 1-2 years to keep your image fresh and add to your growing brand library. As your business grows and changes, you should be pivoting your image and updating your brand photography to show
Don’t Forget Video!
I always recommend that my brand photography clients hire a videographer for their photoshoot as well. As you probably know, video is king on social media. But speaking as website designer (cough cough) including video in your website repertoire is not a bad idea either.
A study by Wistia found that people spend on average 2.6x more time on pages with video than without. That’s massive! The longer people stay on your site, the better — this will often lead to higher conversions (people contacting you/buying from you) — which is the goal!
Included in my brand photography service is behind the scenes iPhone videos of their photoshoot! If you’re planning your own brand photoshoot, ask your photographer if they can provide BTS video for you. Or bring a savvy friend to your shoot and have them take some iPhone videos!
I will die on this hill — brand photography is SO important for small businesses of all degrees. Having professional photography that’s on brand and unique not only helps you stand out, but also builds trust and attracts all those high-end, dreamy clients.
Feedback? Comment below. I’d love to know if you have anything to add!