Brand photography is the suite of bespoke images used to represent companies and form clear visual identities for marketing materials.
It includes all your product photos, team headshots, social media and blog images and every picture you use for digital or print media - but only if they’re unique to you.
Lots of businesses make use of stock photography instead, which is where you use licensed pictures from a library to represent your brand instead.
That can be fine for a while, but it’s hard to make a visual impact using a bank of generic photos that anyone can use.
But getting a professional brand photographer means that you’ll get a selection of unique pictures. They can help you shape that image library to the styles, settings and even colours that suit your brand.
Why Branding Matters
The world has never been more visual. It’s well known that the pictures on your website can be the difference between a visitor clicking straight back to Google and staying to read on.
But did you know that even in social media, posts with pictures or visual media are much more likely to be shared?
Having the right photos makes such a huge impact, as it sets the tone and character of your whole business offering.
Are you sophisticated and stylish? Professional and accomplished? Approachable and affordable? Your pictures can make it clear without anyone having to read a single word.
But why can’t you just use stock photography? Well, of course you can! But there are a few big problems with using stock.
Firstly, it’s usually pretty obvious. Unfortunately, stock photography libraries are full of images that are very clearly staged. Nothing says “small” like an obviously stock photo.
Secondly, it can be hard to find something specific. If your work is in a niche area, you might struggle to find the perfect picture.
That often leads to people having to use more generic photos instead of something relevant to their industry. It immediately waters down the messaging, and makes it more obvious you’re using stock.
Thirdly, there’s no real connection. Stock photography is designed to be generic. If you are trying to create messaging with your imagery, it’s really difficult to do with stock.
Lastly, there’s nothing to stop someone else using the exact same photo. Or photos using the exact same models. And it’s pretty hard to stand out in a market where everything looks eerily similar.
The best thing about brand photography is that it’s unique to you and your business. But how can you be sure you’ll get fantastic photos?
The first step is to create a short brief. This will help you set out what you’re trying to achieve.
In your brief you should think about:
Where you’re planning to use your pictures. Are they for your website, social media, blog posts, brochures, adverts - or all of the above?
What type of photos you need. Do you need team headshots, personal brand photos, product pictures, office images?
Who you’re trying to appeal to.
What sort of messaging you want to show in your photos. Do you want a highly professional or an informal style? Do you want to be abstract?
Once you’ve got an idea of what you need, the next step is to find a personal branding photographer.
They will not only take the shots you need, but they’ll be able to help you organise and plan the shoot to make sure that you’re getting exactly what you need.
And planning the shoot is really, really important.
If you hire a brand photographer, they won’t just rock up to your offices with a camera. They’ll come armed with a plan so that they can get all the shots you need.
And on your end of things, it is really helpful to make sure you’ve got your offices and team ready and prepared for your personal brand photo shoot.
That means that anyone who’s going to be in the pictures has the right wardrobe and look.
It means that the space itself is clean, tidy and looking right for any office shots.
It means that any props, products or backdrops are set up and ready to go.