Whether you’re a personal brand or you sell a physical product, photography is a crucial part of the branding process. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t understand what branding photography is and the importance of it. Because of this, SO many people are missing out on a great opportunity to tell their brands story through the images that represent them online. Ready for a crash course in branded photography in under 1,000 words? Lets go!
WHAT’S BRANDED PHOTOGRAPHY?
More than headshots
A lot of people want a solid headshot and then think they’re done. Branded photography is so much more than a headshot. A headshot is a photo that shows your face well, you’re typically looking at the camera, and it’s usually framed pretty tight. Branded have a much more lifestyle feel and shows you in action.
Not stock photos
While stock photography is tremendously better than it used to be, branded photography should be your original content. While you may use stock photos for occasional things like social posts, I always encourage brands to avoid stock photography on their website because that is the place to let YOUR brand and YOU shine!
Tell a story
While your headshot should reflect your personality, branded photos are your place to really let people get to know you. These images tell a story of who you are, what you do, and what it’s like to work with you.
WHY DO I NEED BRANDED PHOTOGRAPHY?
Peace of mind
How many hours have you spent searching through old photos, trying to find something to post on Instagram? Maybe you’ve tried to handle the photography aspect of your brand yourself (let’s be real, you’re busy being an awesome business owner and don’t have time for that). Branding photography allows you to always have a gallery of quality images that are just waiting to be published.
Anyone who is working on their online presence knows that content is King. In a world being flooded with content every single second, your photography needs to stand out. While any type of photographer can take a quality photo, branding photographers specialize in creating images that pop and stop those scrolls.
Creates a consistent look for your brand
When your photos appear in your audiences feed, the goal is that they know it’s you without even seeing your username or product. Just like in every aspect of your marketing efforts, consistent photography builds trust, loyalty, and brand awareness.
Take your brand to the next level
When you’re brand takes the cheap route for visual branding assets, it shows. Like it or not, if you don’t care about how well your brand is represented, it can reflect how much you care about the quality of your product. Professional photos will help people view you as a professional, not just another amateur.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
Work consistently with one photographer
While this isn’t a necessity, it is extremely helpful to work consistently with the same photographer. This will allow your photography assets to be extra consistent, your photographer will already be familiar with the look and feel you’re going for, and most photographers will give a price break for regular clients (if you do weekly or monthly mini shoots).
Budget for multiple shoots
I often encourage brands to do one large branded shoot every few years (great for staple product shots, web images, headshots, etc.) and many mini shoots throughout the year. These monthly or quarterly mini shoots are helpful to keep your brand fresh and provide you with timely and seasonal content!
Create a photography branding guide
Just like you (hopefully) have a branding guide for your logo usage and brand colors, a branding guide for your photography can be just as helpful. This will be helpful for yourself and any photographers that you work with! Again, that consistency is key! I have a photography branding guide worksheet to help walk you through everything that should be included and you can download it here.
As you consider the best ways to grow your brand, launch that course, or personalize your website, I hope you recognize what a big role professional branded photography will play. I absolutely love created branded photography alongside small businesses and you can learn more about my service offerings here.
Have you invested in branded photography and how have you seen it impact your business? I’ll love to hear your thoughts below!