What Is Brand Photography?
Brand photography is essentially a collection of cohesive images which are representative of who you are as a brand. It communicates your identity, values and purpose through carefully conceptualised images.
It helps your customers to understand who you are. Most importantly, brand photography takes your client on a journey - it makes them feel involved and grants them a sense of familiarity and authenticity. Last but not least, it also reinforces your trustworthiness
Imagine this: You are looking for a new agency to collaborate with. Their website is cluttered with paragraphs of texts but almost no images. At best, you find some awkward headshots of the employees.
This kind of presentation does not enable you to get any kind of feeling of who you are dealing with. Although the agency might be trustworthy, their digital appearance does not reflect that. So you keep on searching.
A different agency’s website is full of vibrant, expressive, and professional images. Authentic photos of each member of the team allow you to familiarize yourself with your potential new collaborators. Beautiful images of their well-lit office and clean work environment suggest their processes and workflows and also grant them an air of reliability and integrity. Just the power of images has given you the impression that you are in good hands, so you reach out to them.
Set Yourself Apart From Others
Brand photography allows you to add depth to your brand and creates a sense of transparency and authenticity. This makes it easier for your potential client to choose and trust you, especially when we consider the sheer amount of information, advertisements and billboards we are bombarded with every day.
However, to achieve this effect, it is absolutely vital that your brand photography is well executed. Unless you have the necessary expertise yourself, hire professional photographers who will take photos that communicate exactly the message you want your potential clients to receive. Stay away from stock photos. If you cannot even be bothered to invest in your own images, why should your customers assume that you invest time and effort into them?
Once you have hired professional creatives, it is time to decide which stories you will want your images to communicate and how. Here are six suggestions:
1. Your Prowess
Show your potential new customers that you are the absolute expert in the field. This is your chance to establish credibility by providing images that show you are the best choice to go with. For example, your brand photos could put awards or positive press you have received at the center of your client’s attention. Alternatively, you can also include photos of happy clients to prove that you really do deliver.
2. Your Products
Make your products shine through powerful visuals that showcase them at their best. Provide photos of them in context and allow your customer to see them from different perspectives. Product photography is very significant for your brand.
3. Your Purpose.
This is where you communicate to your clients what you stand for. What are your values? What got you started as a business in the first place? How are you planning to make a change? Brand photography depicting your purpose will envision what kind of goals and dreams is your brand trying to achieve.
4. Your Process.
Depicting your process in photos is a great way to engage your client and to make you more authentic. For example, provide behind-the-scenes photos showing the development of your product: From photos of team meetings conceptualizing it to its accomplishment. Making-of photos are a great way to display the effort, passion and love you put into your product and will immediately make your brand much more authentic and transparent.
5. Your Personality.
Who is behind your brand? What are their individual strengths and personality traits? How do they contribute to making your brand the best it can be? Photographs of your team do not only allow you to provide answers to these questions, they also allow a client to get familiar with your business. Knowing who they are dealing with is key to building a trustful foundation.
6. Your Passions.
Emotions play an absolutely vital role when it comes to decision-making. Thus, brand photos should communicate passions and emotions which ideally jump over to your customers. Evoking their very own feelings and emotions will increase your chances of deciding in your favor.
After having chosen the stories you will want to depict, think about how you want to communicate them. Ideally, the photos are a representation of your brand identity. If your products stand for elegance and sophistication, you are going to want your visual style to be adequate to these traits. In this case, for example, you will go for muted or pale colours and smart compositions. Conversely, if you think of your brand as bold and daring, your color pallet and choice of motives will have to be adjusted accordingly.
Once you have created a collection of images, sprinkle them wherever possible and wherever seems fit - social media platforms, newsletters, blog posts, etc. Altogether, these images will create a cohesive narrative communicating everything a client needs to know about your brand at just one glance.
Let's take a look at Lush, the organic cosmetic brand. The brand strives to make using organic items fun while also making bold statements about animal rights and sustainability. This brand identity is represented in the photos on their feed. The photos are as colourful and glittery as their bath bombs and soaps. At the same time, they use brand photography to boldly communicate their values. Also, posting photos of their employees makes them seem approachable and ready to help. Scrolling through their Instagram feels like entering their store, and since the photos are so appealing customers are quickly tempted to make purchases.
If brand photography is done correctly, it will be the most powerful marketing tool to set your brand apart from all the others. Ideally, your clients recognize your brand solely through its photographs, thanks to your unique way of storytelling.