Brand photography: what does it mean? Good brand photography showcases you, your products or services, and what you do.
In this article, we’ll go through every step of a successful brand photoshoot.
That includes fine-tuning your style, selecting a photographer, deciding locations, and creating a “must-have” photo list. Let’s go!
Your brand photography tells two stories: who you are and what you do.
Your brand mission and purpose is communicated through every aspect of the photo, from the objects featured, the backdrop, and even your brand colors!
When you’re starting your own brand, you may focus on the services you offer and how to get more customers.
These are obviously what makes your business go ’round, but your visual style is important, too!
Brand photography gives your customers a clear, visual interpretation of who you are as a brand, and why they should pick you!
That’s why good brand photography is a must.
Let’s go through some of the benefits of having a personal branding photoshoot.
Your brand photography shows your essence at a glance. Having professional photos that align with your brand aesthetic creates consistency (which customers see as trustworthiness) across platforms.
This is especially useful for online businesses!
Your brand photos can be used anywhere, not just on your website and social media.
They can also be used for business cards, collateral materials, press packets, and more!
Think about the blogs you visit while doing research for your business. Why do you trust them?
Chances are, the visual feel of their brand is consistent, which tells you they’re confident and professional.
And they probably have a clear picture of who’s behind the blog—yes, including their face!
You might be groaning, but brand photos with you in them creates a valuable sense of trust for your audience.
It also greatly increases engagement on your online platforms since the customers know the person they’re interacting with, not just mysterious pixels on a screen.
Another story your brand photos tell is your mission. Why do you do this? Why do you believe in it?
By having a solid aesthetic, such as color and objects, your brand’s unique signature comes alive. You stand out from the crowd.
There are so many kinds of brand photography. Headshots, product photos, and lifestyle photos are just three of the options!
Stock images, such as from Unsplash, can also be used to solidify your aesthetic.
For example, if you’re a writer, you may choose photos of books or notepads. If you’re a chef, you’ll want to show some of your recipes’ ingredients.
But…where exactly can your brand photography go? Here are some ideas:
Now, lets talk about how to plan your first brand photography shoot – step by step!
The first thing to keep in mind, again, is your brand’s story. It’s probably tied into your personal story a bit, which is powerful for creating an authentic brand.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to hone in on this story:
All of the above have specific thoughts and emotions associated with them.
Even songs can paint pictures in your mind!
With these inspirations in mind, an easy way to fine-tune your visual aesthetic is to create a Pinterest board of photos you feel best describe the vibe of your own brand.
You can always remove any that don’t fit after you build your collection!
What kind of photos do you need, and what works best to convey your story?
Research other brands in your industry and niche for inspiration. Write down any ideas you have!
When you run across images that really spark something in you, add them to that Pinterest board you made.
You can share this board later with your brand photographer to stay on the same page!
Look at you! Now you’ve got a clearer idea of the shots that will support your brand’s story.
Whether they’re product images, headshots, or photos of you in action, they’re all important.
Put a star beside your “must-have” photos so you know that, at the end of the day, you’ll have the ones that matter most.
You may need props for your brand photoshoot. Before you schedule a shoot with your photographer, list out all the props you’ll need.
Now is also a great time to plan your wardrobe, too: lay your outfit(s) on the bed and snap a photo.
These are helpful for your photographer to know in advance so they can plan for the shoot’s lighting and setup.
How do you choose a brand photographer? One simple way is to search on Instagram for your city + photographer.
From the results, you can easily browse the work of photographers in your area to see who would fit best with your style.
It’s very important that the photographer you choose is someone you feel you can relate to, that way you’re relaxed on the shoot day—which, of course, makes for the best photos!
You may already have an idea of where you want to do the photoshoot. Your photographer will also know great locations, so you can work together to pick the best ones.
If you’re shooting at home or at an office, it’ll give you time to get any necessary permissions, clean the area, and set up the props.
This prep work makes the shoot infinitely simpler on the day!
Congratulations! The legwork is done, and now it’s time for fun. You’re going to get the photos that help make your brand even more relatable, trustworthy, and confident.
Stepping in front of the camera may feel daunting. You can always practice at home: try on your outfits and have a mini-photoshoot with yourself using your smartphone to determine which angles (and smiles) work best for you.
It may also be fun to hire a professional makeup artist or hairstylist to look and feel your best!
Don’t forget to take deep breaths before and during the shoot. You’ve got this!
Now you know the importance of strong brand photography to create trust and tell a story, as well as how to plan and prepare for a shoot.
From deciding your brand colors, gathering visual inspiration, and planning locations and props for the big day, you’ve got the hang of making the most from a personal branding photoshoot.
These images will serve you well in years to come as your success grows. And just remember, even though brand photos are a professional asset, you should relax and have fun!
After all, you’re breathing your brand to life with images for the world to see!
Syd Wachs is a nomadic photographer, writer, and visual artist. Originally from the US, Syd lived in Asia for 7 years before moving to New Zealand, where they’re currently based. Find them everywhere @videmusart.
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