WHY YOUR BRAND PHOTOS ARE ABOUT MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY PIC (AND HOW TO GET IT)
LAURA BOYD, MASTER BRAND PHOTOGRAPHER
One of the most common misconceptions I find people have about brand photography is that it's just about getting pretty pictures to put on your website.
While yes, we are going to end up with gorgeous images you can use on your website, there is so much more to the process than simply getting a pretty shot.
Brand photos need to do more than make you look good, though that's obviously important. Instead, they should be a strategic part of your overall marketing plan that are as important as your copy. Your images help start the connection with your potential client or customer that will be so integral in your overall relationship with them.
Just as not everyone's brand is the same, it is important that your photos truly represent your brand and your brand values. So let's start with the basics of how to accomplish that.
First, you want to get really clear on your brand emotions and values
before embarking on your photo shoot. Start by asking yourself: “how do I want people to feel when they look at my brand images?” The feelings and emotions you want the viewer to have when they look at your images is an essential part of preparing for the photo shoot. Without these things it will be very hard for the photographer to establish the look and feel of your photos. They truly are the focal point for setting the stage for your images so you need those before moving onto anything else.
It is also necessary to get really clear on your WHY.
Understanding the big why behind your brand helps you in so many ways, including helping to extend your brand to the visual aesthetics of your photos. The big why will be directly tied to the brand values and emotions you want people to feel when they see your photos so it is an essential part of the process.
You'll want your photos to reflect the emotions and feelings you want the viewer to feel, whether it's happy and creative or spiritual and free-spirited. There's a huge range of emotions you could reflect here but just to name a few to get you started: confident, beautiful, trust, belonging, trendy, competitive, luxurious, value-priced, independent, nurturing, inspiring, maverick, rebellious, classic, modern, eclectic, global. Spend the time to identify these feelings and communicate them clearly to your photographer so they can use those to decide on things like your location, your sets, your poses, and your set dressings.
As Jeff Bezos of Amazon says, “your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room” and you want the talk to be truly reflective of your brand. Getting really clear on your why and making sure that your brand values are clearly reflected in your images is a huge step towards controlling how your ideal customer sees you and your brand.
These images also help you create a relationship with your potential clients which is essential to establishing the necessary trust to convert them from lookers to buyers. Images are a great way for people to connect with you and your brand. They go a long way with establishing the know, like, and trust factor that convinces people to buy from you so it is critical that they reflect who you truly are.
Your visual imagery helps you to uplevel your brand so you can connect more authentically with your potential clients. If your brand has a very high end feel that you want to convey luxury and elegance then you have to have images that match that look and feel. It's just as important that your images match if your brand is fun and playful — the emotions you want to convey can vary dramatically but your images must reflect them.
Consumers want to do business with people and brands that they can connect with and your imagery helps you do that. If they don't trust you, then they are unlikely to buy from you. Taking the time to ensure your imagery reflects your brand values and emotions will help create a cohesive strategy to connect with your clients.
This is all well and good but you may be wondering, how do I do that? Well, let's talk about some practical steps to take when preparing for your photos!
1. Think about what elements you can use in your images to incorporate the brand values and emotions you've established. This can be anything from your own emotions in the images to the colors you wear. If you're wanting to show fun and playfulness, you may want to be laughing and bubbly in your images and you may want to use bright, happy colors. But, if you're wanting to convey a more serious tone, you likely would want to show very different emotions and colors in your images.
2. Consider using your location to help you to extend your brand into your images. For a business with a very corporate, professional brand, a boardroom location would likely be very appropriate. But, if your brand is fun and playful, maybe you want to shoot at the beach or at a park. The location establishes the backdrop for your shoot so it should provide the framework for reflecting the emotions and values of your brand.
3. Incorporate small details into your images that help convey the messaging you want. These can be anything from your daily planner to your desk setup to your business cards. Find small details that help you reflect your brand and incorporate them in fun and interesting ways within your images.
At the end of the day, taking the time to understand your why and determining the brand values and emotions you want to convey will be a huge investment in the success of your images. Without this knowledge, you'll be hard pressed to create images that truly reflect your brand and become an asset to your business. With them though, you'll go into a shoot confident and ready to create the visual imagery your business deserves.
MASTER BRAND PHOTOGRAPHER
Since launching my photo studio in 2009, I’ve photographed over 2,100 people of all shapes, sizes, and colors. And my goal is the same for every single person: to give you images you are proud of, that showcase your personality, and feel authentic to who you truly are.
I created Own Your Brand™ because I know that I can use my love of art and business to help support other women business owners in achieving their dreams. Running your own small business is hard. Putting yourself out there is definitely NOT easy.
One of the most important things you can do for your business is make a strong first impression and put out a professional image. That’s where I come in. Get in touch so we can talk about how you can own your brand through powerful imagery.