Brand photography gives your business a backbone of professionality and it sets you apart from similar businesses in your industry. This is what brand photography is all about. It’s the combination of personality with professionalism and character with creativity.
And brand photography is on the rise for smaller businesses. So much of social media and marketing rely heavily on professional imagery to convey expertise and quality. For instance, you don’t see Apple advertisements have anything but quality photos and video, likewise, Anthropologie relies on nothing but the best photos to capture the elegant chic vibe of their brand. Small up-and-coming brands are learning to invest first in branding photography to build a solid foundation of engaging, creative imagery.
Sarah here. As a web designer, I know that photos can make or break your website. So I asked my friend RuthAnn to talk about the vital importance of branding photography. I know you’re going to love this guest post!
Do you need to invest in brand photography?
So how do you know if you need brand photos? Great question.
Ask yourself these 3 questions:
- Does the quality of images you have either on your Instagram feed or your website match the quality of your work?
- Do you find that you’re not standing out among others in your industry?
- Do you find that your industry peers are using the same photos you are?
If you answered yes to 2 out of the 3 questions, it’s time for you to consider investing in brand photography.
3 Types of Brand Photoshoots
Before hiring a photographer, it’s good to know which type of shoot you want. Let me break them down for you.
Styled Product Photoshoot
This can be flatlays or styled images on a desk or white background. (Can be done with an out of state photographer) See example:
Styled Model Photoshoot
This can be done with a model if you’re photographing a product or just with the product itself. (This can be done with an out of state photographer.)
In-Person Brand Photoshoot
An in-person shoot requires the photographer be in the same city. They would come to your home office, or your business location and take pictures of you, you working, or some fun headshots. (Local photographer)
After deciding on which style is right for you and your business, do a little research about the photographer you’re considering to hire.
How to find the right brand photographer
Observe their style. Typically each photographer has a certain style they take photos with. Some photographers shoot consistently dark and moody, others shoot light, bright and airy, it’s all about finding a photographer whose style you are consistently drawn to and the ones who have a style that would work really well with your brand.
Read their bio. Sometimes you hire people because of recommendations, other times you hire people cause you click with them or trust them. If you’re like me it’s probably a combination of all those things. So other than word of mouth recommendations, read their bio. See if you like their personality, read about their process and find out how they like to work. And if you don’t feel like you’ve gotten enough information about their process, schedule a phone call with them.
I’ve had potential clients call me to find out about my process and they told me they were shopping around. I think that’s a smart thing to do. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and find out what you want to know.
Check out the pricing. It’s important to understand that brand photography is an investment. While some photographers charge in the thousands there are also some that charge in the low 3 digit range. It’s important you know what your budget is and plan accordingly. (As my husband says, you typically get what you pay for.)
Understand their expertise. One of the things I try to do is find out the range of someone I’m working with. Meaning, do they work with one type of client? Are they open to a creative approach or do they offer the status quo? Do they shoot primarily flaylays?
It’s good to work with someone who thinks outside the box, who has your brand at the center of their styling, and who can showcase your personality best.
Preparing for the photo session
If you’re going with the in-person shoot, here are some things to consider:
Dress for comfort. It’s important that you be relaxed during your shoot. Whether you’re relaxed or not it will show up on your face. If you’re uncomfortable or tense, the camera picks it up, likewise, if you feel comfortable and confident, those feelings will also come through.
Don’t be shy. Don’t hold back for your shoot. Be yourself, be relaxed and don’t be afraid to wear more makeup than normal. A lot of the times the make-up will look less dramatic on camera.
Listen to your photographer. The photographer understands angles and lighting, so when they ask you to do a position or make an adjustment, understand that they have your best interest in mind.
Communicate. It’s also important to mention when you’re feeling uncomfortable or out of your element. Like I said before if you feel tense or confused it will come across in subtle expressions so let your photographer know if something doesn’t feel natural or feels forced.
Need more tips on how to nail your own photoshoot? Check out this post.
Take some time to understand if you’re ready to make an investment in brand photography. Do your research, understand which shoot would be best for your business and if you choose to do an in-person brand photoshoot don’t be scared to ask questions. Lastly, don’t forget to be confident! Your confidence shines through in your photos.
RuthAnn Rafiq is the photographer and designer behind R Artspace. She specializes in design and photography branding for creative businesses. Her idea of a perfect night involves meaningful conversations with close friends, spicy food, and her husband’s cooking.