Whether you’re a creative, a consultant, or run a small business, you’ll know that image matters. How potential customers perceive you can make or break how you stack up against your competitors - this is where brand identity comes in.
If branding photography is something you’re vaguely aware of, but you don’t really understand what it is or whether it's right for you, you’re in the right place.
In this guide, I’ll be covering everything you need to know about branding photography for small businesses. We’ll explore the what's, whys and how's so that you can see the potential of brand photography as a business investment.
What are branding photos?
The term “branding photos” covers a wide range of photographic styles. In essence, branding photography is a way of visually presenting your business to the world.
Depending on the type of business you run, the size of your operation and your target customer, this might include traditional headshots, photos of your workplace, or more candid lifestyle pictures.
As a branding photographer, what I love the most about my work is that no two branding photoshoots are ever the same.
Why? Because no two businesses are the same!
Whether the shoot is on the beach or in the boardroom, the setting and style of each branding session should reflect the nature of your business. The whole point of branding photography is to capture a set of unique images that help tell your story.
Distinct Fashion Concepts website photoshoot - June 2021
Why do you need branding photos?
Your business identity plays a crucial role in engaging with your audience and setting yourself apart from the competition. Businesses of all sizes, from sole traders and consultants to brick and mortar stores, define their identity through a number of branding decisions.
Yet, while most business owners will spend a huge amount of time and effort (and often cost) developing their brand colours, fonts, and logo, they default to using generic stock photos on their websites.
While there's nothing wrong with using the odd stock photo in your marketing (we've all done it!), they contribute nothing to your brand identity and if not chosen correctly, can actually detract from it.
In contrast, bespoke brand photos give customers a glimpse into your business, helping to establish familiarity and foster trust - two essential sales tools in todays online world.
Simply put, branding photography is an easy, effective way to communicate who you are as an individual or business.
Sons of Serif brand photoshoot - November 2021
Who can benefit from branding photography?
Businesses of all sizes can benefit from branding photography, whether to appear more professional, add a personal touch, or simply bring a bit of pizazz to your website and social accounts.
Freelancers, creatives and consultants will benefit from personal branding photography - images that focus less on your workplace and more on you as an individual.
Are you a vibrant person with a quirky sense of humour? Or a quiet professional who radiates calm and reliability? Either way - this is a chance to let your personality shine!
Larger businesses and corporate entities, on the other hand, will benefit most from business branding photography that incorporates people, place and purpose.
Team photos, individual headshots, and a collection of location-specific images help build your brand identity and make you more personable to potential customers.
Sharlene Caskey personal brand photoshoot - January 2021
What happens during a brand photoshoot?
So, you’ve decided to book a brand photoshoot - what happens next?
If this is the first time you’ve worked with a brand photographer, you may be feeling a little daunted at the idea, but there’s no need to be! Here’s what to expect:
We begin with a pre-shoot consultation where I’ll learn more about your business, your brand identity, the type of shots you need and where you plan on using them. By getting this information prior to our shoot, I can develop a strategy to make sure we cover everything on the day, ensuring you get your money’s worth.
The week before your shoot, I’ll be in touch to answer any last-minute questions and give you some planning tips. I’ll also confirm the locations we’ll be covering, and if shooting at your home office, I may arrange to come to you for some test shots.
On the day of the shoot, we’ll work together like a well-oiled machine, after all, this isn’t my first rodeo! A branding shoot typically takes 2-3 hours, depending on the number of locations and outfit changes you’ve requested.
After the shoot I’ll get to work editing your photos to ensure they’re the best they can be. I’ll then upload the crème de la crème to a private online gallery before sending you the access password. From here, you can pick out your favourites, which I’ll send to you digitally with full ownership rights.
It doesn’t get much easier than that!