There’s a lot of talk about brand photography these days- but what is it exactly? It’s not just a buzz term and it’s not just a trend that’s destined to disappear in a few months time. Brand photography has been around for a long time- but like everything else in the branding industry it’s evolved a lot since it’s early days.
What exactly is brand photography?
In short: brand photography tells the story of your business. It’s about creating unique and authentic images that show off what makes you and your business unique. Brand images help set you apart from others in your industry, encompassing your brand personality, voice, values, style and approach- the things that collectively make your business one of a kind.
What’s the difference between brand photography and headshot photography?
Brand photography is very different from headshot photography- though people often confuse the two. A headshot is a traditional, straightforward image that simply shows your face to the world. Brand photos however, are a collection of images that show off your personality, share your story and make you stand out as an individual. Creating brand images is all about visual communication: helping you translate what you do- and how you do it differently- into photos.
A brand photography session often encompasses a couple of headshots, but is a lot more involved than a headshot session: the photos created at your brand session will give your audience a glimpse at your behind the scenes: your workspace, your process, your products and services, your tools and materials, your inspiration and anything to do with how you do what do you do.
What can I expect from a brand photography session?
Your brand photography session should provide you with a unique, custom portfolio of images that show off every aspect of you and your brand, representing who you are, what you do and how you do it.
Brand photography sessions are about a lot more than turning up with a camera- they are about the photographer getting to know each client and their business and having a thorough understanding of their brand long before the camera comes out. Your brand photos shouldn’t look like anyone else’s- they should be true to your brand personality and help you stand out of from the crowd, no matter what industry you’re in.
What’s the process like?
In order to be done effectively, brand photography needs to be a collaborative process between the photographer and the business owner. Every brand photographer works differently, but for me it’s essential that I get to know each person and business that I'm working with and have a thorough understanding of their brand personality, values and voice ahead of their actual photo session- which means the majority of my work actually takes place long before my camera comes out.
My brand photography packages are based around a six step process:
1) Let's chat
We'll set up a complimentary consultation to see if we are the right fit. You can tell me all about your business and what you hope to achieve from your brand photography session and by the end of our conversation we'll know if we are on the same page.
An important part of what I do is to learn all about your brand and your business- personality, values, style and
approach- as well as others in your industry.
3) Planning Your Session
Now that I know your brand, we will work together to create a detailed plan for our shoot. We'll talk in great detail about your goals with your business, your brand message and what you want to achieve with your images and we will use that information to come up with a list of the photos we will create and how we will create them.
4) The Photoshoot
While I'll take the lead on this part, it will be collaborative as well. Your input and ideas are most welcome and we will work together to ensure that the shoot stays on the right track, with me showing you what I'm shooting throughout.
5) The Editing
After the shoot I carefully go through and edit your images, starting with a sneak peek, which I then send your way to make sure you are happy with the editing style I've created for your photos. Once I receive your input I'll make any necessary changes before editing the full set and providing you with a digital gallery to view.
6) Visual Content Strategy
Love your new images but aren't sure what exactly to do with them? This optional step provides another level of service: I'll create a detailed visual content strategy for how to use your photos to best get your message across to your audience.
What if i don't like having my photo taken?
For many small business owners this is a big hurdle to overcome: they understand the importance of showing the face behind the brand but they don’t like being in front of the camera.
Half the battle is getting over that fear, and the other half is choosing the right brand photographer. If you do the latter, the former is a lot easier- the right brand photographer will help you to feel relaxed and comfortable, so you can just be yourself in front of the camera.
If you choose a photographer who works with you ahead of your session, you’ll also have the added bonus of getting to know them before the camera comes out, which helps make everything feel that much more relaxed. Photoshoot? Nah- just a catch up between friends, with the occasional photo in between.
So how do I find the right brand photographer for my business?
As with any type of photography, there is a diverse range of styles, approaches and packages to choose from when it comes to finding a brand photographer. Here are three things to consider when looking for a brand photographer:
1) Do they specialize in brand photography? Many photographers have added a “brand photography” page to their website, but if you take a quick peek at their work you might realize they don’t have much experience or even a portfolio of brand photography work. there’s nothing wrong with doing more than one type of photography (most professional photographer’s do!) but it’s important to make sure that the photographer you choose has experience and expertise specific to brand photography and will take the time to get to know you and your business instead of just turning up with a camera. Being a good photographer is one thing, but brand photography requires more than just knowing your way around a camera- a good brand photographer needs to understand visual communication from a business standpoint as well.
2) Do their style and approach fit with you and your brand? Some brand photographers work with international companies and corporate offices. Others work with smaller businesses or specialize in creative industries. Every brand photographer will have a unique style and approach based on the type of businesses they work with and finding one that suits your brand personality and values is important. If your brand is quirky and colourful, a photographer who specializes in corporate work probably isn’t for you.
3) Do they offer a package that suits your needs? As with any service based business, there is a vast range of packages and prices out there when it comes to brand photography. You probably have a budget in mind already, and as a general rule the more experienced and established the photographer is, the higher the investment. It’s not just about the price tag though- also take a close look at what’s included. Some photographers might charge a higher fee, but offer a longer session with more images. Some might not include marketing rights. Some might have a very low price but not do any research beforehand. Think about what’s important to you, what you want to get out of your session- and find someone who covers all of that with what they offer.
I hope this helps! If you have any further questions about brand photography feel free to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in learning more about my brand photography service? Click here.