Brand photography has become a standout marketing approach in recent years. It’s a helpful way for businesses to be more open and present a consistent visual identity across all their marketing channels.
But what is brand photography, how is it different from the other forms of photography you might be using, and why should you invest in it for your business?
Before I can explain the photography side, we need to understand what a brand is and a how a business becomes a brand.
What is a brand?
Put simply, a brand is a business personified. It’s a business that has taken on its own identity, with its own personality, tone of voice, values and image.
If you’re a solo business owner, working alone, your brand is most likely a reflection of you as a person. If your business is larger, it’s the collection of traits that underpin your approach to what you do.
For example, your brand might be based on credibility and proficiency, or quirkiness and artistry. And you show those traits in the way your business operates and presents itself.
What is brand photography?
Brand photography captures the essence of your brand in photographs. It communicates your brand’s personality, values and image in a way that makes them accessible and appealing to your target audience.
The photographs create a consistent and authentic visual profile for your brand across all your printed and digital channels.
A lot of brand photography follows a documentary style. It’s not posed or forced, so it feels unpretentious and spontaneous.
The idea behind it is to show transparency and authenticity. The photography should feel natural, open and genuine, which helps to build confidence and trust.
The main types of brand photography
Personal branding photography
Personal branding photography is for you if you’re the face of your brand. The photography is mainly focused on you and your process. It’s designed to bring out your personality, your sense of style and to show what makes you different.
Branded product photography
If your business sells physical products, you might want them photographed for your advertising campaign, point-of-sale display, website or online store.
Branded product photography is different from standard or 360º product photography. As well as focusing on the product itself, the background, framing and lighting are all carefully considered.
This helps to give your products a visual identity based on their unique character and style.
The importance of brand photography
The human brain processes visual information in a snap. And people make judgements on the images they see in just milliseconds. If your photograph doesn’t catch their attention or make the right impression, they’ll disregard it and move on.
To see the importance of brand photography, we need to understand the alternatives and why they don’t work.
If you’re not using brand photography already, you’re probably using stock photography or taking a DIY approach instead.
Stock photographs are generic and staged. They’re often a sign of a business with no clear identity or direction.
These photographs show people who aren’t your people, pretending to work in places that aren’t your places. Rather than being natural and authentic, they create an impression of what you think your business is supposed to look like.
Most people can spot a stock photograph and know instantly it’s not genuine. Then they wonder what you’re hiding and what you don’t want them to see.
DIY photography might seem like a great way to make a saving. After all, smartphone cameras, filters and editors are getting better by the year.
But many business owners make mistakes when they take their own photographs and they’re nothing to do with the camera they’re using.
The most common DIY brand photography mistakes include:
- Not having a clear vision or strategy
- Overusing filters and other gimmicks
- Using a random and inconsistent style
- Losing or misdirecting the focus
- Cutting things out of the frame
- Relying too heavily on retouching.
Mistakes like these can make people doubt your professionalism and credibility.
Is brand photography a good investment?
Brand photography is a worthwhile investment that will help you turn your business into a recognisable and successful brand.
The photographs give customers a window into your business, enabling you to create a brand they know, like and trust. This helps you build an engaged and loyal audience who’ll support your business with their participation, custom and recommendations.
Do you need a professional branding photographer?
We’re MV Visual Media, a professional branding photography specialist based in Warwickshire, West Midlands.
With a clear strategy and vision, our stunning, high-impact photography will help bring your brand to life.
And our accomplished videographer can transfer that same brand vision to video — giving you a complete branding package you can use on your website, social media and beyond.
To find out more, please get in touch to discuss your needs.