Branding photography allows you to create a distinct visual style for your brand, showcasing your products against interesting backdrops and introducing potential customers to the team behind the brand. With the help of a creative photographer, you can use brand photography to give your brand a strong visual identity that communicates its values.
What is brand photography?
Brand photography is a collection of professional images that aim to visually tell your brand story. It can include professional headshots of employees, lifestyle images, and product shots. Brand photography can use color, props, models, backdrops, and sets to visually represent your brand. Businesses use brand photography to add depth and personality to websites, emails, and social media.
Benefits of brand photography
Successful business owners use visual tools to help their brand stand out. Here are a few ways on-brand images can help grow your business. They may:
- Create a positive first impression. An image can instantly convey mood and tone. Presenting potential clients with compelling photography that represents your brand helps form a memorable first impression.
- Increase views on your content. Your marketing materials on distribution channels such as email, social media, and your blog can all benefit from imagery. Studies show that articles with images receive an average of 94% more views than articles without images.
- Make your product more memorable. Images improve recall—viewers are more likely to remember your content when it’s accompanied by imagery. Original photography can help you develop a memorable visual identity for your company and increase brand awareness.
- Build a personal brand. Start-up founders, small-business owners, and influencers can use personal brand photography—images that include the founder—to help build their own brands. This allows potential consumers to better understand the personal passion behind the company and build an emotional connection to the brand.
- Show real-world applications of your product. Brand photographs are a way to show your product in real-world contexts and situations. They may entice potential customers to learn more about it or even to buy.
Uses of brand photography
You can use beautiful brand photos on these channels and more:
- Social media and blog posts. Original photography can be a powerful lever in your content marketing strategy by making blog posts more visually attractive and providing assets to share on social media.
- Website. Imagery on your website can show off your product in a stylish way or highlight the team members who make the company run.
- Ads. Brand photography can create engaging ads that show consumers what your brand is all about.
- Emails. Including imagery in marketing emails increases engagement and adds visual interest.
- Press kits. Brand photography can make your press kit eye-catching and memorable, which helps press contacts gain a deeper understanding of your brand.
How to get started with photography for your brand
Follow these steps to have a successful branding photography session:
1. Craft your brand story
A brand story is a clear narrative that communicates your company’s mission and identity. Begin crafting your story with a branding session—dedicated time with your team to think about what feelings your brand should evoke. Discuss what makes your product unique and why your company was founded. Consider your ideal clients and think about how your product fits into their lives. You can use the same process for personal branding photography—professional images of yourself. A personal branding session will help determine what values you want to communicate and how to position yourself as an industry leader or influencer. Crafting the brand story for both your business and for yourself will help you figure out your visual identity, which is necessary for branding photography.
2. Make a mood board
Once you’ve determined the key elements of your brand story, it’s time to get visual. Start by gathering existing brand assets, like logos and graphics, then choose a theme and color palette for your brand photoshoot. From there, build out a mood board by searching the web for images you feel align with your selected theme. Adhering to your curated mood board when taking branding photographs will help develop a consistent aesthetic.
3. Make a shot list
A shot list is a general description of the images you want to capture during the photoshoot. The list can include product or personnel images, as well as any notes about style preferences (like shot framing or depth of field). For example, your shot list could request five employee headshots framed from the shoulders up, four images showing your product in a home, and three images showing your product in an office. Sharing this list with your brand photographer in advance of the shoot will help them plan for the day and will ensure that you get the imagery you need.
4. Find a photographer
Review portfolios and references for freelance photographers whose prior work aligns with the aesthetic you have in mind. Some photographers may offer a branding photography package, which includes standard types of images that are typical of brand photography. You may consider setting up a call to make sure the photographer understands your vision and brand story before you decide to work together.
Branding photography FAQ
Is brand photography the same as product photography?
Brand photography and product photography are both types of business photography, but they aren’t interchangeable. Product photography includes images of a consumer product—often for use on ecommerce pages. Brand photography, on the other hand, aims to communicate the values and story of your company—branding photos may include your product, but they don’t have to.
What makes an effective brand photo?
Effective brand photos are clear, well lit, and compellingly composed. They match the overall aesthetic of your brand, reflect your brand values, and leave an impression on the viewer.
What happens at a brand photo shoot?
During a brand photography session, you’ll work with a professional photographer to style and shoot a series of images. Depending on the scope of the services you requested, the session could include choosing and arranging props, styling sets, and hair and makeup for staff or models. The photographer may display the images on a monitor while they’re shooting, giving you an opportunity to review the photos and make any adjustments in real time.
How much should I invest in brand photography?
The cost of brand photography services varies depending on the number and type of photos you request and your location. A small business might spend less than $2,000 on team headshots, while large companies may spend upward of $25,000 on a shoot with multiple sets, models, and professional lighting.
Will brand photography increase sales?
Brand photography is a powerful tool that can contribute to increased sales because it can make your website more appealing, increase engagement on social media, and help build brand awareness.