Why having good photography is important for your brand
There is something so off putting about a sophisticated brand pulling stiff stock photos from the early 2000’s with cheesy business meetings or people overly posed. Somewhat worse, I find odd stock graphics that don’t match the brands color scheme or style really can make a brand feel less professional than it really is. Perhaps businesses are in a rush when they need to post a blog, or don’t know what to do about securing photography for a company that isn’t in the creative world. However, there are many solutions to creating a strong and consistent brand presence with good photography.
Photographer Olivia Bossert states it best with her “5 reasons photography is even more important for your brand than ever before” blog post.
Photographs convey emotion: One of the most incredible aspects of photography is it’s ability to convey an emotion. Use darker, more contrasty light: you’ll get something moody. Use a really light, bright room: happiness. Lots of blues: tranquility. Your images have the ability to quickly and easily convey the emotion that you want your customers to feel when you’re surrounded by your business. It’s important that you look at the visuals of your brand (on your website, social media, email, etc) and asses: does this convey the emotion that I want?
Photography is the first impression that your potential customers get of your brand. Think about it; the last time you heard of a new business, I bet you grabbed your iPhone, hopped onto Instagram, had a scroll, maybe looked on their website, and within a matter of a minute, you had an idea of what kind of brand they were. First impressions matter!
Photography has the ability to add perceived value… but photography can also create the opposite effect. Bad quality imagery = a harder time earning loyalty and trust. Sounds really superficial, but it’s reality.
Photography is a much quicker way of getting a message across to your customers. Text is great, but it takes quite a long time for people to read a caption, an about page, or a pretty Instagram quote. Images take milliseconds.
Consistently beautiful photography creates brand trust and recognition. If you’re imagery is similar and of high quality over all of your platforms (website, social media, email, logo, print outs, etc), you’re helping your customers recognize you.
So, now that we understand the importance of a good photo, what do we do about it?
We get good photos!
Stock photography doesn’t have to suck. There are some great FREE stock photography sites out there for the times you’re in a pickle and need something quick for a blog post or presentation. Many talented photographers have produced high quality photos for free stock sites. If you use a photographer’s work from a free site, be sure to credit them for their work where ever possible! Just keep in mind, if you find a great stock photo, don’t believe you are the only one that will be using it. I see the same (good) free stock photos pop up all over the internet for different brands.
Who’s your audience? Always keep your business’s tone and audience in mind. If your audience and ideal client is B2B and corporate, you will want your photos to be professional, established and smart. If it’s a B2C audience, maybe the look and feel is more personal and approachable, appealing to the buyers of your product or service.
Invest in a good photographer. If your business is services, not products, you can still have create useful photos. Hire a photographer to do team portraits, a day in the life photoshoot, shoot your office or place you work in. A good headshot goes a long way and is a solid investment. You can use it for your Linkedin profile, speaking engagements, website, etc. Don’t underestimate the impact a professional photo can have to elevate your brand and business. And by all means, please avoid the duck face selfie for any professional image of yourself.
Develop a strategic photoshoot with a creative director and photographer to create your own library of photos you can use over and over again. I always recommend brands do at least one professional shoot to launch themselves. It doesn’t have to be crazy expensive either, but also remember creatives deserve to be paid. Just because you can do it yourself, doesn’t mean that a professional is not worth the investment. You’re getting their experience and expertise. Know your strengths and invest in your weaknesses.
Need help finding a good photographer, staging a photoshoot or selecting stock photos for your brand? I can help. I have a fantastic arsenal of great photographers to work with and I offer creative direction for photo shoots. I can also help you leverage your photos and strategize an effective plan to use them in the future.
Be mindful of layout. Think about where and how you’ll be using these photos. Are they for instagram? Consider the grid and how will it look in a vertical story or cropped into a square. Are they for a large landscape brochure? Take spanning horizontal shots. You may have beautiful photos with perfect content, but if you try to put that pretty vertical shot in a horizontal website banner, you’re likely cutting off a lot of your composition making it look super zoomed in and silly.
And finally, practice. No one is perfect right away. Practice taking shots until it feels right. Today, a lot of us can get away with shooting on an iPhone, however, the quality can only go so far. Invest in a good DSLR camera and shoot the same object over and over again with different lighting and settings until you get a good feel for it. In time you’ll get better, and so will your photos.
Interested in developing a photoshoot or curating branded photography for your business? Contact LMC and let’s discuss your next project.