When it comes to your brand, a photo isn’t worth a thousand words – it’s worth way, way more. A few photos from a brand photoshoot, taken by a professional brand photographer can do wonders for your business in numerous ways.
Brand photoshoots weave elements of your visual brand identity into imagery that’s emotive and effective, helping tell a visual story of who you are and what you do.
Brand photography also help break up larger sections of text so your copy and design work together to tell your brand story.
The vast majority of entrepreneurs and business owners incorporate photos into their website design, but not all invest in quality brand photography, and the difference in returns is always evident because a brand photo is always more effective than a run on the mill stock photo. Why you ask? Well, lets dive in.
Why a Brand Photoshoot Is Important
When someone lands on your website for the first time, what elements do they notice first? If you guessed visuals, you’d be right, with human’s processing visuals 60,000 times faster than text, our visuals actually do the talking for us. So what is your imagery saying? If you aren’t visually communicating the right message through your photography, you might unknowingly confuse your audience.
Some marketers recommend for you to include photos of anything that creates an overall “vibe” for your brand, but here’s where that can get tricky.
You may love photos of succulent gardens and steaming cups of coffee, but what do those images actually say about what you offer? This is where brand photography comes in.
Brand Photography Helps You Stand Out
Personal branding photography is a strategic approach to visually telling your story through a series of high-quality images that are only for your brand. While some companies use free stock photos on websites like Unsplash and Pixabay to populate their website, personal brand photography is inherently a better choice due to its unique nature.
While stock photos are readily available for anyone who wants to download or purchase them, a relatively positive feature, this means that they can be used by anyone, including your competitors. When it comes to building a brand this is definitely not ideal, as you don’t want to be mistaken for one of your competitors simply because you use the same imagery on your website.
This brings us to another hang-up with stock photos – you have no say in what goes into them. When you choose to use pre-made stock photos in your branding, you don’t have control over the colors, props, outfits, or any other element in the stock photos.
You don’t even have control over the editing style of the photo, meaning that if you love everything about a stock except that the photo is dark and moody when your visual aesthetic is light and bright, you’re back to square one. With stock photos you can only build your visual identity around what other’s have already created, making your brand derivative at best.
That’s not even to mention how long it can take to find a stock photo you actually like. You can spend countless hours scrolling through stock photo libraries, only to come up short. Even if you do find a stock photo you like, it may not always work with the look and feel of your website template.
Quality brand photography on the other hand will give you full creative freedom and control over how the images are created, and you’ll be able to show your face in some of them.
“When it comes to building a brand, you don’t want to be mistaken for one of your competitors.”
How To Prepare For a Brand Photoshoot
If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’re always looking for ways to improve your visibility. You’re already an expert at your craft, but you want imagery that helps you look like one.
Brand photos can give you the confidence to increase your prices over time and assert your value as an expert in your field.
The best way to do this with professional photos, taken brand photoshoots.
After all, think about when you make investments in your own business, you want to work with professionals who present themselves as experts. So, if another business owner shared a few selfies they captured with their iPhone even if it was with great lighting, it wouldn’t come across as professional.
As such, if you’re committed to investing in a professionally designed website for your business, it goes without saying that having professional brand photography is going to be an essential step as well. So how do you go about beginning brand photoshoots?
Define Your Style and Your Brand Story
The first thing to remember is that all things drill down to your brand strategy. Whether you are working with a brand designer/strategist on your brand photoshoots, or are planning this for yourself, it’s important that everyone involved with the photo shoot is clear of what your business does, who it does it for, your mission, vision and visual identity.
With all of this information, it’s time to create your mood board, which should act as a type of visual presentation or ‘collage’ consisting of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition that specifically visualizes the right style of photography for your brand.
For example, if your brand is soft, feminine, positive and bright, then your mood board might consist of photography styles that are brighter, lighter, and airier. Creating a mood board will help you drill down a photography style that suits your brand best.
“Creating a mood board will help you drill down a photography style that suits your brand best.”
Create a Shot List
Now that you have figured out your brand’s style, its time to figure out an actual shot list. To begin with, its important to make a list of what you actually need your photos for, in terms of whether you’re using them for your website, Instagram posts or Insta-stories, blog posts or GIFs.
Each of these requires different types and formats of photography and your photographer needs to know all this before your shoot day.
From here you then should compile your shot list, incorporating brand colors and brand identity as you go. If you need brand photoshoot inspiration look to other websites and consider the occasions where you plan to use these brand photoshoots’ images, from things like celebrating a product launch, all the way to holiday greeting cards.
This is where you can let your creativity run wild, try out a bunch of fun poses and really decide on your personal brand photoshoot’s approach.
Raid Your Wardrobe
One often overlooked part of personal brand photoshoots is costume. Keeping your brand aesthetic in mind and picking a variety of outfits that showcase your personality accordingly are very important to the overall success of branded photography.
For example, choosing an outfit for each of these scenarios would be a great way to cover all your bases – A badass boss, a casual day out, your professional work-from-home outfit, and maybe even something a bit classier.
It is important to remember that if you book a photography studio, you’ll most likely pay by the hour, so it’s important to maximize your time by having all of your outfits planned out in advance.
It can also get quite chaotic on shoot day if you’re hoping to get multiple outfits in, so choose them all in advance and list them out so you know exactly which outfits will go first to last. A good rule of thumb is to change outfits every 30-45 minutes but keep in mind that photoshoots tend to take longer than expected, so prepare accordingly.
“A good rule of thumb is to change outfits every 30-45 minutes.”
The Final Step For Your Brand Photos
Once you have gone ahead and completed your brand photoshoots the next step to really put the finishing touches on your images and polish your overall personal brand is to consider watermarking. Watermarking is highly regarded as one of the best ways to establish an easily identifiable brand online, thanks to it’s unique nature, and versatility to adapt to anyone’s individual visual identity.
Much like how a painter adds their signature to a painting, watermarking can help brand your images as uniquely your own, with a custom watermark even helping potential clients identify your work in the sea of content on the internet.
That’s not the only benefit however, as, while stock photos are readily available for anyone who wants to download or purchase them, they can be used by anyone, including your competitors – a downside that watermarked brand photos do not share!
In terms of security, watermarking can’t be beat, allowing you to safeguard your work from any potential content thieves and protect your copyright on all work you publish online, meaning no one can re-use or reproduce any of the content created in your brand photoshoots.
The only downside to the watermarking process is that watermarking can be difficult without professional photo editing knowledge. Luckily, WaterMarquee is here to help! While there are a few tools online that allow watermarking, no tool can match the free bulk watermarking capabilities offered by WaterMarquee.
With our website you can watermark up to five images at a time, entirely free of charge, meaning that any photos you choose from your brand photoshoots can be enhanced and made much more effective with the click of a button! So what are you waiting for, protect your brand photoshoots, and build your personal brand with WaterMarquee today!