Improving Your Branded Photography
Small business owners trying to solidify their businesses' brand have a lot of aspects of branding they need to think about. I urge every business owner I work with to see the value in brainstorming and investing in their branded photography. It may be daunting to start from the beginning, asking yourself where you "fit in the marketplace" or what your "brand" really stands for, all the while deciding on website design, photography needs, product development...the list goes on.
Today I want to share only 3 ways to improve your own branded photography, but first we should discuss:
What is branded photography?
My personal description of branded photography is: Purposeful images that tell the story of your service or products with your audience in mind, adding awareness to the value you bring to the marketplace. It is more than just a photo, but more of a representation of what your business values and is relational with your customers.
3 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR BRANDED PHOTOGRAPHY
- Know your message, purpose, product and team.
Last Summer I attended Stationery Academy in Phoenix, and was able to hear Kristen Ley of Thimblespress talk about what her brand means to her. It became clear that her opinion of branding was not only about the products, but her team. Relationships with those around her, even her dogs, is essential. She knows her products and had heart behind why she developed each one. Her business is in the heart of dowtown Jackson, Mississippi, and the pride of her state is portrayed in her art and imagery. As successful as Thimblepress is, she consistently reminded us that her brand is nothing without her team. She named her team members by name, even Skyping them in during the conference while she spoke about each of them. We learned their names and roles behind the scenes at Thimblepress. Kristen believes weekends are for family time, and everyone in her team is like her family. If you look at Kristen's website, her love for her dogs, team members, business space and relationships all shine through. These are things that represent her brand, and represent it well.
Do your customers know your business' purpose or message? What does your business value and what value do your products give a potential customer? Make sure all of that is represented in the images you have on your website. Branding in photographs needs to be relational.
2. Know when to hire the job out
I work with so many women business entrepreneurs who are stepping out with their product and service, trying to put a face to their brand by utilizing branded photography. The saying goes "You can do anything, but not everything", and I think that can also apply to your branded photography.
Can you take your own branded images? Yes!
Should you? Maybe
Every business owner should weigh the benefits of taking your own shots. Do you have the funds for equipment, time and resources (location, props) to manage this? Sometimes your time is worth more than what a photographer would cost. Weigh these options when making the decision. Sometimes delegating tasks like these benefit you in more ways than one. Find a photographer who can either mentor you through learning, or can do it for you if you prefer.
Other ways to find assistance:
-hire a virtual assistant for your social media accounts
-hire a brand advocate for Instagram images in exchange for a fee or trade
3. Practice to Find Your Style
Learning your photography style with practice will make your images more cohesive. Maybe your brand is recognizable by a set of colors, logo, stance. Clean Mama is a brand I work with, and I feel like her brand is very recognizable. She stands by her "clean living/organic cleaning" motto, and her products and blog are all aligned with that message. Take a look at how her logo, products and images I took all align. (Kitchen via: Paging Supermom)
Clean Mama's customers know what to expect from her, and when people can see your images and know it was you who took them, it is a great feeling! You will find your style with practice.
Do you need to identify your brand's photography style? I would love to help you via mentoring either online or in person. Also, consider signing up for my April 9th workshop in Chandler, AZ. We will be discussing photography for your business and blog, along with food and product styling and manual DSLR skills as well.