It may not be the first thing people think about when starting a new business, but why are brand images so important? Good question (that I know you didn’t ask but for the sake of this I’m going to pretend you did).
Brand imagery is more than just the products you might sell, the colour of your website, or your logo. Imagery isn’t just photos on a website or social media. A brand’s image and identity should explain what and who they are through visuals. Yes, these other aspects matter, but ultimately you want to make a good first impression with your customer or client and images are a universal language that says a lot within seconds of being seen.
Brand imagery may seem like a reasonably new term that’s been thrown around a lot recently, but this idea is something that has long been of importance in business. A quote from Keller saying “perceptions about a brand reflected as associations in the minds of consumers” stating their idea of what brand image is, dates back to 1993 and yet is still relevant now. The only difference now is that brands and companies are viewed on a lot more platforms now than just tv, magazines, and billboards back then.
Nowadays, your brand identity needs to be so refined that it is recognisable anywhere from a TikTok video to the label inside the t-shirt you sell.
There are many more articles about why brand imagery is so important like this one by Natalie Alsop from Engaging Content. She talks about ….. .
QUOTE FROM NATS’ POST
I suggest you read it as it really solidifies the reasons for investing in professional brand photos. However, from the point of view of the photographer I want to share some important things to remember before, during, and after your shoot.
BEFORE THE SHOOT
– Be sure to have a long conversation with your photographer about your brand, yourself, your hobbies, what sides of yourself and your business you really want to push, what sides you might want to keep private, what your brand stands for, etc. Brand images are just there to look pretty, they need to tell your story to anyone who sees them.
– Plan plan plan! Winging it may be the easier option, but ensure you and your photographer both know what images you want, where these images will go (you don’t want the only image they took of your work station to be in landscape if you wanted it for a portrait gap on your website!), how many varieties of certain shots you want, if you need to bring props or remember to invite other members of staff, etc. There are so many things to consider so make sure you’ve covered them all in advance to avoid dissapointment.
– Talking of props – a little tip for taking the images from looking good to looking like they really fit is incorporating aspect of your brands identity into the photos. Is your branding colours black, white and yellow like Engaging Content? If so, the image below includes that with Natalie’s outfit and location. (TOP SECRET: we didn’t actually find a yellow door, we just found somewhere that looked nice and I edited the door colour to match her branding perfectly 😉).
DURING THE SHOOT
– A photoshoot is a collaboration so tell the photographer any ideas you have as, if they’re open and welcoming (like me 😉), they will enjoying hearing your thoughts. However, please also allow them to use their own ideas too as something that you might not understand at the time, will usually become clear when you get the images back and you’ll say ‘ahh so that’s why Alex took the photo upsidedown whilst in a bush holding a piece of paper over the lense and humming the Friends theme tune!’
– Be ready to run about, change outfits, move items of furniture and more. You want us to take images that clearly represent your brand, team and working space. But you pay us to make sure they turn out great everytime. If we suggest a desk needs to be moved into a better light by the window, then trust us!
– Easier said than done, but if you’re having staff portriats then try and relax! If you feel awkward with a camera and lighting in your face, just know firstly that nearly everyone feels uncomfortable in that situation but in fact, the photographer isn’t really even looking at you. We’re making sure the lighting is right, the crop is perfect and you’re in focus. We’re not weirdly staring into your souls, I promise!
AFTER THE SHOOT
– Once you’ve recieved the pictures, you will have a large bank of images to be used across all platforms. If there are some that you’d rather in different crops or sized it’s always worth asking the photographer to do this. For a small fee (or even free sometimes) the photorapher can judge the best place to edit and crop to keep the intended impact.
– This one might seem a little premature, but keep in contact with your photographer and book in another shoot in the next 6 months to a year. As Natalie said earlier, it’s so important to keep your image bank up to date and rotating fresh images as it’s good for both SEO and keeping your customers continually up to date. I do a new shoot for Natalie every quarter so she can keep up with any changes in her business, life or the world.
Throughout this post, I have scattered pictures from Engaging Content’s various branding photoshoots. As previously mentioned, I shoot with Natalie multiple times a year to keep her image bank up to date so you can see a variety of styles and seasons, but always inkeeping with Natalie’s story and brand.
Get in contact now if you’d like to have a chat about how I can transform your brand identity into high quality imagery and visuals!
Alex did some seasonal brand photography for my new website and I am thrilled with it! Alex took the time to understand what I was looking for and the reasons why.
She took on board my ideas and executed them perfectly. She’s such a creative person beyond photography and this shines through in how she approaches a project through to completion.
She is really helpful, gives great direction and turns projects around quickly. I am looking to book my next seasonal shoot with her soon.
– Natalie Alsop