How to Use Photography in Branding

Advantages of  Establishing your Business Visual Identity

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On-brand photography, as we’ve noted before, is an important part of the brand-building process.

Well-taken strategically-placed photos do not only beautify your website, but they tell your story, create a mood, convince potential clients of your skill, help them get a feel for your personality and style, and help define the values of your brand.

See also this related article on How To Promote Your Brand with Photography.

Here’s how to build your brand with intentional photography

Allocate enough budget to only use the highest-quality photos

Your on-brand photographs are part of your brand’s visual elements, which means that they’re some of the first contact people have with your brand. They make up your brand’s identity, and you want to create the best impression of your brand possible. To make this possible, you need to evaluate every photo that goes on your website, PDF or Social media channels for quality. Check out the lighting, contrast, composition, authenticity, and colours of your photos and only use the strongest.

Tell a compelling story

Make sure each photo tells a story that’s uniquely yours. Use photos that suggest a deeper layer of meaning, one that draws the audience in and makes them want to connect on an emotional level. Stock, generic photos or fillers can hardly create this effect. They’ll in fact cause damage to your brand’s perception efforts.

Create a Mood board that inspires

Get your audience in the mood to work with you by showing them from the get-go what to expect from you. Get photos from different sources that mirror how you picture your own photography working, but pick only the ones that stand out and harmonize with the others.

Be consistent over 12 months or more

Brands are built over time, so getting your on-brand photography to pass a consistent message across several channels over time will work best for your branding efforts. Using consistent imagery and visual elements (including photos) will help solidify your brand in the minds of your audience and before long they will be able to associate your brand with your photos without as much as a caption suggesting it.

Let the photos reflect what you stand for

Making your photos reflect your interests is a great way to give your audience insights into your style, motivations, and personality at a glance. For instance, if you’re a photographer with a specialty in small wedding photography, you don’t cover your website with photos of food. Splashing your website with beautiful wedding pictures tells your audience your interest at once and positions you as an expert in your niche.

Personal Business Branding Photo Example

Business Identity, Photography in Branding, Photo Example

This is How do you create a brand photography guideline

When it comes to curating images that are to be associated with your brand, it’s best to leave nothing to chance.

A brand photography guideline is therefore important for the achievement of perfect visuals for your brand; visuals that tell your story accurately and pass across your brand’s message.

Steps to creating assets to promote your expertise and your business brand

1. Specify composition rules

To ensure that your brand’s aesthetic is religiously maintained, you need to set and establish rules for your photography composition. These photography guidelines will ensure that your photography branding efforts remain coherent and uniform across different channels. When specifying composition rules, look for angles that reinforce your brand’s message and ideals. For instance, a photo for a cleaning company should have as little clutter as possible, while a cat may look amiss in a photo for skincare products.

2. Highlight People

People connect instantly with emotions, and what better way is there to portray emotions than on the faces of people? One of the quickest, easiest, and most obvious ways to pass messages about your product and brand is to include people in your photos. Does your product or service promote fun and relaxation? Let your photo show stills of smiling, relaxed people having a great time. Get your photos to show how your product makes people feel.

3. Tell your story

The best photos tell a story, and branding photography, when done well, should tell your brand’s story. You want your audience to perceive your brand in a particular way, compose your photos in such a way that they tell your brand’s story to your audience.

4. Monitor your content

How would you like your brand to be described in a word? Your brand’s photos can give your audience an inkling of your company’s ethos and style and attract the right (or wrong) people. To put that into perspective, you’ll most likely find photos that are quirky, fun, and creative on a landscape photographer’s online channels. Just as you’d expect to find professional, plain photos on a law firm’s website. Swap the two and the messages become muddled and confusing.

5. Note the tone and palette of your photos

If you want viewers to connect with your company, it is crucial that the tone of your photograph evokes that emotion. High-exposure photos with a big depth of field, creating out of focus foreground and background, should be employed for a relaxing, high-quality impact. To achieve a relaxing atmosphere, minimalism and pleasant, neutral tones are essential. Your colour choices reflect your brand’s personality, so it’s critical that these choices are reflected in your photos.

What can you do if You Don’t Have Good Business Branding?

Without good branding, it would be difficult for your business to reach its full potential. Sure, you may be getting by, but without good branding for your business, there’ll be nothing to differentiate you from the rest and convince people why you’re the best fit for them.

The thing about branding is, your brand obtains an identity even if you don’t devote conscious effort towards cultivating one. And when your brand gains a mainstream reputation or perception, it may be difficult to change that down the line.

That’s why it’s best to cultivate your brand identity conscientiously and painstakingly right from startup. This way, you can control perceptions of your brand from its earliest stages. However, if you’ve not always been serious about building a brand for your business, all is not lost. The next best time to start caring about it is now.

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What If You Do Have Great Corporate Branding?

If you have corporate branding that’s effective and active, then evolution should be your watchword, not revolution. There’s wisdom in not fixing something that’s not broken, so it’s good advice to not upset the apple cart in search of something intangible.

If you have a winning branding strategy, your best approach would be to tweak it gradually as the market evolves (as it invariably will). Remember that brand recognition is crucial to your brand’s health and drastic changes can negatively impact the way your brand is perceived.

However, if you have great corporate branding but are having a hard time getting your product or service noticed, it may be that there’s a disconnect somewhere. For instance, great corporate branding will count for nothing if it doesn’t align with the needs of your target audience. Similarly, exceptional corporate branding will fail to mask a fundamental flaw with your product or service.

If this is the case with your branding, you should consider changing your language or moving your efforts to other channels where your target audience can be found.

What is Typically Included in a Business Branding Package?

A standard branding kit contains all branding elements related to your company. However, based on the needs of your brand, these packages can be customized. While budget is an important determiner of how in-depth your branding efforts can be, a designer may make recommendations as to how much visual branding you need at any particular point.

Before contacting a design agency, you should consider conducting an individual analysis to pinpoint what visual branding is likely to work for you. Here are the top services included in a branding package:

  • Infographic style
  • Stock or custom photos
  • Logo design
  • Website design
  • Color palette
  • Typography and fonts
  • Letterhead
  • Email templates
  • Business cards
  • Style guides
  • Brochures

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