If you’re a small business owner, you most likely need brand photography because brand photography is a powerful tool for building a stronger brand identity. It helps to create a visual language that speaks directly to your target audience, conveys your brand values and tells your story in a compelling way.
With so much competition out there, every brand needs to find ways to stand out and make a lasting impression. Professional photography can help you achieve that and more. When you invest in high-quality photography and use it to promote your business online, in your social media feeds, on printed materials and everywhere else you advertise and market, your brand grows stronger, gains more recognition and becomes a force to be reckoned with in your industry.
But what types of brand photography are there and which are right for your business?
Below, we’ll help you decipher seven types of brand photography and provide info on how to best take advantage of the properties of each.
1 – Personal Brand Photography
Personal brand photography is basically an all encompassing term for all the photographs in your collection of photographs that you use for your brand. Personal branding photographs that are unique to your company are by-design 100% on brand! They show your personality and the vibe of your company.
Some people might confuse personal branding photography with headshots. However, as I explained here, they’re not the same and you may in fact need both.
Personal branding photos can come in many different forms, whereas headshots, while they have been modernized, are a more specific and defined type of photography.
Use personal branding photography for website banner images, advertising pieces, blog posts, email marketing and much more.
You’ll want a handful of brand photographs so that you don’t have to place the same one everywhere. Since they show your personality, they’re great at helping people feel like they know you simply by having seen your picture.
2 – Product Photography
Product photography consists of images of your actual items for sale. They’re pictures that are meant to entice customers to purchase the product that’s on display. They feature product details and features, so that viewers can actually see the product, in part or in whole. Think of product photography as accurate visual descriptions of your product.
Product photographs are often taken with the help of a cyclorama, or cyc wall, a blank walled background with curved surfaces and seamless corners. This gives the photographer an “infinite” space to place the object.
Cycloramas provide a neutral and endless-looking background that lets the photographer take images that focus exclusively on their subjects. They come in sizes from table-top all the way up to giant Hollywood stages.
It’s important not to skimp on product photography. A picture tells a thousand words, and you don’t want the message that your product photos tell to be “I’m cheap,” “I’m lazy” or “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
Use these photos on your website, sales brochures, advertisements and anywhere else you want people to see your products.
3 – Event Photography
Event photography is a way to get ready made photography gems out of an event you’re already holding. Your agenda provides numerous opportunities for key moments, faces filled with compelling reactions and exciting reveals, so why not capture them for use in your marketing materials?
Even if your event is a simple booth at the local farmers’ market, any event is a great opportunity to capture photos of you in your element, interacting with your customers and just flat out looking the part.
Event photography ensures that all the time and effort you put into putting on an event doesn’t go to waste after the event is over. Photos of your event can be used in future marketing pieces, including in promoting next year’s event and showing employees and users interacting with your products in natural ways.
Event photography captures the moments that happen during your event, which offer great potential for re-usable branding photography. You’ll want to get it right by hiring a professional — any photography that impacts your bottom line is worth every penny. Asking your guests to take their own pictures and share them with a hashtag is a great idea, but it’s not good enough to serve as the sole photos from your events.
4 – Lifestyle Photography
Don’t let the name deceive you. Lifestyle photography is still brand photography.
These types of photographs can be defined as photographs of you when you’re doing your work, but also when you’re not!
In this day and age, small businesses are more attached to their owners than ever before. The face of the company is just as important as its product. People want to know who they are buying from, what they represent and how they conduct themselves.
Your lifestyle brand photography is another place you can show your personality, as well as for displaying your work ethic, dedication, enthusiasm and knowledge. Showing that you eat, sleep and breath your product sends a pretty strong message to your customers.
This type of branding photography shows a little bit of you beyond your business. A sneak peak behind the curtain of your mad genius is always a good thing. It’ll go a long way toward establishing a connection with your clients.
5 – Service Business
If your small business is a service-based business then this type of brand photography will be really helpful for you. It showcases you providing the service you make your living doing.
Yoga instructors and personal trainers are service-based, for example. But service business photography encompasses much more, including hair stylists, dog walkers, pool cleaners, landscapers, handyman workers, auto mechanics, car washers, caterers, make-up artists and so many others.
If you’re trying to attract customers to your service-based business, they’re much more likely to hire you if you have professional-looking brand photography before they hire someone who doesn’t have a professional appearance in their marketing materials.
If you were looking for someone to do a service, how would you shop for the right person? In the absence of other information these types of decisions are based on looks and visual appeal. You’ll also want to keep your score up on review sites like angi.com, that’s a given.
6 – Headshots
Headshots are exactly what they sound like: a front on and close up photo of your head and shoulders. It uses a standard formal pose that almost always has a plain single color background, usually white, grey or black. It accents the person in the photo (the subject) rather than the environment, background, wardrobe, etc.
A headshot is a time-tested business tool. Today it can be used for your social media profile, the “About” section of your website or “Meet The Team” type materials. Real estate agents often use headshots on their business cards and yard signs.
Headshots are great for these applications because they are usually small and tightly cropped for placement where there’s only enough space for your head and shoulders.
7 – Food Photography
This is a very specialized type of brand photography. If your business is a restaurant, food truck, hamburger stand or ice cream shop, you’ll need some juicy, savory, bone-stickin’ food photography!
Ever wonder why the photographs on the menu look better than the dish you get served? Credit a good food photographer. They have tricks up their sleeves that make every entree enticing, all the appetizers…uhm appetizing and all the desserts delicious.
People eat with their eyes first. You’ve heard the expression, “My eyes were bigger than my stomach,” right? And the joke about the see-food diet, right? If you see it, you eat it! LOL
This is all due to a biological trait. Humans are hardwired to eat things that look safe, yummy and healthy. Food that looks good sells, so don’t sell your food short by skimping on the quality of the photography.
The many different types of brand photography all serve the same purpose: they tell the story of your brand and help you connect with your target audience. Each of these seven types of brand photography helps you harness the power of professional photography in building a stronger brand identity. Use them to make waves in your industry!
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