What is Branding Photography and why is it important?

March 28, 2024

What is branding photography?

Branding photography is the creation of visual content through professional photography. Great branding photography represents and communicates a brand’s identity, values, products, and services. It is also interchangeably known as brand photography.

Effective branding photography reflects the essence of a brand. It helps establish a connection with its target audience.

What is a brand?

It is highly relevant for us to understand what is a brand, in consideration of branding photography!

For many people, we associate associate a brand as a logo we see on well-known products or shop front. It is in fact so much more than that!

A brand encompasses the entire perception and experience that people associate with a company, product, service, or individual. Feelings are evoked when people encounter assets.

A strong and reputable brand is extremely valuable, as it invites trust and positivity. Clients and customers are likely to choose a brand they are aware of and familiar with in a sea of options.

What is personal branding photography?

Personal branding photography is branding photography zoomed in on individuals. It is particularly useful for those who are representative of their own brand. When the individual’s personality, values, expertise, and authenticity become the brand values, how they are perceived affect how their offerings are perceived.

Let’s look at this from a different perspective.

Branding photography can encompass a wide range of subjects including products, services, premises, founders, management and team members. It often involves creating a cohesive visual identity for a company or organisation.

Personal branding photography, on the other hand, revolves around the individuals as founders or service providers. The focus of personal branding photography often include a variety of portrait photos, lifestyle images, behind-the-scenes shots, and photos that communicate the individuals’ stories and brand messages.

The two are not mutually exclusive though! Personal branding photography can be an important element in the overall organisational brand, where there are strong personal stories and interests behind a brand. Think of Richard Brandson of Virgin, or Elon Musk of X or Tesla. Bear in mind: people buy from people. Key stories like why the founders start the business, their personal experiences, often resonate with audience and connect with customers on a more personal level.  

Further reading: Business Portraits for Entrepreneurs

Why is branding photography important?

Now let’s look at why branding photography is a key part of your marketing strategy and collateral!

In the digital era that we live in, the first interactions between customers and our brands are very likely to be through our online presence, whether it is through our website, social media or third party platform. These days it is rather common that the online interactions are the only interactions between businesses and consumers!

Research shows that an average person often only stays on a website for 3-4 seconds before they switch onto the next webpage. It is therefore important to engage your audience and capture their imagination right away by presenting scroll-stopping images. You would like them to be keen to know more about you, your company, and your offerings before they switch to your competitors.

To stand out from the crowd, quality branding photography gives you a great head start. Let’ envision: would you be more enticed to buy from a physical store with merchandises well organised and decorated to a high standard? Or are you likely to buy from a shabby store that pays no attention to presentations? Great branding photos do just that for your digital interfaces. They provide a better aesthetic experiences and desirability. They instill more trust as your audience see that you have invested in your customer facing platforms. Your branding photos help establish your authority in a highly competitive market place.

How do we reinforce a brand through branding photography?

Visual communication

Images have a significant impact on how we interpret and remember information as humans are highly visual! Branding photography makes it easier for our audiences to understand and connect with the brand.

Brand recognition

Consistent branding photography helps businesses build a recognisable visual identity. When customers see consistent imagery across various platforms and marketing materials, they can quickly associate those images with the brand.

Building trust and credibility

Well-crafted images can showcase a brand’s authenticity and help customers feel confident in their decision to engage with the brand.

Differentiation

Branding photography allows businesses to showcase their unique personality, values, and offerings in a visually compelling way. This will help us differentiate ourselves from competitors and attract their target audience.

Emotional Connection

Powerful branding photography has the ability to evoke emotions and resonate with customers on a deeper level. By telling stories, showcasing real people and authentic experiences, brands can create emotional connections with their audience, leading to increased loyalty and advocacy.

Increased Engagement and Conversion

By encouraging customers to take action, great branding photography can drive higher engagement rates and therefore increase conversion rates . As a branding and portrait photographer I certainly find that my audience engage and comment on great visuals!

My personal example as a branding photographer

As a professional photographer I used to believe that my work spoke for me in terms of my style and quality. The photographs I created should be sufficient as visual collateral for clients to make decisions.

However, as a branding photographer, it only made sense for me to practise what I preach! Gradually developed my personal branding over time and I have to admit – it takes my business to another level.

These days, I showcase more than my work and offerings. I also showcase to my audience how I work and what is it like working with me. I establish my brand and vision as a professional photographer through social media engagement, client testimonials, media features, international awards, in-person events and the like. They help my potential clients to recognise and trust me.

Please feel free to see how I am represented in the press with my personal branding photos (that are also self-portraits)!

Further reading: My personal brand photography

What is involved in creating quality branding photography photos?

Do you feel ready to to take your brand and marketing materials to the other level? To start creating your quality branding photos, the first step and foremost, is to find a brand photographer that you can trust. It is important that your vision is aligned with the photographer, and that you like the style of his or her photos!

If you have already deep dived into your brand with a brand strategist, the developed brand materials can be the starting point in discussion of your branding photo shoot. Otherwise, you should see if your branding photographer can help you explore and navigate your visions so he /she can represent your brand visually.

My initial consultation with my clients always start off with a brand overview exercise to establish clarity on their brands. This is important for us to establish how you would like to be represented visually; who you want to connect with; what kind of marketing materials you would like to create. We can then develop and design your visual story telling together!

While the idea of setting up your photo shoot can be a bit daunting, I do guide my clients substantially in the brain storming and preparation process. You will have a clear idea of what are needed and what we are working towards before you go into the photo shoot so we would make the most out of your investment.

Further reading: What to wear for personal branding photoshoots

Conclusion: What is branding photography

Brand photography is THE way to get noticed and stand out in your business. If you want your business to rise about your competitors, it is one area you should pay attention to!

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