- Teri Sutherland
How important is brand photography?
Did you know that World Photography Day was established by Aussie photographer Korske Ara in 2009? It is held on 19 August because it was on that day in 1839 that the French Government patented the early daguerreotype photo process and then gifted it to the world in a flash of egalitarian French flair!
Today photography is more equitable and accessible than ever, and still adds so much value to our lives. We are constantly taking photos — of ourselves, our family, our lunch! You probably use photos on Instagram, Facebook and other channels, for your personal accounts, as well as to promote your business. Photos can make your brand stand out — so it’s worthwhile making sure it’s doing so for all the right reasons.
Do your photos tell your story?
A photo should reflect your identity and personality and help to tell your story. So, when you add a photo to your website or social media, how do you choose which one to use? Do you just upload whatever is on your phone/camera? Download a free image from Unsplash or other royalty-free photo library? Do you have a dedicated photographer on your team? If you use freelancers, how do you brief them on taking a photo of your product, your people, or your company location that supports your brand?
Your brand in a snapshot!
Your brand book — or brand guide – includes your logo, typography, colour palette, artwork and illustrations. It could also include how you cover diversity, sustainability, and accessibility. Your brand guide should have a section dedicated to how you use photos — at the very least, this will be extremely useful for briefing a photographer when you update your website or company sales brochure. So what should it cover? Should your photos show action and movement or be posed and still? Colour or black and white? Cheeky or serious? If you have a style guide, then it should include your tone of voice and the words that reflect your brand personality — it’s your brand in a snapshot. So, are you serious and corporate? Fun-loving and quirky? High-end fashion focused? Colourful and curious? Friendly and approachable? Exclusive and classic? Surprising?
I love the brand book for The Scouts in the UK. They have this to say about using photography: “Remember we don’t have to show uniforms or a neckerchief in every photo, but we should show fun, friendship and adventure, and give a sense of belonging.”
It might not be as easy as it sounds, but it’s worth taking the time to get it right. If you are confident that a stock library photo or royalty-free photo ticks all the brand boxes, then by all means use it. But if you need something more bespoke and personal, consider finding a local photographer who can help you tell your brand story.
As you celebrate your love of photography today, it could be the perfect time to think about how you use photos in your print and online collateral. And if you’ve never had a brand analysis, it might be fun to book in a session and start the ball rolling.
If you’re ready to chat about your brand visuals, drop me a line today.
Interested in reading more?
Check out my blog post, "Why your brand needs a visual style guide."