If you’re reading this, chances are that you either own a business or you’re hoping to start one in the near future, but maybe you’re stuck on one big question: How can I brand myself in the best way possible? Perhaps you’re thinking about investing in professional photography to help visually brand your business, and you have some burning questions about what a branding photographer can do for you. Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “branding shoot” tossed around a few times, but you’re still not sold on whether or not that’s what you need.
Well, let’s get into it! After all, a branding photographer is going to be the creative director who knows how to elevate your business and brand to the desired next level. As a business that emphasizes branding photography, we’ve got five solid reasons why you should consider hiring a professional branding photographer.
01. You Only Get One Chance at a First Impression
Everything moves ridiculously fast these days. We’re constantly on the go, checking our emails from our phones while also on a conference call. Maybe we’re driving while taking sips of coffee, desperately trying not to spill it on our shirts. (Been there, done that.) There’s an urgent feeling of now, now, now. One of the ways we’ve adapted to this fast-paced world is to absorb knowledge through visual content. Images teach us a lot of information quickly and in a way that words can’t always achieve on their own. In fact, the brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than it processes text—so, in that 1/10th of a second that your potential client is looking at an image you’ve shared, you have to convey every desirable element of your brand possible. Not to mention, you have to think about this with every single photo that you share going forward! That’s a lot to keep track of—even if you’ve got an amazing eye for photography, even if you’ve got your own professional-quality camera.
When you’re running a business, it can be so easy to focus heavily on the larger picture and let some of the smaller (but deeply meaningful) details fall to the wayside. Brand imagery tends to be one of those “smaller” parts of a business that people often believe they can handle on their own. Even if you’re capable of capturing great branding images, are you really balancing all aspects of your brand constantly? Is it easy to keep every single detail top of mind at all times? Heck no! That’s why it’s incredibly helpful to hire a professional photographer who will take the time to learn the ins and outs of your business and then digest your brand story into beautiful, consistent imagery.
Your ideal clients are going to be instantly drawn to images that resonate with them, and they’re going to want to buy your products or services if what you’re offering fits seamlessly into their daily lives. But they can’t get there on their own. You have to help them picture it, and that’s where brand photography comes into play.
02. Create an Emotional Connection With Images
Igniting an emotional connection with an image has become a huge trend in digital marketing, especially recently. If you’re not already doing this, you should be using your brand images to cultivate an emotional connection with your client. A trained professional branding photographer is the best person to assess your business and tell you in which areas you can highlight to capture the emotional element of what you do.
Maybe you own a business that’s been in your family for three generations, so you keep a photo of you and your father in the office, with a framed picture of your grandfather above your heads, to immediately evoke an emotional response from a client who’s visiting. Maybe you’re a single mother who’s started a business so that your kids can look at what you’re doing and feel a sense of pride. Whoever you are, and whatever your business is, there’s a beautiful story to tell, and photography is the most powerful way to get that story across to your clients. Hire someone not only to tell your business story, but also the story of you!
The best way to use brand imagery for the purpose of stimulating an emotional connection is to work with someone that makes you feel comfortable in front of the camera. If you’re going to be in front of the camera, you want the person behind it to make you feel comfortable and at ease—someone who can work with you to let your personality truly shine through in your photos! Even if the photographs feature products sometimes, you want to work with someone that you trust and feel at home with. The connection between you and your brand photographer will translate in a natural, authentic way.When any image could be your first impression on a potential client, you want the expertise of a brand photographer on your side. They understand just how to elicit positive emotion from the people you want to captivate in both a consistent and powerful way. So, when you’re scoping out a brand photographer and stalking their portfolios, seek out someone who has a ton of knowledge and who makes you feel like your best self.
03. Showcase What Sets You Apart
As a business that focuses on brand photography, we know that brand visuals always stand out to us. We also know that, despite our background in photography, we’re not the only ones who are likely to click off of a website rather quickly when we see a host of grainy, inconsistent photos. It’s this kind of lack of purpose with visual content that immediately draws a negative emotional response from us, and your clients will feel the same way if you don’t invest in curated brand imagery.
While most businesses have gotten the memo and begun to use some kind of photography for their online presence, there are still plenty that haven’t. You want to be one of those businesses that sets themselves apart. By working with a brand photographer, you’re immediately conveying the message that your brand values quality, credibility, and that you’re not afraid to invest in yourself—therefore other people should be thrilled to invest in you, too.
Additionally, branding photography truly gives you a place to develop the individuality of your business. There’s something about your business that you do better than anyone else in the area, so why wouldn’t you try to highlight that every single chance you get? Be sure to communicate to your branding photographer what the most unique and impressive features of your business are so they can plan a shoot that thoughtfully and intentionally includes those elements.
04. You’re Spending Money to Make Money
Across the board, quality photography is going to help your business drive sales. Although it may seem like a pretty large investment at first, imagine how quickly that investment will come back to you. In our business, we’ve found that the investments that we were the most hesitant to make were absolutely the ones that yielded the biggest results. If you start updating your social media platforms with bright, crisp, and cohesive images, you will absolutely grow in followers and engagement, which in turn brings you more potential clients.
Something that we definitely encourage you to think about (and something we absolutely beg of all of our clients) is that once you do have branding photography, keep it consistent. If you don’t have it in your budget to refresh your professional photography every month, that’s perfectly OK. You can still be intentional with your posting + re-posting, or be super mindful of only posting stock or other images if they fit with the branding look that you paid for!
Nothing kills me more than seeing a social media site with a bunch of high-quality imagery, and then a couple of random cell phone photos thrown in the mix. Not only are you confusing your client (who has come to expect a certain caliber of content from you), but you’re also devaluing the wonderful images that you’ve already paid so much for
05. Because Your Brand is Worth It!
At the end of the day, this is the real reason: Your brand is worth it! Whatever you do, you’ve worked hard to make your business or your brand successful, and you deserve to have the professional success that you’ve already worked so hard for. Don’t let the fear of investing in your business hold you back! Take the next step and find a brand photographer that you know aligns with you and your vision.
The saying “a picture speaks a thousand words” has never been more true than in this digital era, and you can no longer afford to have your brand falling short of those thousand words. Working with a brand photographer will help emphasize exactly who you’re speaking to, what you’re saying to them, and how to craft images intentionally designed to stop your target audience in their tracks so they’ll want to know more about you.