INVEST IN GOOD PHOTOGRAPHY

Yes, logos are one of the most important elements of a brand; however, one element of branding that often gets pushed to the side is the photography that will be used to portray the brand. It is so important to get the right photography for your brand. We have a few tips for getting the right photographer, the right shots, what it may cost, and everything in between.

WHY INVESTING IN GOOD PHOTOGRAPHY IS SO IMPORTANT:

It follows your brand everywhere. The photo library you set up initially will be used across all of your brand materials – from your website, to social media, to capability brochures, and even billboards. From a designer’s standpoint, designing any marketing materials is a breeze when you have good photography.

A FEW TIPS:

  • Hire an expert
    • There are so many photographers in the world, which makes it so important to choose the right one for your brand. Some photographers are experts at food photography, some are experts at fashion photography, and others even consider themselves experts at branding photography. Depending on the type of brand you’re developing, you may need to choose a specific type of photographer.
  • When you hire your photographer, come prepared.
    • Although you may be hiring a photographer to give your brand it’s literal vision, coming prepared with any ideas or direction will help the photographer get exactly what you need. One suggestion is to fill out a creative brief, which will let your photographer know about your brand’s values, goals, target audience, etc. If you already have a logo, bring a copy of that along with you to the photo shoot. Anything you can do to guide your photographer in a specific direction, the better results you’ll get.
  • Budget for photography costs
    • Costs truly depend on who your photographer is, and what kind of photoshoot you’re undertaking. If you’re taking on a multi-day photoshoot with models and a photographer who has been in the industry for two decades, you’re going to be looking at thousands of dollars. If you’re looking for a few hours with a few employees in a rented space, that may be more affordable if your budget is tighter. Talk to your photographer upfront about your budget and vision, and they’ll be able to make the most out of your photo shoot.
  • Budget for Additional Costs
    • In addition to the photographer’s costs, depending on what your brand is, you may need additional help at the shoot. If you have a cosmetics brand, you will most likely need makeup artists.
    • The photographer may bring an assistant with himself/herself, if the photographer thinks the shoot will require an assistant.
    • If you’re taking photos of food, you may want to consider hiring a food stylist or food stager.
    • Hiring models may be something to consider. For instance, if your brand sells athletic wear, you’ll want to get some shots of fit models wearing your apparel.
    • Depending on your brand, you may also need to factor in costs for the location you shoot at. Depending on the type of studio/space, and how long your shoot will be may vary the cost. You’ll want to make sure you can book the location far enough in advance to lock it in.
    • Similar to location, your photoshoot may require props, such as a backdrop, chairs, bookshelves, etc. Some studios and locations may already have props in the space and be included in the price, some may charge extra for using the props, and some may not have any props at all (in which case you’ll need to get your own). Check with the location beforehand to budget for any extra costs, or to know what kind of props you may need to purchase/loan elsewhere.
  • Stock Images Can Only Do So Much
    • It is always best to invest in custom photography. Stock photography is okay to use every once in a while. For instance, if you need a textured background for a flyer your brand is sending out (treebark background, brick wall background, etc.), a stock photo could work in this case. However, your brand photography is probably going to feature your employees (headshots, maybe even action/candid-type shots), so using stock photos of random models will simply not do. You’re going to want to show photos specific to your company, so generic photos will not give the best interpretation of your brand personality. For instance, if you’re building a brand for a restaurant, you will want to take photos of your menu items, not use generic plates of pasta.
  • Negotiate usage rights before it’s too late.
    • Every photographer is different. Some are more protective of their work, and some are more willing to provide unlimited use. It is important to ask what the photographer’s policies are for usage rights. Some photographers give full unlimited rights, and some limit the photographs to 1 time use. Some photographers may offer both, but at different costs. You’ll need to ask ahead of time, and negotiate a contract that works for both of you.
    • If you’re using models in your shoot, you’ll need to do the same with them. Some models have very explicit contracts, whereas others are more lenient.

Photography is one of the most important considerations when developing a brand. You want your new customers to be able to look at your brand and know exactly what your brand is and what it stands for. Photographs are one of the best ways to tell stories,