What is Personal Brand Photography, and Why Is It Important?

Brand photography has become an essential part of marketing strategy, for both businesses and solopreneurs. Outstanding brand images can make or break your website and social media presence. The investment is one that pays dividends over time; as people come to know and recognize your brand from your professional photos and associate quality with your business.

I sat down with Miranda Taylor of Miranda Taylor Photography to discuss the in’s and out’s of this topic. Miranda is an experienced photographer, and a fellow horse girl – we actually met at a horse show! Her experience ranges from shooting events to portraits to products, and of course brand photos!

What is brand photography?

Branding photography is basically professional quality images that represent a business or an entrepreneur, and showcase them in the best possible way. The end goal of branding images is to depict the identity and personality of the business/entrepreneur while also highlighting anything that is unique about them to hopefully leave a lasting impression on the consumer.

Why is brand photography important?

Branding photography is incredibly important for any business or entrepreneur that strives to be successful. The average consumer is exposed to dozens or hundreds of new brands everyday because of how accessible and easy social media has made advertising. When you present your business through images in a consistent, personal, and professional manner, you’re much more likely to leave an impression on the consumer than a business who offers low quality or no visuals of their business at all. Consumers are smart, they’ll remember which brands appeared more established and credible. And by keeping it consistent, you’re building the trust with the consumer even more.

We’ve all been to a website where the images were obviously generic stock photos, or worse – DIY images captured with a cell phone camera. The saying “a picture’s worth a thousand words” definitely applies here. You only get a few seconds to make a first impression with a potential customer, so it’s important to visually present your brand in the best possible way.

Who should invest in brand photography?

Every business and every entrepreneur should be investing in branding photos. This is especially true for service-based businesses. People want to put a face to the name, and know who they will potentially be working with if they invest in your services.

How to choose a brand photographer

Identify the type of photography that appeals most to you

When choosing a photographer for your branding photos you should first find one that has an editing style that would fit the vibe you’re trying to convey to consumers about your business. If you’re looking for a light and bright photo, you obviously shouldn’t pick a photographer that has an editing style that’s dark and moody! 

Find a photographer that is familiar with your business or industry

Once you’ve found a few photographers that photograph the way that would best represent you and your business you can then consider who’s within your budget and also who is familiar with what your business offers. The photographer’s level of knowledge/understanding of what your business offers will greatly impact how they photograph and in turn impact how your business is portrayed.

How much does brand photography cost?

Every photographer is priced differently and it can be very broad depending on their cost of doing business, their expertise, and what you’re looking for from your session(s). When establishing a budget when looking for a photographer, consider how your business will be effected with quality images. Branding photography is an investment but it will likely pay off in the long run. Similar to your logo or website, you will likely get what you pay for in terms of quality.

What does a brand photography session usually include?

A branding session should include images of anything that represents your business. This may include images of the business owner, employees, the workspace, the product, and anything else that may be unique. Talk with your photographer to understand the amount of time they’ll spend photographing, how many images are included, and also what your rights are when using the images. Some images may not be released for printed advertisement and require additional compensation for the proper licensing.

What are some strategies for making the most of your brand shoot?

Here are some things Miranda recommends to ensure a great result:

Plan your outfit & accessories ahead of time

The day of the photoshoot is not the best time to try on a new outfit for the first time! Make sure you’re comfortable in the clothes, shoes and accessories you’ll be wearing. It’s best to choose outfits that you would normally wear. If you usually dress casually, wearing business professional attire for your photoshoot may may feel awkward and forced.

Talk to your photographer ahead of time about outfit changes – do they allow them, and if so how many? It’s sometimes nice to get some photos in different clothing.

Also, think about what accessories might make sense for your brand. For example, if your job involves a lot of working on a computer, you might consider bringing your laptop and getting some casual “candid” photos of yourself working. These would be useful to have, for example, on the “About” page of your website.

Bring backups

If anything can go wrong, it will – and there’s nothing worse than frantically trying to remove a stain from spilled coffee before your photoshoot. Your photographer may be able to edit out some things, but don’t count on them being able to fix everything entirely. A backup change of clothes is always a good idea in case something happens.

If you can, bring someone to help

Talk to your photographer ahead of time and see if they will be bringing an assistant – if not, see if you can talk a friend into helping you out. Having someone to hold your props and help you change can be invaluable, especially if you have limited time for the shoot. They can also be on the lookout for small details – lipstick smudges, untucked shirts, etc.

We’re all so incredibly lucky to be living in a time of social media where you don’t even need to pay for advertisement anymore! However, now that consumers are introduced to an endless amount of new businesses each day because advertising is so easy, it is more imperative than ever for businesses to create and convey an identity and a brand that stands out.

I’ve been riding my whole life, and like to take my horse Lilly out on trail rides behind our house – along with our two goats!

-Emily King, owner