Branding is a term that business owners hear all the time. Build a brand. Tell your brand story. Brand colors. Brand voice. But what does it mean to photography??
There are two basic types of branding: business branding & personal branding.
If your business is selling something that isn’t necessarily tied to you, you need business branding. Typically these small businesses have a name that isn’t the same name as the owner. You are a restaurant, a bakery or a brewery. You are a local shop or artisan selling your craft.
You run an online e-commerce shop. You have a product you are selling and that’s what makes up your business.
If selling yourself is critical to selling your services, you need personal branding. You’re an entrepreneur who is selling something that can’t really be photographed.
You’re a life coach, copywriter, photographer, fitness instructor, real estate agent, musician, web designer, blogger, podcast host, makeup artist or stylist. YOU are part of what people are buying.
WHAT DOES YOUR BUSINESS BRAND PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION LOOK LIKE?
Business brand photography can include product photography, images of your products, dishes, events, etc. These images range from the traditional product shots on white backgrounds to action shots of your products in use – and everywhere in between!
Whether you sell in a brick and mortar building or online, your brand is about what you sell. Whether it’s cakes, donuts, coffee, gourmet dinners, handmade soaps, blankets, handbags, books, candles, organic beauty products, shoes, picnics experiences or custom products – you have an inventory and goods to sell!
Customers identify more with your store or restaurant than with the person behind it. Your audience is interested in the menu and the sales. They come to you for jewelry or hot coffee. Your business brand session will be focused on what you are selling.
But there is also more to the story. Where it all comes from and why you’re doing it is how you build a following and bring the customers back for more!
Your brand session will go behind the scenes so you can take your customers with you on the journey of your brand story. We will take photos of how your products are made, who makes them, and where you source your materials. Show us the local farms that provide the ingredients on your menu. Show us your team roasting the beans. Invite your audience to meet the team that runs the store. We will take photos of your studio, office, shop or restaurant.
And because you are the heart of the business, your brand session will also include photos of you and your team.
HOW WILL YOU USE YOUR BRAND PHOTOS?
This is really where you make your money! You’ll update your website with photos from your store, pictures of your team in action and your about page to introduce yourself and your employees with updated, on-brand headshots.
Now look into your marketing and advertising plans. Where are you being featured? Local magazines, blogs, events? Send them a new photo to put next to your business name.
And finally, with your new library of photos, your social media plan is all but worked out for you! Tell your story and invite your audience to come experience it with you.
WHAT DOES YOUR PERSONAL BRAND PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION LOOK LIKE?
Your personal brand story is about connections and relationships. You aren’t just selling your services, you are selling yourself too. You need people to relate to you and like you! You need content that introduces you to your audience in a genuine way.
Your brand photography session will include lots of photos of YOU! You will be at locations relevant to your brand: your office, your studio, your community, your house. You will be engaging in activities related to your business: working on the computer, using your phone, working out, dressing a client, playing your instrument, taking photos, cooking, etc.
You will also have lifestyle headshots of you looking at the camera (and at your audience) so you can introduce them to who you are.
You also need content that fits in with your brand themes. For example, if one of your brand themes is organic eating, you will need content for when you share information on cooking, hosting dinner parties, grocery shopping, local farmer’s markets, dining out, etc. Brand theme content includes you but it also includes images of just things: a stack of books, your makeup kit, coffee and a blanket, your workspace, journals and pens, etc.
HOW WILL YOU USE YOUR BRAND PHOTOS?
Your biggest bang for your buck is going to be in your social media marketing strategy. You’re looking for engagement and connections. This is where you start conversations and build trust. Plaster these photos in every profile pic and cover photo across platforms. Then work them into your content planning. You’ll have lots to choose from for every brand theme you share about and every story you tell!
Next, hit up your website! It’s time for a refresh. Update your About Me page and any place you introduce yourself. Now that you have a cohesive collection of images, your website will look well put together and intentional. Replace the images on your homepage, services page, info page, contact me page and anywhere else you aren’t featuring your clients.
As for your blog, you now have a library of photos to choose from for your next post.
Where else can you send these images? Are you a featured contributor on anyone else’s website? Who else features you or your services? Send out new photos for them to use on their social media and website and keep your presence on-brand everywhere people find you. Anytime you are a guest speaker or participating in a networking event, you have fresh, updated and on-brand photos for them to use to introduce you with.
Don’t forget about Google My Business. Go to your dashboard and update the images with your new photos. You’ll have a fresh, cohesive display. Did you know that Google’s business profiles with photos get 30% more calls and 42% more direction requests than those without photos? There’s even a product section to your Google Business listing. Make sure that’s updated with your newest and most popular items.
So which type of brand photography is best for you? Maybe it’s just the product photography part of business branding. Or maybe it’s a little bit personal, a little bit business! This isn’t a one-size-fit-all service. But knowing the difference in brand photography session types can help direct your brain when you’re starting to plan out your visual content.
To get the ball rolling, write out a list of topics you post about that you need images for and search through Pinterest for some visual inspiration. (Pinterest boards are amazing!!)
THEN set up a Consult Call with me so we can talk about your vision! What ever it looks like, professional photography is the tool you need to execute a successful marketing strategy and take your business to the next level!
Get inspiration as you prepare for your session (or if you’re thinking about booking…) so you feel CONFIDENT AF in front of the camera! And YES, guys!! There’s something for you too!!
Beat the #FOMO and keep up with Sugar Plum Creative on all things social so you don’t miss out! Definitely make sure to follow along on Pinterest for all sorts of inspo too!
Your session is handled with care from start to finish. So much passion and thought is poured into creating something… authentically you!!
lifestyle portraits + brand photography