Branding photography is all about storytelling. If you have a great product, those consuming it will likely want to know who’s behind it and how it was created. Quality branding images can communicate your story without saying a word. 

 “When done well, storytelling can do wonders for a business: turn a brand into a legacy, create a robust marketing strategy, generate profit, and win the loyalty and affection of audiences, to name just a few.”

What is branding photography?

In a nutshell, branding photography is the essence of your business conveyed through images. More specifically, it’s a series of pictures created to show who’s behind the brand, what the product or service you’re selling, the process of that product, or the experience of that service. It’s pictures of the space where a product is created, consumed, or service experienced. 

What’s the process of creating a branding photoshoot? 

The first step to creating dynamic brand photos is to sit down with your photographer to bullet point defining elements of your brand’s story. Like an interior designer or a therapist, asking questions and listening, acutely listening, is essential in identifying the best way to tell a brand’s story. I’ll ask questions like, How did you get your start? Where do you do your work? How many people are involved? Is there a mission statement? Do you have a branding style board, which is often the case if a brand works with a graphic designer? 

In addition to these straightforward questions, I might ask more abstract questions like, What music do you listen to most often when you’re alone? What’s your clothing store? What’s your dream home look like? 

These questions help refine a path forward for your branding shoot. Based on your answers, I’ll create a shot list and summary to identify your photoshoot’s artistic style. For example, a Pilates instructor might want bright, backlit images that feel natural, intimate, and inviting. In contrast, a personal trainer for a bodybuilding competition might want high-contrast images with enhanced definition, gritty settings, and a more intense vibe to their images. 

Where will my brand photoshoot take place?

During the getting-to-know-you period, we’ll determine if these pictures are best created in your space, my studio, or location. It’s human nature to want to see where the magic is made, so I always encourage clients to have their photos taken in their natural environment. Whether a therapist in their home office, a baker in their kitchen, or a yoga instructor in their studio, letting your audience peek behind the curtain develops trust and fosters intimacy with your audience. The studio is a great option if you don’t have a place you feel comfortable sharing with the public. With beautiful light and a blank canvas, you’ll have abundant flexibility to create images for your brand. 

What sort of uses are there for branding pictures? 

During these virtual times, customers appreciate seeing pictures of the creators behind products and the process and location of where they were made. These intricate details give brands a unique character that customers enjoy. These photos can be utilized in various ways, such as websites, social media, and newsletters, to promote your work and share your images.

How long does it take to create a set of branding photos? 

The amount of time required to create your branding photos will depend on the scale of your vision. If you are working alone, you may only need an hour or two to capture your content. However, larger businesses looking to revamp their online presence may require a half-full day or more. All brands need professional photos of their leaders, workspace, and demo photos that showcase their creations and location. For instance, a dermatology practice should have pictures of their staff, workspace, demonstration photos, and essential products or devices used.

When you consult with your photographer, you’ll create a list of photos and decide the scope of work to convey your story. This will help determine how much time you’ll need. Often, photographers offer an hourly rate, a day rate, or pre-arranged packages at a bundled price. 

You also should consider a retaining fee with your photographer, which would cover additional photoshoots on a monthly or quarterly basis to create updated material–idea growing and maintaining a community of fans. 

“Fans, true fans, are hard to find and precious. Just a few can change everything. What they demand, though, is generosity and bravery.” -Seth Godin, Marketing Strategist and co-creator of the Ted Conference.  

Why hire a professional photographer for branding photos? 

Phone cameras have greatly improved, making taking stunning photos at your fingertips easier. However, capturing great content requires more than just a good camera. A professional photographer understands how to create a collection of images that are visually cohesive and reflect your style and personality. Factors such as lighting, background, lens choice, setting, movement, and post-production all contribute to the final product, taking your photos to the next level and creating a unique and captivating set of images. 

How often should you update these pictures?

The frequency at which you create new content determines the need for updating your professional images. If you are the product, regularly updating your images is advisable to keep your audience engaged with new developments. The same applies if you create new work regularly. You may consider hiring a photographer on a monthly or quarterly retaining fee to have updated material. Suppose you frequently generate new products like a ceramic artist or baker and require new photos on the same background. In that case, you can hire a photographer to advise you on a setup you can use independently while hiring them for more complex scenarios.

How much does branding photography cost?

If you want to strengthen your reputation and connection with your audience, consider investing in professional photography. The cost of these services can vary, with hourly rates starting at $600 and full-day rates going up to $4,000.