These 4 Questions Will Lead to Better Brand Photos

This conversation was spurred from a larger sit-down interview with creative commercial photographer, Lauren Jones. That interview can be found in full here, or you can listen to this interview on Soundcloud here.

If you’re reading this, you’re likely a product- or service-based business that understands the necessity to invest in brand photography. What might not be as clear, however, is which direction to take it. Whether you sell women’s apparel or offer business consulting, there are four questions you can ask yourself that will lead to stronger brand photos. And by “stronger”, we mean photos that will:

1. Differentiate you from you competitors.
2. Carry substance vs. being a pretty photo (more on that later).
3. Increase engagement and share ability.

Before you contact a brand photographer (or when you’re paying them for content consulting), asking yourself these questions will result in powerful brand imagery that does more than just look good on your Instagram feed.

Photo by Flourish Collaborative for    The Edition Shop

Photo by Flourish Collaborative for The Edition Shop

Question 1: Is my design process and/or customer journey easy to understand?

Nothing ruins a pretty picture faster than confusing the heck out of a potential client when they want to learn more. For service-based businesses especially, it’s crucial that your end user understands the process they’re about to undertake. If you’re a creative agency and your branding process is a combination of on boarding, in-person meetings, virtual check-ins, design, and delivery, think of brand photography as a way to attach visuals to each step of that process. Those photos can then be used on a Services page of a website, or as a way to promote your business on social.

If you’re a product-based business, how can you use brand photography to encourage your audience to share their order experience?

Question 2: Are my solutions being communicated clearly, and do they seem highly effective?

Every single business is in the business of solving a problem. The first step with this question is identifying what the solution is.

For example, let’s say you are an ice cream truck. Yes, you vend ice cream on the streets. But, other solutions you may intangibly offer could be:

- Delivering childhood nostalgia to your doorstep.
- Creating a close knit sense of community in today’s suburbia.
- Teaching college students responsible business practices (this would apply to your employees vs. customers).
- Offering a unique F&B experience for a wedding or private event.

Question 3: What am I really trying to say to my customer or ideal client?

This follows suit with the above “intangible solutions” concept: what are you really communicating to your audience through the work that you do?

Let’s use a jet-ski and kayak rental business as an example. The obvious thing to say would be, “We offer jet-ski and kayak rentals.” The intangible statement might be, “We celebrate fun in the sun.” The first statement is a direct sales approach that limits you in the way you can market that offering. Once you’ve broadened your message to “We celebrate fun in the sun”, then you have creative freedom to make content that is as wacky and bizarre as you can imagine, as long as it promotes that specific idea.

Photo by   Andrea Kinnear
Photo by    Andrea Kinnear

Question 4: How do I match my photo aesthetic to my brand aesthetic so that I look cohesive?

At the end of the day, aesthetic matters as much as the above points. If you have a well-developed brand, you want to make sure that your content is in line with that same aesthetic and level of professionalism.

Take a moment to jot down a list of descriptors that come to mind when interacting with your brand identity. If you list words such as minimal, elevated, sophisticated, and feminine, how can you get create with photos that also evoke those same traits?

”Ice Cream Truck x Sophisticated” is a very different creative direction than “Ice Cream Truck x Bizarre”, however both directions can be done well when hiring a professional brand photographer.

Apart from undergoing a full brand process with an agency like Flourish, the above questions will help you get clear on how your business can best communicate and market itself through brand photography.

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