A lot of people don’t know that photographs are part of branding. When you’re adding photos to your website and social media accounts, it’s important to make sure they match your brand style, so your audience will become more familiar with your brand. If not, then it would be hard to recognize your brand from any other account, and you want your account to be recognizable and attract your audience. Here are 3 types of photos you can use to brand your business.
The 3 Types of photos you can use to brand your business:
01. Professional photos from a photographer.
The best way to create images that match your brand is to hire a professional. They can incorporate your brand colors and create the right lighting to match the style of your brand. Just make sure you look at the photographer’s portfolio to make sure their style fits your needs.
Even though using a professional is pricey, at least you will have original content created just for your business. This is the best option for a brand because everything is original. Having a brand is about standing out. Every time your audience sees your photos, you want them to be able to say, “Oh, is that Natasha Lane’s photo?”.
There are a lot of photos I see on my feed and I know who it is without looking at the profile name. One brand I can think of at the top of my head is For Love and Lemons. Check out their feed here and you’ll see how consistent their brand photography is. That’s the status that we want to reach as a business.
Another plus of using a photographer, is you don’t have to think about anything. They should know your brand style and give guidance during the photoshoot. You only have to worry about showcasing your brand style, i.e. wearing clothes that match your style and creating an atmosphere that displays your brand.
02. DIY photos.
Bring out the selfie sticks and pull up your blinds, it’s time to get creative. If you’re taking your own photos make sure you have a lot of natural daylight and take pictures at every possible angle.
Here are a few tips for DIY photos:
- Never use lights that have a yellowish hue. Those warm house lights look amateurish and they don’t display products well. Most consumers want to see everything so it’s best to use bright lights. They make everything look clean and professional.
- You can buy black or white foam boards and use them as backgrounds for flat lay photos. Flat lay photos are those photos show products, food, clothes, etc on a flat surface.
- If you have extra foam boards, you can buy contact paper and use that as different background pieces. I’ve bought marble, wood texture, and polka dot contact paper from Amazon to create backgrounds.
- Take pictures of objects that contain your brand colors.
- Try to use only a few pieces. You don’t want too much distraction in your pictures unless that fits your brand. Most people prefer a clean and simple look, so try to have the least amount of objects possible surrounded by a lot of space.
03. Stock Photos.
If you can’t hire a photographer and you don’t have any skills with photography, you can use stock photos. There are both free and paid options.
Tips for stock photos:
- When you’re searching for photos, make sure you have permission, pay for them, or that they are free for use. You don’t want to steal other people’s property. The consequences of stealing someone else’s property is legal action. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have money or time to deal with that. It’s cheaper, in the long run, to get permission or pay for them.
- Also, on another note, you don’t want people stealing your stuff, so don’t do it to other people.
- Search for your brand colors. If you’re using stock photos, don’t just pick pictures because they are pretty. Try to make them match your brand. The easiest way is by color. Sometimes I will type teal or blush to see what comes up.
- Search for things relevant to your business. Because I’m a designer, I try to look for images that pertain to computers, workplace, web design, and so on. You won’t really see images of fireworks, camping, or motorcycles. They don’t fit my theme.
- Don’t use the photo as is. By this I mean, don’t just download the photo and use it. The biggest CON of using stock photos is that everyone uses them. I have seen the same photos used over and over again on Instagram and websites. If you don’t know how to edit a photo, at least crop it to look different.
How I brand my photos
If you have mad photoshop skills, you can photoshop images. I never use a photo as is. All the photos I use for my website and social media are free stock images that I enhanced in Photoshop. As I mentioned above, the biggest disadvantage of using stock photos is that they are not original and can be used by anyone, so I opt to photoshop the images that I find so that they will fit my brand.
The first thing I do is optimize an image in Photoshop. I prefer a certain lighting and overall look to my photos. Sometimes, if I love a photo, I will edit the colors to fit my brand. For example, the banner on my homepage did not have a teal couch or those burgundy lips. I thought the photo was awesome so I edited it to fit my brand.
Another way I might photoshop an image is by changing the atmosphere of the image. If something is too bright and cheery, I might change the saturation of the photo. Or if a photo is too moody, I will brighten the photo or change the colors to fit my brand. Below are a few examples of my Instagram posts.
Choosing photos you can use for your business and a side note on selfies
Of course, you don’t have to pick just one option. You can use a professional photographer, take your own pics, and use stock photos. I mostly use stock photos, but I will occasionally pull out the cell phone for selfies. For those of you who hate selfies, I’m with you. BUT if you have your own website and use social media, it’s a necessity to establish trust with your audience.
TIP: If you hate taking selfies, I suggest you make it a habit. I just started taking a selfie once a week. I don’t post it, but I do it to study what I like and don’t like about posing. It’s like I’m in training for when I do post it on social media. My end goal is to have one selfie for every 9 images in my Instagram grid. Just so people know I’m a real human being. Follow me here on Instagram to keep me accountable.
Do you brand your photos? If so, what are the ways you keep your photos branded? Let me know in the comments below.
-Paigon | Natasha Lane Design Co.