At CIP Design Studio we're all about customising our packages to ensure you have the best start in business with your new brand. We've been working with specifically small business startups for almost a decade now. When you're off to a great start visually, your customers will be compelled by your attractive graphics, branding and therefore professional appearance in the world of digital and print media. Due to the different nature of business startups we don't offer branding photography inside the website development package, but rather as an optional extra. Get in touch today if you would like some options for brand photography in the Bay of Plenty area.
According to marketing research, it takes an average of 8 touches to get an initial meeting (or other conversion) with a new prospect. But the initial meeting is just the beginning. It takes a lot more to make the sale. This is why it is so important that the visual message you are sending is communicating your unique authentic brand values and become recognisable through consistent visual presentation of your branding. Your branding is the face of your business - and in some cases is your own!
This is where branding photography comes in.
The age old 'a picture tells a 1000 words' come into play here. You can have the most concise well crafted copy on your website but with a customers attention needing to be grabbed in the first 4 seconds of arriving on your site or in a social media post only a blink of an eye - an image will far more quickly communicate what it is you do, your brand values and ideology and identifying markers - eg. colour palette and subjects.
Where do you start?
A good way to start is to refer back to your branding mood board for colour palette, photography style, branding etc. Brainstorm what your services are and what this looks like in an image composition. Try to tell the story of your business and what you do through imagery.
Remember this doesn't need to be overly literal. For example if you conduct your services via zoom, you may have images of yourself working at the computer or on a call but much more effective is to show the interaction between you and a customer. If your services are about helping people in distress, show a person in distress and then a person that is living their best life. If you are a consultant or run your business solo - try not to be the only one in your images. Just like how you take down personal pictures when selling your house so that buyer can picture themselves in the home - you are trying to help your customer imagine themselves working with you. So you want the images to feel welcoming, inviting and professional.
Stock images versus custom branded photography
There is a place for stock images, if you work with small children for example, it may be difficult to show real customers or recognisable people in these images unless you hire models. Also you might work with contractors who change and therefore don't want to feature specific people. If you can find stock images that are appropriate to your branding and fit the colour scheme and style then try to stick with that particular photographer to keep consistency. Also there are places you can purchase a pack of stock images if your business doesn't feature people or products for example, but these may be purchased many times and therefore show up on other brands.
Finding your photographer
When it comes to finding a branding photographer again you want to investigate which style best fits with your branding. You also want to check out whether they are experienced story-tellers through photography. If your photographer usually does family portraits and head shots they may not have experience with whats required to create a business branding shoot.
Also take into consideration what the subject is. If your business is service based and mostly based interior you are looking for someone who specialises in shooting indoors and studios. If you are a service based business that works outdoors on location, or wants to bring the environment and sustainable themes into your branding then make sure your photographer is comfortable and offers outdoor shoots - these require working with the weather and are best scheduled for early or late in the day. If your subjects are products then you want to capture not only the stills for your products for the sales pages, but in-situ shots of your products being used, enjoyed and interacted with by your target demographic. Keep in mind that regular everyday people with diverse backgrounds will widen your customer demographic and create a more authentic look and feel for your brand.
Notes for your photographer from your designer
When it comes to completing a really valuable branding photoshoot for your business brand, let your photographer know these key things for your website developer or social media manager:
You will need the images in both high def and social media resolutions
You will need to share the images with your designer
You will need a set of between 5-10 images in landscape format for website headers preferable with white or clear space on one or both sides of the subject.
You will want to use a library of images for social media posts ( square format)
Candid images of the subjects interacting with each other are more engaging that shots of the subjects looking at the camera - and help to tell the story of your business
Remember to purchase or plan out your outfits and props ( in brand colours) for the shoot and then let your photographer know you will want to take breaks to change out these outfits up to 5x times
Finally have fun with it, you want your shoot to come across natural and not overly staged. Start with a plan of 10-12 image compositions (maybe take these off your Pinterest board and have them printed out for your photographer as reference). Try to find things that are unique and custom to your business, so that you stand out from the crowd. One of the most important principles of marketing is building trust, establishing an authentic brand presence through graphics and photography is an invaluable resource for your business.