Business Branding session - What it is and why do you want it
I have recently wrapped up a shoot for one of my friend’s Yoga Studio. Even though my business focus as of late has been on real estate and architectural photography, I've always enjoyed stretching my capabilities and experience.
In doing this, I realized what a great opportunity there is in the small business space for branding photography and building a brand library.
What is branding photography?
By a basic definition, it is photography that specifically aligns with your brand and service offering. Small businesses (SMB) use stock photography for a lot of their marketing needs. BUT that was BEFORE the digital revolution. Especially in a post COVID world that basically forced small businesses to get up and running on all the digital platforms, from social media presence to equipping their website with ordering and scheduling capabilities.
Brand photography is not a new concept. Medium and large businesses run Brand libraries that are accessible by their marketing groups. No matter who creates the content, the use of photography and brand elements from such library creates visual and messaging consistency, which in turn helps solidify and increase your brand recognition.
I think it is time Small Businesses start taking a more proactive and methodical approach towards building that library, just like my friend @FlourishYoga did.
Why do you want it?
I think the answer is pretty simple: because stock is just not cutting it anymore. Scroll through a feed of social media and you can easily spot the professional photos. But which of those make you think immediately about the handle who posted it?
The era of direct mail, flyers and making your business signage stand out to the passersby has moved online. Authentic content is what makes it through to the consumer.
Here's how we tailored @FlourishYoga photoshoot
After a quick client interview that allowed us to understand her priorities, we planned our shoot around 3 major sets:
1. Bring the most recognizable element forward - focus on the owner
Kirsty is the face of the business. People who see her in their feed will stop and read. People who go to the website will get to know her before they even meet her. (In this case, it also helped that we had a model that exudes yoga attitude :)
2. Showcase the offerings
When she launched her business, the focus was more on classes and attracting all new clients.
She has since not only diversified her class options but also started to focus more on private and semi-private sessions. This gave us a unique opportunity to create life-like images that tell the customer exactly what to expect.
Private & semi private sessions
Kirsty says that yoga is for EVERYONE. Creating imagery that allows her to tell that story of inclusion was important to her and thus important to me.
KEY LEARNING - You can get a lot of mileage from branding photography if you pre-plan.
The online mediums of promotion today offer a lot of opportunity - think of all the things you can do with your Instagram story alone!
When planning for a branding session, ensure you think of:
• Spacing in the frame that can accommodate marketing messaging (both landscape and horizontal)
• Detail crops can give you 3+ distinct photos from the same frame (the mileage I was talking about)
• Create imagery that is complementary to any other existing photography - this is how you build your library. The idea is for this to grow with your business, not to hit the reset button with every shoot.
For full gallery see Flourish Yoga and if you share her zip code, give it a try - I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.