You may have the best-looking logo, a well-designed website and a glossy brochure, but if your photography isn’t up to scratch then it could be the one thing that lets your brand down. John Vingoe, Creative Director at The Hideout, gives tips to help ensure your choice of imagery doesn’t let down the rest of your branding efforts.
A study by Microsoft reported that our attention spans are now shorter than eight seconds which means imagery that catches your customer’s attention is more important than ever, especially in a world where we are increasingly interacting with visually-led content.
Get it right and imagery can help shape the way you are perceived as a company, elevating you beyond your competitors. Get it wrong and it can have a detrimental effect. But how do you make sure you get it right for your brand? Here are two approaches that we’d recommend.
Go with your own
We always suggest creating your own photography. Having your own library means the photography you use will be original and the most honest way of representing who you are and what you do. Having complete control over the focus and direction of the photo means it can be specifically tailored to your content and to your brand look and feel. You can even go as far as tailoring it to the space the photo will sit in.
Hiring a photographer doesn’t have to be expensive, it can be more efficient in the long run. There are a few things that can help make the process of using a photographer easier and more beneficial.
- Give an overview of your brand and what you’re hoping to achieve with the photos
- Make sure to give examples of the type of shots you are after and the types of places the photos will be used
- Work with your photographer to create a shot list for the day to get the most out of your time.
Consistency is one of the core pillars of building a brand and having your own photography definitely helps with that. By having your own library of photography that is shot the way you want, you are helping to strengthen that all important brand recognition.
Stock doesn’t need to be a dirty word
Of course, hiring a photographer isn’t always a possibility and the most common alternative is to use stock imagery.
Stock photography has a bad name because of the cliche nature of the imagery available. Examples such as 3D puzzle pieces or posed model shots are commonplace but should be avoided as they’ve been used to death, look set up and could ultimately cheapen your brand.
You want your photography to look as authentic as possible. It’s worth investing some time looking through a number of stock imagery sites and picking out the best images. Here are a few key points to think about when searching.
- Think about your business, the people and the real-life situations that take place from day to day. This can often be a good start to finding some more realistic photography
- Look for reportage style shots as these tend to have a good depth of field and look more natural and professional looking
- Remember what country you’re in. A lot of the imagery on stock sites is overly Americanised. Think about the content and if it fits the country you’re in
- Does it fit your brand? Is the overall feeling of the photo right? It’s important to make sure it has the same tone as your company
- Again, avoid the cliche. We can’t stress this one enough!
Photography should be seen as part of your overall brand identity and not as an afterthought. It’s part of the decision-making process that a customer will look at when making a judgement about your brand, thus increasing its importance.
Knowing the power of imagery, can you afford not to have the right ones for your brand?