Getting photos taken for your small business can be an enjoyable process, but for some, it can be pretty stressful because they might not feel comfortable being in front of the camera, know what to do with their hands, or how to tell their story through those images. In today’s blog post, we’re going to talk about how to take photos that align with your brand so you can walk into your next photoshoot feeling more confident about capturing beautiful images that represent your brand and that you can walk away with photos that go beyond your typical headshots.
Establish Your Brand Colors
Before you take your brand photos, it’s important to understand your brand personality and colors. Is it 100% necessary? No. But in order to capture images that fully align with your brand (because we all want that brand consistency!), we want to make sure we understand our brand, what we want to say, and where and how we want to communicate our message.
Understanding what you want to say about your brand and the type of clients you want to attract to your business can help you plan out the type of outfits you should wear…and even what type of lighting to experiment with.
Where to Introduce Your Brand Colors
Introducing your brand colors into your images can be as easy as wearing them. If your main brand color is blue, you can easily throw on a blue blazer or a nice shirt with a blue pattern. You don’t have to go over the top and be perfectly matched, but you do want to aim for consistency. We suggest having a couple of your main brand colors in your outfits, even if it’s subtle. Maybe for one set of photos, you could wear your main brand color and in another set of photos, you could wear a secondary color. Don’t be afraid to switch things up so your photos don’t look completely identical. Variety is good!
Wearing your brand colors is the easiest thing to do to help brand your photos, but it’s not the only way. If you don’t have anything with your brand colors, you can always ask the photographer if they would be able to edit your photos to include the color somehow or you can include a background that has one or a couple of your brand colors.
If you don’t have anything with your brand colors, you can also take some photos in your office where you might be able to include them. You could be working through a notebook, holding a pen, mug, bag, or have a piece of art hanging in the background with your brand colors. Including brand colors in your photos doesn’t necessarily mean you have to wear them.
Capture Authentic Headshots
Feeling comfortable during your photoshoot is probably one of the most important things when it comes to capturing authentic brand photos. How you’re feeling can translate into your images. If you’re feeling that uncomfortable about being in front of the camera, bring a friend on set to help you calm some of the nerves. Just make sure you take headshots that feel like you — but don’t forget to be open-minded if your photographer offers up some suggestions.
Headshots can simply be you looking into the camera, but they can also be of you slightly looking off-camera, standing, sitting, or working. A great photographer will be able to help with suggestions. Talking through notes, ideas, and inspiration with the photographer ahead of time will also help the day of the shoot go more smoothly. So be proactive and send those over to your photographer and get a call in the books beforehand.
Take Photos in Your Workspace
Everyone loves seeing other people’s workspaces. Take some photos in your office to capture what a typical day looks like for you. If you’re feeling self-conscious about your space, you can go to your favorite coffee shop, rent out some space that aligns with your brand for a couple of hours, or even a local co-working space.
Remember, you don’t have to look into the camera or be typing on your computer for every shot. Take some photos where you’re looking at the computer like you’re on a zoom call, packing up for the day, relaxing during breaks, going through your schedule, or showing some of your processes when prepping for a project.
Take Photos in Environments You Thrive In
Other than headshots or your workspace, take photos in environments that people would most likely find you in. Take photos that tell your story. Try taking photos in your favorite spots around your town, on a hike, or on the lake. Think through the type of content you need for your website, your social media, and other marketing materials. Creating a shot list can help you pick out different environments. Even taking photos in front of colored backgrounds or murals around town could be a fun way to add some personality to your photos.
Aim for Photos that Tell a Story
There’s no way around it…headshots are necessary because people want to see your face! But you should also aim to take photos that tell a story. Documentary-style photos are great because they tell a story, capture the heart of your business, and you’re able to invite your target audience into your business without them actually being there.
Share Your Process Through Your Photos
We mention this a little earlier in this post, but people are curious about what happens behind the scenes and love learning about processes. That’s why a lot of those types of videos go viral on social media. Know this info, take photos that share some of your processes and sprinkle them on your website. They’re powerful and allow you to invite your target audience into your business and give them a taste of what it’s like to work with you, and it’s a great way to start building trust with you.
Switch Up Your Wardrobe
Don’t be afraid to wear a few different outfits in your photoshoot. It’ll be nice having different options of styles and colors when implementing them into your website, social media, and other marketing materials. Having a variety will never hurt, only help you. You’ll never run out of different places to use your images and nothing’s worse than when you spend a good amount of money and time not having a variety of photos and you end up looking the same in every photo.
Take photos in one outfit in different scenarios or environments and then wear another outfit in similar sets. Changing your outfit alone can help give you a different look. You might love one setup but had a wardrobe malfunction. Having another option in your back pocket will help you save time and money in the long run. Trust us, especially with how much content small business owners are required to make these days, you'll never run out of opportunities to use them.
Adjust the Lighting to Work With Your Brand
Don’t underestimate the power of good lighting. Great lighting has a huge effect on your images. If you don’t have good lighting in your space, make sure there are extra lights or find an environment that has big windows. If you work in the basement with no windows, for example, it won’t matter how many outfits you wear or how many types of shots you take, bad lighting will ruin your shoot.
Natural light is best because it captures the most authentic you. Images that are taken in natural light feel…natural. But it really depends on your brand and what you want to accomplish. Studio photos are great if your brand leans toward a bright, pop, crisp look. In the studio, a great photographer can adjust the lighting to capture the look you’re going for.
If you don’t have access to a studio or some good lights, try a bookstore or coffee shop with large windows. Or even take photos at a great outdoor spot.
Getting Creative With Your ImageS
There are also a few creative things you can do after your photoshoot to help bring in your brand personality. We love photo editing to adjust the lighting in photos if necessary, bring out colors, and even change the vibe of the photo entirely by using color overlays. Here’s an example of a before and after of an album cover we worked on. The original photo was really great but to help capture the vibe of the album, we added colorful overlays to help match the music a little better.
If you don’t have photo editing skills, you can also design around your photo by cutting out the background and adding patterns. Adding in a few branded elements and enhancing your brand colors will help pull everything together. Pro tip: don’t overdesign your brand photos. Make sure that any additional elements or colors are helping bring out your brand images and not distract. There is such a thing as overdesigning.
To recap on how to take photos that align with your brand:
1. Establish Your Brand Colors
2. Introduce Your Brand Colors into Your Images
3. Capture Authentic Headshots
4. Take Photos in Your Workspace
5. Take Photos in Environments You Thrive In
6. Aim for Photos that Tell a Story
7. Share Your Process Through Your Photos
8. Switch Up Your Wardrobe
9. Adjust the Lighting to Work With Your Brand
The most important thing you can do in your brand photos is to feel comfortable and make sure you understand what you're trying to accomplish in your photos. We suggest hiring a professional photographer to help create a shot list and the types of images you would need for your business. If you have an outline of your website, even better! You can create a list of “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” so you can make certain types of images a priority.
Ask for Help
If you’ve been feeling stuck or overwhelmed with your brand for a while and need someone to define actionable steps so you can move the needle in your business, we have 3-month brand consultations. These brand consultations are ideal for DIY-ers who want something a little more budget-friendly and need someone to help them reach specific goals.
Until next time,