For retail brands the importance of good photography cannot be overstated, especially those aiming to stand out and make a lasting impact. Not only does good photography make you stand out from the competition, it also effectively showcases your products, and helps you create a lifestyle around your brand.
Whether you’re shooting yourself with a shoestring budget and a smartphone in hand or working with a team with professional equipment, this article will help you get the best out of your brand’s photography.
Research and Development
With photography as with all aspects of branding conducting thorough research is important to developing a consistent brand photography style.
- Look into your competitors and how they approach brand photography. Discover what’s working and not working in their photography and use that to inform your decisions.
- Consider your audience and what kind of photography resonates with them and conveys your brand values.
- Take into account your brand logo, graphical styles, colour pallets, typography and ensure your photography direction compliments these elements of your brand.
- Create moodboards of different styles that you like, then test these styles out combined with the other elements of your brand to see what works.
Define your brands photography style
To create a consistent brand it’s just as important to set a style for your photography as it is for your graphics, so building a photography style guide for your brand is a great way to ensure your brand’s photography is a considered and consistent part of your brand.
- When putting together a photography style guide it’s important to be as detailed as possible, the more detail the guide provides the more consistent the result will be. You can define anything from colour palette, lighting, framing and composition, talent type and wardrobe. To post production such as filters and effects.
- Provide details on how the photography links back to the overall brand and emphasises your brand’s values.
- Identify elements that can be used in your photography to make it unique to your brand.
- Test it out, most importantly make sure it works. If it’s impractical or not working as intended, adjust it to suit your needs, don’t be tied to your first attempt.
Be thorough and make a plan
Now you have a guide to how your photography should look, it’s time to start taking some photos… but before rushing in it’s important to properly plan your photoshoot to ensure things go smoothly on the day.
- Know your budget well and be realistic with it, you might not have the budget to do something as big as you’d like but if you get creative you can still do big things on a small budget. Also always have a little bit extra set aside just in case something goes awry.
- Use your network, everything adds up quickly on a shoot, so call on your friends and family to lend a hand on set or on camera.
- Plan your shoot and your shots thoroughly and allow some extra time just in case.
- Keep your shoot crew and talent organised, ensure all relevant information regarding times, locations and contact details are available to all crew and talent.
- Have a plan b, things can change quickly so it’s important to have a backup plan, particularly for common occurrences such as wet weather.
Shoot for success
With your pre-production on point shoot day should be a breeze, but prior to picking up that camera or smartphone there’s still a few things to be considered.
- Know and test your equipment ahead of time. Clean your lenses, charge your batteries, check you’ve got everything you need on the day.
- Lighting is extremely important for capturing great photos so take into consideration where you are shooting and the lighting available, and take advantage of natural light when possible.
- The first shot of the shoot always takes the longest. Allow plenty of time for equipment setup and your first shot/scene, once you’re over that hurdle the shoot becomes a lot smoother.
- Check your photos throughout the shoot, don’t rely solely on the camera’s display or phone’s screen, get it only a laptop or larger monitor to check thoroughly.
- Mix up the shots, don’t just take photos of the product, consider the product and any details that are important to highlight and how they can be highlighted in an interesting way.
Putting it all together
Once you’ve got the photos in the can there’s still a little bit of editing before you can release your creation upon the world.
- Be careful not to overprocess your photos, when editing your photos refer back to your defined photography style and any reference materials to ensure your image processing matches your brand style.
- Leave a little time between editing your photos and re-assessing your photos to ensure they’re hitting the mark. But make sure you don’t forget your deadlines.
- Keep a master of any edits you make and stay abreast of the various sizes and formats required for the various channels you use your photos.
- Know your limits, contrary to popular belief not everything is fixable in post. There are limits and some photos are just not fixable.
When it comes to good brand photography, creating a consistent vision that meets your brand’s core values and works with your overall brand style, will ensure you’re creating a consistent and memorable brand image that resonates with your audience.
Branding and rebranding isn’t cheap, so it may seem counterintuitive that involving a branding agency can save you money. The purpose of a good branding agency is to help you improve your business and your bottom line.
At Pink Dog Studio, we can help you with your branding or rebranding needs, taking out the legwork for you and letting you focus on the other aspects of your business.