Curious about how to expand your photography business and reach a wider audience?
Feeling stagnant or wanting to take on a new challenge to shake things up?
Look no further than brand photography!
It has the potential to be the game-changer you’ve been searching for as a professional photographer.
There are so many opportunities to serve businesses and help spotlight what makes them, their process, and their offers so unique through visual imagery!
In this blog, I’ll explain how you can strategically transition into this type of photography. Then, I’ll introduce you to the benefits of brand photography as well as three tips to help you successfully incorporate this style of photography into your current business.
Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or just starting out, these insights will help you harness the power of visual branding to create a lasting impact on not only your photography business but also your clients’ businesses!
Transitioning to Brand Photography
While brand photography can be an impactful way to take your photography business to new heights, it’s important that you approach this transition intentionally and strategically.
So many photographers, like wedding photographers and portrait photographers, jump into adding branding to their list of services without fully grasping the necessary preparation and marketing mindset needed to effectively serve their clients.
This not only limits what they’re able to accomplish as a photographer, but it can also negatively impact their clients’ success.
Too often, client expectations aren’t up to par. If they’ve never worked with a brand photographer before, they’re looking to you as the photographer to manage and set realistic expectations!
Clients typically approach the brand photography process thinking they only need a few decent photos without realizing their photos can work so much harder for them and their business!
They don’t know what they don’t know.
When novice brand photographers aren’t prepared and clients aren’t sure what to expect, brand photos will often fall flat (even if you get a couple of visually captivating photos). As a result, clients often end up disappointed, possibly without ever really knowing why.
I’ve talked to countless business owners who have spent entire days on a brand photo shoot (and hefty amounts of money) only to walk away with “just a few usable images.”
To spend all that time, energy, and money and still not have what you need…
Not only is that crazy, but it’s downright wrong in my opinion!
That’s why brand photographers must understand the ins and outs of branding to ensure they can deliver outstanding results that truly meet their clients’ needs.
Brand photography isn’t just about capturing high-quality images. It’s about intentionally telling a story through imagery to connect ideal customers with your client’s business.
Good news is, it’s absolutely doable and I’m here to shorten the learning curve for you!
The Perks of Brand Photography
While brand photography does require a unique skill set, once you begin to think like a marketer and add your talent as a photographer, you get to reap the rewards of a very fulfilling career path!
Personally, I love being a professional photographer, and because you’re here chances are you do too! Over the course of my career, I’ve been an editorial photographer, a family photographer, and a sports photographer. Each of these experiences taught me that while all types of photography offer perks, I value some more than others.
For me, brand photography fits my current lifestyle, business goals, and values. Here’s what I enjoy most about being a brand photographer. Hopefully, it inspires this new direction for your photography business too!
The beauty of working as a brand photographer is you can reclaim your weekends!
In fact, most businesses actually prefer to schedule brand photos during the week, and in order to capture process-photos on-location, you’ll typically need to schedule a brand shoot during regular business hours.
While I’ll schedule a weekend session on occasion, I typically don’t work on Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays.
During this chapter of my life, that means I have time to drop off and pick up my son from school, be there for afterschool activities, spend weekends as a family, show up as a mom in the way I want to, and still have the time and energy I need to support my clients.
For me, it’s truly the best of both worlds!
Another reason I love my job as a brand photographer is the wide variety of projects I get to work on! While it’s important to have specialties as a photographer, the idea of only taking wedding photos or family portraits always felt a bit restrictive to me.
Brand photography, on the other hand, allows me to work with so many different types of creative businesses from home decor and custom furniture makers to floral shops to calligraphy studios and everything in between!
It’s safe to say I never get bored!
Plus, adding brand photography to your repertoire can ensure you aren’t limited to weekends! Even if you decide to continue offering wedding photos or family portraits on the weekends, expanding into brand photography can be a great way to optimize your weekday schedule whenever you have the capacity!
Not everyone will agree with me on this one, but I am a big fan of shooting on location.
While many photographers stick to their studio for sessions, I prefer to be “out in the wild,” so to speak. I find that taking brand photographs on-location allows me to capture my clients in their element.
I highlight environmental portraits and love capturing studio spaces, equipment and tools, showrooms, and offices. These kinds of photos (and videos) allow potential customers to peek behind the scenes and get to know the business more intimately. An in-studio photo with a plain backdrop usually can’t capture this.
This is what builds trust between businesses and consumers.
Plus, I get to travel to some awesome locations and discover hidden gems in my own backyard! Since I live in Connecticut, I typically stick to the tri-state area, but from time to time I’ll jet set to meet a client in their home state!
Finally, one of my all-time favorite things about being a brand photographer is the long-term impact my work can have. I prioritize building true partnerships with my clients and am passionate about being part of a business’s journey.
The fact that I can help propel their business and be a small part of their story makes my work feel meaningful. I’ve worked with some of my clients consistently for years!
Not only is this beneficial from a relationship standpoint (I get to know their business SO well and love capturing how their brand evolves), but it also means more consistent revenue for my business.
Investing my time and energy into the clients I enjoy working with means less turnover, less onboarding, and less marketing. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!
How To Set Your Brand Photography Business Up For Success
If the perks of brand photography sound like a good fit for you and your photography business, it’s time to set yourself up for success. That means understanding what it’s going to take to ensure you can combine your imagery skills with marketing strategy. Here are the three things it takes to build a thriving brand photography business that will leave your clients coming back for more!
#1 Craft An Amazing Brand Photography Experience
As photographers, we love the process of making images. But brand photography is so much more than just using the right lens or snapping the perfect moment (although that’s definitely super important).
Brand photography can be intimidating for most business owners!
As a brand photographer, it’s up to you to create an amazing photoshoot experience that will leave your client feeling confident, supported, and excited every step of the way!
I take time up front to create a shoot plan so that my client and I know exactly what to expect throughout the day. I create and present a full concept board so they not only know what kinds of images we need, but WHY. When working with businesses, the images need to reflect their brand, so I create custom concept boards for each client.
Together, we review a list of the types of photos we will need to take to fit their goals as well as any materials, props or items we will need. This ensures there are no surprises once we’re on location!
Another thing I find really helpful is prepping my clients so that they feel ready to step out from behind their businesses and into focus! I do this by offering styling guidance (i.e. best colors to wear, types of clothing they should bring).
Click here to snag my Brand Photo Shoot Wardrobe Guide to share with your own clients so they never have to wonder what to wear on shoot day!
Lastly, unlike most photographers, I like to show my clients the images as we go along (yes, before I edit anything).
Because once they’re able to see how awesome their images are looking, the sooner they’re able to relax, loosen up, and enjoy the experience without feeling so self-conscious.
It’s this kind of attention to detail that can make or break your brand photography client experience!
#2 Ditch the Questionnaire
Another thing that makes my approach as a brand photographer different than most?
I don’t use branding questionnaires!
Cue photographers everywhere gasping!
While questionnaires are big in industries like wedding photography, I actually don’t find that they translate well into the world of brand photography.
Instead of asking my clients to do the heavy lifting, I prefer to shoulder most of this initial work.
I believe in building a real connection and getting all the important info during our discovery call. This is where I start building that foundational relationship with my clients right from the get-go.
Trust me, it makes a world of difference!
During a discovery call, I chat with my clients to dive deep into their vision, goals, and unique brand story.
It’s not just about checking boxes on a questionnaire; it’s about having a genuine conversation that helps me truly understand each brand. This personal touch sets the foundation for a strong collaboration that brings the brand to life in the most authentic way.
And I don’t stop there!
I take things a step further with a Zoom presentation during our strategy meeting. During these strategy meetings, I’ll share my screen and walk my client through my ideas and concepts in real time. This interactive approach saves time and ensures we’re on the same page, so my clients, and I feel confident and excited about the whole process.
All this before you snap a single image!
#3 Build Your Network
To succeed as a brand photographer and expand your reach, it’s crucial that you build a strong network of clients, professionals, and experts in the branding industry.
Here are three key steps to take as you’re getting started:
Identify Your Ideal Audience
Determine the specific niche or target market you want to serve as a brand photographer. For example, I focus on working with creative businesses in Connecticut. Consider the industries or types of businesses that align with your photography style, interests, and expertise. By narrowing down your focus, you can tailor your marketing efforts and networking activities to reach your ideal clients effectively.
Connect with Other Branding Experts
It takes a village to bring a brand to life! Working in isolation will only get you so far. I encourage all brand photographers to establish relationships with professionals in the branding and marketing world such as copywriters, graphic designers, web developers, and social media managers.
These experts can become valuable referral sources for your photography business and can help you stay on the pulse of the branding industry. You can meet these people by attending industry events, joining online communities, and actively engaging in networking opportunities!
Collect Testimonials and Referrals
Once you start working with clients, ask for testimonials and referrals. Early on, you may even offer free mini-branding sessions to build your portfolio and collect positive reviews!
Positive feedback from happy clients can greatly boost your credibility and attract new business. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool!
Remember, building a network as a brand photographer takes time and effort. Stay consistent as you foster genuine relationships within your niche. When you do this, you’ll strengthen your professional reputation and increase your chances of expanding your reach as a brand photographer.
The Business of Brand Photography
Ready to strategically add brand photography services to your photography business?
Well then, join me LIVE online starting July 11th and learn my proven framework for creating impactful brand photography sessions for business owners.
Alongside a cohort of like-minded peers, you’ll have built-in accountability, encouragement, and community to help you get your brand photography business up and running!
Over 3 weeks you’ll gain the skills & confidence to provide amazing brand photography sessions for your clients.
You’ll do this by:
- Crafting your unique shoot experience from start to finish
- Building your brand tool kit so you’re ready for anything
- Learning how to research and find local clients
Click here to learn more and register today!