One of the great benefits for using photography for your business is the versatility you have with photos.
What do I mean by that?
Photography can convey personality, through your lighting, the colors you use, and even the setting for your subject. These 3 things can help you stand out among other businesses and represent a personality all your own.
Even if you wouldn’t consider yourself a photographer, you can keep these tactics in mind for when you use stock photos (if you wanted to edit them using Photoshop) or even if you work with a photographer down the road.
When you take a photo
Here are some camera basics and how each element can help you create a look all your own.
Exposure: You could overexposure an image to get harsh looking shapes, or you can underexpose and get a dark and moody fee.
Shutter: Increasing the shutter speed gives you photo less light, likewise, decreasing the shutter will bring in more light to make your image more bright and light.
Aperture: Also called the F-stop, the aperture gives you the ability to change the fuzziness, meaning if you have a baby's eyes in focus and the rest of the face is fuzzy, it would have a lower F-stop. Having a lower F-stop also lets more light into the camera lens so your picture will be brighter.
After you take photos
you have the option to create a mood for your photos using Photoshop or even filters from a social media app such as Instagram. Choosing the lighting and the coloring you use with filters conveys so much with your photos. Even if the change is subtle.
This photo above has a light, airy feel. It's bright, shows space and a conveys a feeling of order.
With photo above I used a cooling filter in Photoshop and also an overlay of a dark gray color to give it this cold, rather sterile feeling. This lighting feels more moody and a little less inviting.
When you have bright photos with a lot of light, some traits it shows off are bright, light, airy, open, uncluttered, inviting, simplistic and straightforward.
If you use a darker setting with a lot of shadows and deep saturation some feelings it can show off are moody, dramatic, risk-taking, adventurous, creative and charismatic.
However you choose to use lighting, know that the way you display photos says a lot about you.
If you use stock photos
You can even change the lighting from stock photos by using Photoshop. In the adjustments bar you can make changes to: Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Lightness, Photo filters, etc. You have so many options just using Photoshop that you can make almost any type of lighting adjustments you need even if you didn’t make it when the picture was taken.
Although black and white photos can be stunning, using color can be a great benefit to increase interest and captivate audiences. Research shows that color increases readers’ attention spans and recall by 82% (source).
Next week we will go in-depth with color psychology and how colors affect people’s choices, but for now, the main concern is that you use photos that contain colors consistent with your business mission and brand.
Say, your business is an umbrella company and one of the main brand colors is mustard yellow, think of creative ways to show off that color by using photography. Such as, on a cloudy, rainy day in a sea of black umbrella’s there’s one that stands out and it’s mustard yellow.
This photo can represent how your company stands out among all the other competitors, or whatever the case may be.
There are so many things you can do with photography to get incredible and unique photos for your business. Get creative and either come up with ideas of how to make your brand’s photos special using color work with a photographer who can bring your vision to life.
Make sure you’re aware of how your photos look so you can keep them consistent across your website and social media platforms.
When you use colors for your brand try to keep them the same across platforms and this goes for photography. Try to find images that represent your brand using your brand colors that shares similar lighting and qualities you’re going for with your photography.
NOTE: I would stay away from filters as much as possible when using photos. Especially the super obvious filters due to the fact that they’re trendy and may not be in style years, even months from now. So when choosing filers, stick to ones that bring out brightness or highlight contrast.
It’s important that you showcase your expertise in your photos. When people who don’t know you or your business, come to your site and you have photos up of flowers on a desktop, but you’re a web developer, they may get a mixed signal.
In this post I shared that very mistake I made with my photography in the first version of my website.
Choose settings that represent what you do and how you work. If you want to show potential clients you’re a neat and organized copywriter, a clean and well kept desktop is appropriate.
First impressions are very important with viewers so convey what you do through well thought-through settings for your photographs.
Items to use in your photos
Find unique items that represent you.
It’s easy to get caught up with what everyone else it putting out into the world; like gold paper clips and cute notepads (not that there's anything wrong with that). But it's important that your brand photos stand out from everyone else's.
Try finding something unique that can make your business stand apart. Like if you have a little elephant statue that is in your brand color, or if you use spoons in your styled shoots as a food blogger. It’s important that you make your photos your own with items that are unique to only you.
A good place to look for unique and one-of-a-kind items may be in an antique mall, a garage sale, or even good will. You may be surprised at what kind of items you will find.
I use this little red dish in my brand photos pretty often. It’s a customized pottery piece I made in college. I love it because it’s completely me and I don’t need to be worried if someone else has it in their photos.
Another example is a fellow brand designer named Katie whose beautiful and delicate colors represent her artisan branding perfectly. But an item that she uses often in her branding photos is a pair of antique scissors. They're unique and charming. It’s consistent with her branding, represents her timelessness and also shows her personality in her styling.
Finding an item that goes with your brand can be a fun addition but it's not as easy as you would think. But keep a look out. You never know when you could find something that is completely perfect for using in your photos.
Discovering your unique point of view
It’s important you experiment with what works for your business.
If flatlays do the most for your brand in conveying your mission, then go with flatlays.
My style is more close ups, styled, and from-the-side shots. I love details and that’s how I shoot a lot of my photos.
Finding ways to stand out can be difficult because so many businesses are using professional photography in more ways than ever.
How you can achieve your look and unique feel is to find a photographer that you can clearly communicate your vision to and someone whose style and look you appreciate.
Or if you’re more of a DIYer, then I encourage you to practice taking pics with your phone or camera and make photos using some of these tips that can represent your business well.
I hope this post was helpful for finding ways to put your personality into your brand photos.\
Let me know in the comments what your biggest struggle is with brand photos?
How do you put your personality into your photos?