I was thrilled when one of my website clients mentioned the idea of scheduling a brand photoshoot. Especially in a niche like hers. Or any niche where you are the face of the services being provided. Having strong, effective, and connecting imagery on your website will make all the difference in the inquiries you receives and the eagerness in which your leads book with your business.
Sometimes we take for granted the things that come more naturally to us than others. One of those things, for me, is being able to visualize the type of photos that are needed to tell the right kind of story. More times than not, my brain sees things not much differently than those connect the dot puzzles we loved as kids. (Or not, definitely aged myself there showing my technology-free childhood). Good photo decisions are just another dot in the picture that’s taking shape. But I know that’s not the case for everyone.
If you’re not sure why someone would spend the time, money or mental energy on having photographs done, totally okay. I get that. It’s why I’m sharing this, and I’m going to list some of the greatest benefits momentarily. Especially if your business kicked off before the recent uptick in social media and content marketing, this might not be something you’re used to seeing on the quarterly budget sheet.
Being able to see the face(s) behind the business is one of the most powerful ways to connect with your leads and invite them further along in their buyer journey. There’s no one else like you, and you will be one of the major differentiating factors in why someone chooses you over anybody else in your industry.
We all know there are lots of spam and overly inflated promises floating around just about everywhere you look. Seeing real people representing the offers and services at hand will greatly improve conversion opportunities. It provides peace of mind to those on the receiving end of your offers, that yes, you are real and your offers are legitimate.
Is the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” ever overstated? But seriously, if 3-5 pictures can convey the same message as 3000+ words, in less than 5 seconds, it makes sense to utilize this opportunity. We know that online readers are actually multi-tasking skimmers. You want to prioritize short, bold sentence structures, white space, intentional visual imagery, and very intentional text only where it’s absolutely needed in order to keep readers’ interest for more than 6 seconds.
Simply put, your brand is the way your business makes others feel. It’s created through a variety of measures including how your audience’s senses are engaged and their emotions activated. Photos are an incredibly effective resource when it comes to elevating a high quality, distinguished, and unique brand. Everything from the colors in the images, facial expressions and body language, to the location of the images themselves. Even the way your photographer edits the photos will influence the way your brand is perceived.
Now that you’ve got the quick and dirty on why these types of photos are not really optional for your business’s online presence in today’s world, let’s look at six different style components to consider for a professional branding photoshoot.
I guarantee you’ll notice a difference in the responses and interactions you have if you start using photos like these in and around your online messaging.
Just in case you’re still thinking of the traditional studio headshots where you simply change your blazer from black to blue while you “smile at the camera” and then “now look away”. That’s not what we are discussing here. This isn’t your business directory headshot. These are professional lifestyle photos and they have totally changed how businesses communicate with consumers today.
Think about your company’s brand guidelines and use those details to create photos that connect to your audience. You’ll want to consider things like muted tones vs. bright and bold, colorful backgrounds or minimal. Consider your working relationship with clients. Would you describe it as casual and fun or direct and professional? Those details can help you determine body language, outfits, and pose choices.
Movement is not only a great way to show personality but it can be a great aid in helping your target audience with context around your business. These mid-motion shots show them where they might expect to find you, what you look like doing what you’re best at, and what some of those daily tasks are that allow you to help and serve so well.
If there are places where you often find yourself executing tasks for your business or clients, turn them into photo opportunities! Allow your audience a portal to imagine where your business takes place, the physical surroundings of that business, or what they might expect if they popped in to your business. If you don’t have a physical business, then you must set the scene creatively so that your reader can easily imagine you busy at work.
You can use photographs to tell the story not only about what your business does, like we talked about above, but also to convey certain emotions or expectations that your clients and customers can expect when they engage with your brand. Will they get exceptional, friendly customer service? Will they be celebrating something monumental? Are you lending expertise or handing them a beautiful cup of coffee? Tell your customer’s story in your photos.
Planning something as simple as outfits can really knock the socks off of your website’s cohesiveness and aesthetic flow. By having photos that share similar styles you’ll be able to take those images throughout your website with intention. It also keeps your website from becoming too busy or distracting from the main brand message and services.
A good brand photographer should already have this concept front of mind for this type of photoshoot, but be sure to discuss if it is included in your service. When you pose for one photo, the photographer can snap a few extras at different angles and distances. They’ll take different detail-oriented shots without you having to put in any extra effort. Now you’ll have extra photos to use throughout your social media channels that are on brand, eye-catching, and great quality.
Brand photos provide the following value:
Styles to remember and discuss in advance with your photographer:
Katie is building a name for herself and her company, Abundant Collab Co. in her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio and beyond. She’s on a mission to bring online marketing education directly to the fingertips of local business owners who otherwise feel overwhelmed or uncertain at the mention of the topic.
She combines coaching, mentoring, and strategy to give custom solutions for her clients’ website, brand, and marketing message that not only feel good, but are manageable, and results-driven.
Her clients have been able to reduce time online, book out brand new businesses and existing ones, raise prices and create new revenue streams with a clearly defined brand.