Anyone else catch the reruns of Reading Rainbow now playing on Amazon Prime? Sing with me: “I can go anywhere Friends to know And ways to grow A reading rainbow…” Of course, a reading rainbow isn’t the only thing that can help you grow, at least in business. (But you already know this.) What you may not know is that it’s my mission to help you build a carefully curated collection of brand images that has you singing down the stacks with confidence, La Burton style.
But you don’t need me (or Burton) to get started!
Today, I’m handing over to you the FIVE types of images you should have in your brand image library.
Developed after a decade and a half of experience helping small to mid-size organizations create visually compelling content this is my go-to masterplan for building an effective brand image library that will serve you time and time again (unlike those tired stock photos you bought three years ago.)
1. Pictures of you or your PEOPLE.
In the same way, you wouldn’t make a butter rum cake without butter, you simply can’t build a brand image library without including images of your most essential ingredient: your people. This includes:
Headshots and team/group shots
Portraits of your executive leadership
Lifestyle/candid imagery of your people doing their job
Company culture imagery
And… while it may be tempting to find a cheaper alternative or one that doesn’t require YOU to show up in front of the camera (you want to lose 20 pounds first, after all), your audience can spot stock photography like Paul Hollywood of the Great British Bake Off fame can spot even a hint of margarine. Really, there is no substitute.
2. Pictures of your PRODUCT.
If you operate a product-based company, this category is a no-brainer. But for service-based companies, your product is often an idea, a report, or a plan. Not exactly something that lends itself to an Amazon-ready glamour shot on a white backdrop, eh? Make sure you work with a photographer that can help visualize your intangible product in a way that is unique to your work, be it through photo illustrations, process photos (more on that below), or by including commonly “tools of the trade” throughout your other brand images.
3. Pictures of your PLACE.
Does your business host clients at a specific location or have you invested in a branded office space for your employees? Then you’ll most definitely want to have polished interior imagery of these spaces to demonstrate what kind of experience a client or employee can expect from you IRL.
Conversely, are you an entrepreneurial nomad serving clients at several different locations or even online? Place-based imagery (i.e. city or cultural icons that are easily recognized) can subtly inform clients of any regional or cultural influences that may shape your business or, quite simply, what time zone you’re in.
4. Pictures of your PROCESS.
For service-based businesses, your process and expertise is the product that is worth the big bucks. These images are meant to give clients a taste of what they might personally experience if they were to hire you. They should also demonstrate the specific value your unique process brings to your particular service.
5. Pictures of your PURPOSE.
While images of your people, place, and process are all essential for building the like-know-trust factor of your brand, showing your organization’s impact can validate a customer’s desire to choose you. For individual owners, this could be as simple as a portrait of your family that is supported as a result of your business. Larger businesses can show their purpose and impact by documenting special community projects they fund from their profits. Most importantly, show how clients experience real results because of their partnership with you.
BONUS: Pictures from your PAST.
Think the photo archives are only for family photos collecting dust in the attic? Every business should take care to have a well-supplied and organized set of images that chronicle the founding and evolving story of the business. The archives should include images of your first projects and/or clients; previous locations and offices; portraits of the founding leadership and team members. A well-supplied “legacy” archive can help you build trust by demonstrating your organization’s long-standing place in the community. They can also demonstrate how your expertise has grown and evolved to meet your consumers’ specific needs.
Ready to start planning your next brand photo session? Schedule a Discovery Call with Sarah.
This post was originally shared as part of our Brand Photography 101 email series. Sign up to receive future emails here.
Photo in this post captured for Simplify in Style.