The importance of photography in your brand.
As the saying goes: ‘An image can speak a thousand words’. Not just because it can convey many messages, but also because our brain interprets imagery in a fraction of the time it takes to recognise text. So marketing material – including social channels – without imagery, really is missing a massive (pardon the pun) exposure trick. But how do you make the pictures alongside your products and services recognisable as ‘yours’ and, just as importantly, fit in with your brand? There are lots of ways. But let’s start by looking at where you might get them from:
If it’s a product you want to photograph, or you’re not likely to find something suitable from an image library. Hiring a good photographer will give you the greatest level of freedom to create exactly what you need. As long as it can be physically photographed. But bear in mind the cost of props, models, stylists and studio time etc can all add up, and take time from your schedule.
Using image libraries
As far as cost goes, there are two main types of image: royalty free and rights managed. With royalty free imagery, once you’ve bought it, it’s yours to use forever. With rights managed, however, the price is dependant upon where and how you plan to use it. And for how long. So if it’s on the front cover of an A4 magazine with a circulation of 50,000 across all states in America in a year, it’ll be much more expensive than a quarter page inside a leaflet in Portugal over a month. The downside of using imagery from a library is that others will be using that very same image too. Especially the cheaper royalty free ones.
If the product you need to photograph, for whatever reason, isn’t available, have it created in 3D from reference or cad drawings. You’ll be able to rotate it and angle it exactly as you need. Combine it with imagery you’ve photographed or been able to source. And in the right hands, a good modeller can work wonders. But with all of the above, there’s something else you will need:
If you use an image library, not only will you find that the shot isn’t quite how you need it, but in order for it to sit well with your brand you’ll need to make some changes. And that calls for the skilled hands of someone who knows what they’re doing. Not just a ‘button presser’ in Photoshop, but someone who fully understands things like focal points, how light falls on a subject creating shadows, perspective and much more. But above all, someone that can make it look at first glance like they’ve never been there. Like the stethoscope tea plantation in my portfolio. Which never actually existed. And now the most important part of this blog:
I often hear people say: ‘There’s only so much you can do with an image to make it yours’. My answer to that is always: ‘You’d be surprised’. Whether it’s having all your imagery shot from a certain angle, in a certain lighting condition, in a predominant colour, blend or shape, or with a particular prop. There’s always something you can do. And when you do it consistently, eventually, your audience will associate that style with you and your brand. Even without seeing your logo. And that’s why imagery is so important.
Need inspiration or help? Get in touch and I’ll put you in the picture.About the author:
Phil Armstrong is an award-winning Art Director and Designer with over 25 years experience in brand design, marketing and advertising. He works directly or through design and advertising agencies for clients and brands throughout the world and can be reached or commissioned by clicking here.