The struggle is real when it comes to taking photos for your business and social media. It is a never ending task that can be time consuming and challenging, especially when trying to curate a collection of photos that truly matches your branding. Keeping your photos on brand throughout your online presence is one of the most important things when it comes to building a strong business. It portrays to your audience your brand style and messaging, and that you are a serious business owner.
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Luckily, there is an easy system when it comes to taking photos for your business and social media. The way to ensure you are always creating photos that are representative of your brand is to create a brand photography style guide. The style guide is a reference manual and includes elements about your branding you then translate into your photos.
Here are 5 important elements to consider when creating your photography brand style guide…
Look at your logo and overall brand and determine your primary and secondary color palettes. You primary color palette are the main colors in your branding, usually your logo colors. You secondary color palette are the colors that compliment your main color palette, that you often use as accents in your branding. Once you identify these colors write them down and remember them. Every time you take a photo try to include one of these colors in the photo to ensure your photos are consistent with one another and your brand. While it may be difficult to always take photos including your primary and secondary color palette, if the majority of your photos include these colors you will create photos that are cohesive and consistent.
Identify 5 different backgrounds that will be the main backgrounds you photograph on. This can include textured wood, colored walls, a white desktop or even the beach (water, sand, palm trees.) Keeping these backgrounds interspersed throughout your photos will also help tell the story of your brand, what you are all about, and what you stand for. With five backgrounds there is enough variety and wiggle room within each to create variety while still presenting a cohesive theme.
Like the tip with backgrounds above, the same applies for props. Choose 5 main props that you will carry throughout your photos. All five props don’t have to be in every image but can be repeated sporadically to create consistency. One example might be roses and paperclips. You can photograph the roses and paperclips together on your white desk and then photograph the roses against textured wood (2 of your 5 backgrounds). Even though those are 2 completely different photos, the mainstay backgrounds and props create cohesion throughout the photos.
Your shooting style is the messaging and emotions you are trying to convey in the final photo. Are you trying to create a fun and upbeat feeling, or a relaxed zen feeling? Consider this every time you go to take a photo. For example, a simple photo of a flower in a vase conveys peace and simplicity, while a colorful flatly with lots of scattered party items will evoke emotions of fun and excitement. You don’t necessarily need to have every photo convey the same message and emotion, but the overall feel should be the same.
Your editing style is different than your shooting style. Your editing style is how you are planning to manipulate the photo after you have taken it. Editing should always be done lightly, as a compliment to the photo, and never as a way to save a bad photo. If your brand is bright and happy, your editing style may be lots of light, high contrast, and highly saturated colors. Conversely, if your style is dark and moody, you can use lots of whites, grays, and black and white filters. Try to record and remember the steps you use when editing so you can consistently and repeatedly recreate that editing style on every photo.
Creating and using your style guide every time you take a photo will guarantee your photos are consistent and on brand. Use creative ways to fit your style into different photos and remember that not every photo has to include every bit of your style. Over time consistently shooting for your brand you will see how quick and easy taking photos will become. As a result your online presence will be more beautiful, you will start to attract your dream client, and build an excited and engaged community and following!
To make finding your photo brand style easier, I created a style guide workbook for you to download and fill out to make sure you stay on track when it comes to photographing for your brand! Just click below to download!