Your brand identity, what it is and what it means for your brand shoot

You know you need engaging brand photos for your visual marketing but you don’t know where to start….. You start right here!
Before you get lovely new images to WOW your audience with we need to plan your shoot together. It’s a collaboration and as it’s an investment of your time and money, your images need to be spot on brand and work hard for you. Planning your shoot will ensure you receive images that make your brand message shine! It also serves us to know each other expectations, what you need, the style you want and I know just what to provide.
For you the first step is to choose a photographer that’s right for you and your business. You need to like them, their style of photography and editing, you may want to see variety in their portfolio. Some photographers work within one genre of business and shoot/edit in one style. Others will shoot and edit according to their clients style.
My brand photoshoots always start with a phone call, or a meeting if you’re local,  so you can tell me about your business – what you do, who for and why you started your business (even if it’s 10 years old!). Getting to know you and your business is important so I can produce imagery that’s perfectly on brand and effective for you.
When planning brand photoshoots, or business photography if you feel you’re not a big enough business to call yourself a ‘brand’, I break the process down into 3 parts:
  • brand identity
  • image requirements
  • shoot plan
Photo of 3 plain brown notebooks in harsh sunlight with a leaf shadow across them
This post focuses on brand identity, the next parts will have their own posts too. The highlights of each will be on Instagram too so you can save the post for easy reference.
By the end of the process you will have a clear plan for creating on brand visual content that is attractive to your audience and gets your message across.
Don’t let the detail here put you off the process, it’s a valuable one to do. If you’re working with me on a full brand shoot package we’ll do this together in scheduled meetings, if you’re already clear on your brand identity then the shoot planning will take less time than if you have no clarity at all. If you’re following this on your own you can put as much time into it as you wish.
Essentially, your brand identity is the personality of your business and a promise to your customers.
These questions will help you review or define your brand identity:
  1. What words best describe your brand?
    Think your aesthetic and your brands core values.
    Your aesthetic is the look or appearance of your visual content. It’s the colours, fonts, patterns and elements you use in creating marketing content. The mood, tone and style you create sets an impression and evokes emotions for your audience. Defining an aesthetic ensures your content is consistent. Consistency across social channels and websites creates harmony and that translates to credibility. Creating imagery in a style that is true to you, depicts your personality and resonates with your audience will help you build a strong, recognisable brand.
    Your core values are your beliefs, your compass that guides your brand story, actions, behaviours and decisions. Knowing your brand values and your aesthetic style will greatly help a photographer create imagery that will not only work for you but help you grow.
    List all the words that describe your brand & your core values then whittle them down to those that resonate with you the most. Try to keep them few enough to remember. I have 9 (in 3 groups) that describe my aesthetic and 5 core values.
  2. How do you want your audience to feel when interacting with your brand?
    What emotions do you want your brand and your content to evoke? Emotions are powerful, evoking the right emotions for your product or service can not just send your message but well and truly land it in their heart.
  3. Who is your customer/ideal client?
    This may be a bit cringe-worthy and it’s talked about SO much but, you absolutely need to define your ideal client! This is the person you are creating content for and speaking to with your imagery and copy. If you don’t know them you can’t create effective content that will call to them to listen, and I can’t create those magnetic photos for you.
    So here are some questions to help (and there are plenty of resources online):  Where do they live, are they local to you? What do they value? Do you share the same values? What do they need from you? What problems and desires do they have? And can you solve them? What are their interests? What do they read, buy? Can they relate to you and connect with you, do you share common interests?
  4. What are your brand’s key visual elements?
    Colours and logos are what most people think when we say the word ‘brand’.
    So, do you have a defined set of colours, about 5? Do you have a logo and supporting elements (not crucial) that works well on websites, packaging, printed marketing materials as well as social media?
    Do you already have a style that you portray visually, light and airy or more rustic and natural? Do you use any textures or particular materials, or do any really resonate with you? Are there any settings that suit your brand personality; woodlands, the beach, moorlands, city parks, contemporary streets or old streets etc? Your visual style, or brand aesthetic, ties in with the words you use to describe your brand, the words have to sit well together with any locations you use.
    Yes? Great! No? It’s time for some design help! Your visual style is something we would talk a lot about in planning your shoot together.
  5. What sets you apart from your competitors?
    How is your brand unique, how are you different? Is it the quality of products, do you make something no one else does? Is it YOUR PERSONALITY?!
    You need to know this so we can make it shine through in your imagery!
We would chat through all these questions in our planning conversations so don’t worry about working it all out yourself, I can help too. It can be a good starting point to use Pinterest or save posts on Instagram to create a visual mood board. This is meant to be inspiration though, a visual starting point of how you want your brand identity to look, not to copy another business!
So, what next?
Once you’re clear on your brand identity and I’m clear about it too we then get down to planning the specifics of your brand photoshoot(s), what images you need, how and where to capture them. This all comes in the next two blog posts!
Is it time you had a brand photoshoot? I’d love to make the process easy and enjoyable as well providing you with engaging, storytelling imagery that will boost your brand.