Using the power of photography to build a stronger brand

By Julie Wayer

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On August 16th, we held our “Evolve Your Brand Image” event at the Olympic Sculpture Park, where we presented ideas and held a discussion on photography. Brianna Home, Principal and Strategic Director at Hansen Belyea, and Ken Shepard, our photographer we partner with, presented a series of tips. Below the tips listed should help you stay organized and consistent throughout your visual brand messaging.

Here are some ideas as to how to leverage your next photo shoot and get the best use out of the photos.

1) Establish your brand’s photography style with a guide
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Most companies have brand guidelines, but few have photography guidelines or include such guidelines in their brand document. Use either existing photography or inspirational photography to show what types of images are “on brand” and “off brand.” Try to capture the language that your brand encompasses visually and use as many examples as possible. At least 20 is a good starting point.

2) Find Inspiration prior to shooting
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If you are trying to convey a brand attribute but don’t know what that looks like try to think of how you could verbalize it in a way that is conducive to an internet search. Search Google images (even better if you set the size to “large”), and find photographs that accurately depict the attribute. Don’t be afraid to look outside of your industry or even other countries for inspiration. This inspiration can help your photography stand out from your competition. After you find images, be sure to incorporate them in your new photography guide or at your next photo shoot. This will ensure that you and the photographer are on the same page.

3) Create a descriptive shot list

Whether you have hired a professional or are spending some time in the field to capture what’s going on, it’s critical to have a plan – even more so if there is more than one person shooting. This document should work in conjunction with your inspirational photography. Try to include what you want to capture along with any other details. Instead of writing “head shot,” try to be more descriptive and write, “vertical oriented head shot taken chest up with shallow depth of field.”

4) Shoot for the end-application
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Will the photographs end up in a brochure or on your website? Do they need to be square or a banner? The biggest factor is knowing the orientation (vertical or horizontal). While this seems simple, it can easily be forgotten when you are on location shooting and the photographer or you are caught in capturing the moment. If possible, get both versions for more versatility down the road. If possible, find out the dimensions and whether you want more room to crop. If you’ve mastered that, then go one step further and consider where you want to put text on the photo. All of this will help a lot when you actually put the photos to use.

If you think your brand is in need of a photography refresh and aren’t quite sure how to start, Hansen Belyea is a full-service marketing firm that can answer any questions and would be happy to help you with your next shoot.

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