The Power of Storytelling in Photography for Advertising
By Maddy Budd
Great branding can be the thing that makes all the difference. Your branding should capture attention and helps to make you memorable. If you execute your branding well it should tell people a bit about your business and even help you attract the specific kind of clients you want. We have put together some tips for creating your brand and building on that to get the most out of your business and an example brand guidelines document for you to work from too.
Defining your brand
If you haven’t created any branding for your photography business or if you want to refresh your current branding, a good place to start is by reflecting on yourself and your business. Think about what is important to your business, the kind of work you do or want to do, the kind of clients you would like to attract and to begin with, write all of that down in some kind of list, mind-map or brainstorm.
Eventually, you should turn that into something more formal that includes a description of what you do and a tagline that helps people understand your business and what you do. Doing this will make the rest of the process much easier, especially if you are working with a designer to create things like a logo or website.
Your photos are the biggest part of your brand. Make sure you have a great and stylistically consistent portfolio of photos you are proud of and want to shoot more of. The first place potential new clients will look is at your photos so make sure you have a great blog or page that showcases your work. Narrative Publish can help you to easily create something like this for your portfolio or website that looks great.
Designing your logo
Your logo is an important part of your brand. It should attempt to tell people what kind of photographer you are with just one or two words and maybe some kind of symbol. Not all brands have a symbol or icon but it is an element worth considering.
Have a look at what other brands have for their logos, you should look beyond other photography brands too. Think about some of your favourite brands and see what they have done and put together a mood board of the ones you have found that you love. Once you have done this it will be easier to think of how you want your own brand to look. While it is great to get inspired by other great logos, make sure your logo is different from other similar brands as you want your logo to stand out and be memorable. While taking inspiration from other brands is fine, copying them is not.
You can work with a designer to create your logo or if you have the skills you could do it yourself. If you do decide to work with a designer they should help guide you through this process and they provide some great ideas too.
Check out these blogs for some inspiration:
Choosing brand colors
Your brand colors should help to tell people about your brand in a more symbolic way and reflect your photographic style. You should look also into the meaning different colors have and what they represent and choose colours that communicate the things you want about your brand. Greens tend to represent natural things, yellows symbolise energy and vibrancy, and softer lighter tone tend to evoke more calm relaxed feelings.
It is important to do some of your own research into colours and what meanings they have historically and in different cultures so you can make educated choices. If you work with a designer they will be familiar with this process and will be able to help you choose colours that will best represent your brand and, of course, look good together.
Choosing a font
Choosing a font is important for consistency across all of your different channels. It can also help to tell a bit about your brand. Fonts with serifs tend to create a more formal traditional feeling whereas san serif fonts are more modern. When choosing a font, try to pick one that is a standard font available on most different pieces of software like Adobe, Microsoft Office, G Suite, iWork (Apple), that way it is easier for you and anyone else to use or open.
Try to choose a font that has different weights so that you choose a heavier weight for more important text. Don’t forget to make sure you pick something that matches your logo but it does not necessarily need to be exactly the same. Again, if you work with a designer they can help you with choosing the right font and they will be familiar with great fonts and which ones work together.
Creating extra design elements
Design elements can be lines, textures, icons, illustrations or even ways of laying things out. You might want to use these things to help break up text, tell a little more about your brand or just for aesthetic reasons. These can make a big difference to how your brand looks, using a design element like lines to break up text creates a more formal feeling as it is used historically in newspapers and formal documents, whereas creative layouts like overlapping images and text create a more playful modern vibe.
Once you have chosen all of these different branding elements you should put it all together in some kind of Brand Guidelines Document. That you can give it to people like the person who design things for you (like your website) or just use it to refer back to to make sure you are keeping your brand consistent.
When you have done this make sure you always add to these Brand Guidelines.
When you apply your brand to things like your website, or stationery, go back and update your brand guidelines to include them to help inform future work.