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Branding photography, I have found, can be a mystery to people on what it truly is and what it accomplishes. It’s also known as ‘personal brand photography’, ‘storytelling brand photography’ and ‘commercial photography’. If this is throwing you a little bit, let’s dig into why all of these names are acceptable for this kind of session.

branding photography

What is it, Exactly?

Branding photography is a session built for small to medium business owners and entrepreneurs, and influencers. The session is meant for these businesses and influencers to build up their brand, tell their stories through photographs. The photographs are meant to help build their brand and online presence.

A branding session starts with the entrepreneur/influencer knowing what photos they want, who they want to target or talk to with these photos, as well as what stories about themselves they want to capture. Are you a florist or a maker of some kind? Then you probably need images not only of the product you make, but also yourself putting the finishing touches on the item. As well, you probably meet with clients or do a lot of work on a laptop or iPad, so having pictures of yourself as a business owner in the day-to-day are important.

branding photography

How do You Find the Right Photographer?

There are a lot of photographers popping up these days who do branding sessions. Here are the things I would look for from a photographer to ensure they are going to capture everything you need:

  • their photography style is classic, it isn’t too light and airy and it isn’t moody and dark. It shows off details appropriately as well as keeping colors true
  • they take the time to get to know you and your business
  • they get to know your ideal client
  • they ask questions to find out exactly what stories you need to tell
  • they make a proposal that fits the stories you want to tell
  • they can talk about previous clients and tie the work they created to their clients ideal client
  • they understand what media works best on what platform and shoots specifically for that
  • they can show examples of a session that illustrates how they shot for a website vs Facebook vs Pinterest and talk about the dimensions and the shooting perspectives
  • they have glowing testimonials
  • they have a fast turnaround time if needed
  • they allow you to edit/crop the photos
  • they don’t require you to tag them in social media unless you want to

As a business owner, a lot of the time you have a time crunch and need the pictures¬†yesterday. You also need the freedom to crop and edit photos to fit what you are doing. A seasoned, professional branding photographer knows and understands this and won’t blink an eye when you do this.

branding photography

Who Needs Branding Photography?

Honestly? Anyone who is making money and has an online presence. This can be a business owner, but can also be an online influencer. With potential and current clients being engaged in your online presence, they turn to Facebook, Instagram, their email and your website to get information. The images you put on these areas and the professionalism they convey will be the difference in you getting new or continued work from people.

Here’s the thing! If you are only using cell phone photos in your online presence, people can see the difference. Yes, cell phones have come a long way, but it’s more than that. A professional photographer has the training not only in their camera {duh}, but also in lighting, composition and that X Factor when it comes to really beautiful images.

branding photography

Is there a Price Difference?

When I get inquiries, people go in with the expectation that the pricing will be roughly the same as a portrait session. It feels the same, right? But the major difference is that a business/influencer is going to be using the images in a professional way. They are going to be on their website, social media and search engines. They are monetizing them. Thus, instead of being granted a print release, like you get in a traditional portrait session, they need a commercial release for the images. A commercial release allows the business owner/influencer to use the images on a website and monetize them, and thus comes with a much higher price tag.

So what should you look for price-wise? Let’s rip off the bandaid!! I personally start my pricing at $2500 for my smallest package, but to get over three months of images for social media and have a full day of shooting 4 or 5 stories or concepts, you should anticipate around a $6000 price tag or more. I know, it’s an investment. When I invested in my branding photography, I had to save for months to afford it. And even then, I did a payment plan!

Conclusion

In the end, these photographs are going to communicate the worth of your business, and you need them done¬†right. Having photos that truly show off your unique personality and style are so important to creating a brand, getting clients and growing your business. Now that you know what branding photography is {and isn’t!}, you can move forward in the world and find a photographer who fits you and your brand best!!

branding photography