3.6. Brand Identity - Stock Photos

In time, one of your purposes should be to create stock images (or an image bank like a special reserve or library of images); though this may appear an easy task, it is actually not that simple.

You have to plan carefully and make sure that your photographic style - from props to editing images - remains consistent and true to your brand.

Photos are visual marketing and one of the best ways to connect with your customers.

It is important to remember that our customers will assume that our product or services has the same value as our pictures have.

You have to choose intentionally elements that communicate your brand from props, backdrops, editing style, consistent colour palette and so on.

All your images should tell your brand’s story, an invitation to connect. This way, marketing won’t feel “salesly”, it will be authentic and help grow our business.

It looks like everyone is using almost the same type of free pictures - this is why my strong suggestion for you to build your own library.

Here is a short list with categories for your library must-have pictures:

  1. You: people buy from people, not from businesses and in order to create that connection, it is important to show up.This one should be definitely a branded photoshoot, where you hire a photographer (types of pictures you should have: like headshots) and use these pictures for purposes like website, social media, presentations, etc.
  2. Where does your inspiration comes from? You can share objects, textures, images, anything that makes your heart sing in relation to your brand.
  3. What physical tools or equipment do you use in your work? If only your computer or a journal,  up to the tools you use in your creative work as a painter or block-carver or gardener...
  4. Work in progress images or behind the scenes: don’t be afraid to shoot the mess around your creative process; the “perfect imperfect” slogan has found its place.
  5. Your studio, kitchen-table, your workspace or co-workspace, attic or basement - no matter where you work from, your brand is about YOU - so start sharing your space.
  6. Your lifestyle: morning routines, daily life, favourite smoothie, favourite moment of the day, outfit of the day, etc
  7. Nevertheless, your product or service in use!

In order to start building your own library, make now an inventory list in a file or in a notebook - what you purchased or pictures taken so far:

  • Equipment: your camera, phone, lenses, lighting tool etc
  • Props: write some large categories like tools, paper stuff, vintage stuff
  • Backdrops: white cardboard, fabrics, tables, tabletops, papers
  • Photo style 1: flatlays, vignettes, still life, landscape, portrait, lifestyle shots
  • Photo style 2: moody, light, airy, intense, vintage
  • Photo style 3: types of emotions in your pictures: funny, nostalgic, educational, motivational.

Finding those common topics / grounds in your visuals will help you will build a strong connection with your audience and they will feel they can relate to you and to your brand.

Being relatable (“I feel like I know her”) will build likability and furthermore trust. This know-like-trust factor is the foundation for every sale or impression.

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Alina Barna Vizual Branding & FInance
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