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Louisville branding photography for small business owners

February 21, 2023

brand photography


Have you heard of branding photography but aren’t sure what it is or how it can help your business?

The homepage of Elixir Kombucha's website, featuring their 5 signature flavors

We live in a world where we are constantly flooded with visual content, which consciously or not influences decisions about what we buy and who we buy from.

With so many options available, people are getting specific on what types of brands they invest their money in when they spend it. Most people can form an impression of a brand in MILLISECONDS, research shows.

What is your brand communicating?

How does your audience interpret the value of your services when you share a half-decent iPhone photo you posted on your Instagram page? A headshot from 3 years ago you keep using over and over (or zero photos of you at all)? Your non-mobile friendly website that you DIY’ed? The causes you support (or don’t support)?

Whether you realize it or not, the content you put out there IS part of your branding! 

Your clients want to invest their money in a company with values they are transparent about, they want to see the face of the business they’re supporting, and they want to see images and visual content that will make them stop their scroll.

It’s a lot to communicate, which is why branding photography is so valuable!

Branding photography is strategic – it needs to be centered around your business values, brand colors and the tone you want to communicate with your audience. 

To give an example, Foxhollow Farm values family traditions and sustainability in their biodynamic farming community. Many of the photos we take reflect these values, as you can see in this image of steward Maggie Keith and her mother gardening together below.

A photo of Foxhollow farm steward Maggie and her mom as they cut fresh flowers in the garden as part of their branding photos

So, what kinds of images do you create with branding photography?

Headshots are mainly for a professional profile like LinkedIn, and for your About section on your website. This is important to have on your site, but it’s only one small part of branding photography.

For many businesses, having photos taken in their business space is the best way for clients to see what the environment is like. Your clients want to see what goes on behind the scenes, you interacting with your team, clients visiting your storefront, you creating your product. When people see the work that goes into creating your product or providing a service, it communicates the VALUE that convinces them to pay a fair price because they can see the quality of your work. 

People are more likely to buy from someone they know, like, and trust – showing up on social media and sharing your company’s values is a great way to build that connection with your audience.

I take decent iPhone photos. How are branding photos any better?

While it’s true that you don’t always need to share professional photos each time you post content, the benefit of professional brand photos are first in the quality and consistency of the images themselves. We’ll incorporate your brand colors or color palette, make sure you’re looking your best and have friends or models you choose to be part of the photos, make sure the scene is set up exactly how you want and clear of clutter. The other huge benefit of professional branding photos are the editing capabilities. If there is a certain aesthetic you want, we can plan ahead to ensure the lighting, colors and post-production edits will match that. Additionally, Photoshop editing to remove distracting objects or correct images further is a necessity for photos that may end up on your website or even on a billboard!

In summary, many times content you create on your phone with no strategy behind it doesn’t resonate as strongly with your audience, and they’ll keep scrolling.

Where can I use professional brand photos?

Everywhere! Social media, your website, press inquiries like the local news, and ads. It’s important to have a plan for how and when you’ll use these images before we take any photos. Most social media apps prefer a vertical image, but Facebook banners for a page are horizontal. Websites tend to use more horizontal images than vertical as well. 

Below is an example of how my client Candleberry Candle Co. uses their branding images to attract new clients’ attention with an email opt-in.

If I had branding photos done before, when do I need to get updated ones?

This is a great question! Whenever you feel the there is a shift in your business, like you start to change the products or services you offer, your values or brand personality changes, or even your physical appearance – it’s time for an update! If you feel like you’ve been using the same images over and over, it’s also worth having newer images taken with different backgrounds or props to add more variety and keep people’s attention. The same goes for seasonal content that might be different from your usual services or products.

Where do I start if I want to plan a branding session?

  1. Get clear on your business values (i.e. high quality, minimal waste, locally sourced)
  2. Choose 3 words you want to describe your business personality (innovative, nostalgic, calm, youthful)
  3. Put together a color palette (i.e. neutrals, lavender and gold, etc.)
  4. Make a list of images your social media or website needs. You can get plenty of ideas based on questions people ask often, most popular products or services, things people may not know about your business, etc.)
  5. Reach out to me to plan your branding session! We’ll walk through all the steps together to create images you can use to leave a lasting impression on your future clients.

Let’s get your audience to stop their scroll, share your content and support your small business! Click here to visit my branding photography page and fill out a contact form to get in touch.

About Louisville branding photographer Johanna Hribal

A photo of Johanna (owner of Frames and Letters Photography)

Johanna Hribal is a food photographer, product and commercial photographer based in Louisville, Kentucky. Passionate about supporting local businesses, she has worked with brands such as Elixir Kombucha, Noche Mexican BBQ, Alchemy Venezuelan Restaurant, Foxhollow Farm, Candleberry Candle Co., Lighthouse Calligraphy, GoodBelly KY and more. 

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