“What do you do?”, people often ask. “I’m a brand photographer and content writer”, I respond. The reactions are always positive, but I can see their puzzle. This new digital era has opened new ways of doing business, and digital marketing—specifically social media—has become an indispensable part of a smart marketing strategy. It has brought up a new field of work and a new vocabulary, like brand photography? So it’s no surprise that people still ask themselves, “What is brand photography?”.
Digital marketing is driven by visual and text content, but for social media, the content must be aligned with the platform. An image must be well-lit, nicely composed, trendy, on brand, and effortlessly styled to evoke emotions. That is brand photography!
Brand Photography vs Product Photography
Product photography is a term most of all know or heard of. I mean the term is pretty self-explanatory, pictures of products. Before social media a picture of a product with a white, grey, or black background. Very straightforward.
Brand photography is also a picture of a product, but the difference with product photography is that the product gets styled or put in a scene according to the brand identity. Every brand has a brand identity that reflects their brand persona. They might be edgy or feminine. Maybe conservative or more adventurous.
It wouldn’t make sense for a travel bag catered to backpackers to have an image of 60-year-old women holding the travel bag in front of a brick wall. To start off, the images don’t convey any emotion or tell any story. Posting that on Instagram will not make anyone stop scrolling. Also, the image doesn’t match with their brand identity.
A better option would be seeing a group of young women stepping into a train with a carry-on and the travel bag. Brand photography shows only a product but brand photography tells the story of the brand.
Brand Photography vs Commercial Photography
Anyone who knows a bit of business and marketing, probably know about commercial photography. Commercial photography is basically photography for marketing-purpose (sale). The iconic billboard form Heineken is here the perfect example of.
In commercial photography, the product gets set in a scene or styled in such a way that the product takes center stage. If a man is holding the beer, your eyes will still be pulled towards the bottle. Commercial photography is great offline marketing because it stimulates brand recognition.
However, commercial photography doesn’t tell a story either. On social media, people want to see stories and that means that storytelling is priority number one and the product takes second place.
The reason why a specific type of photography immersed is because there’s a new generation of consumers with different behaviors. A new marketing platform where people interact with differently. So that means that we need a new strategy. A new way to visually capture our audience’s short attention.
By setting a scene, styling to tell a story, you not only become more memorable but also educate your audience on how to use your product and what your lifestyle is. This applies to products as to service-based businesses.
Freelancers, professionals, agencies, studios, all have a lifestyle. They sell more than knowledge and brand photography shows that. It attracts the right kind of customers and shows expertise and professionalism.
A new era of visual strategy has emerged and it’s a crucial part of any content marketing strategy