Using custom photography in your marketing and advertising is the best way for any small business to showcase its products or services. By creating a consistent visual identity across all of your marketing materials, you establish trust with your target audience and ultimately, brand recognition. With a custom brand photography session, you are able to showcase the people, places, and experiences that are associated with your brand. A great example of this is work that I did with Seattle Gummy Company, which wanted to highlight the athletic activities that their target audience participates in combined with their brand colors.

By coordinating your custom brand photography session with your marketing plan, you can identify the types of images that are best going to promote the offers, events, and messages you are trying to engage your customers within the coming months. The images we create can be used to highlight the unique features or benefits of your products or services, which can help to convince customers to choose your business over your competitors.

Coordinating your marketing efforts with custom photography allows you to utilize a cohesive and consistent message with your images across a variety of different platforms, including your website, social media, email marketing, print ads, billboards, and more. In short – custom photography can be a powerful tool for your business, helping you to stand out, connect with customers, and drive conversions.  Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your session and create images that you’ll be proud to show off.

Willowbrook Apple Farm

Define your brand and target audience

Before your branding and marketing session, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your brand and the target audience you are trying to reach.  What activities do they participate in? What is their age range? What problems does your company and product solve for them? Your custom photos should be a reflection of who your audience is.

If you aren’t sure of who your audience is, your analytics is a great place to start. Who is currently engaging with your business and what interests them? Divide the market into smaller groups based on characteristics like age, gender, income, and location. For really in depth market research, a survey or interview with current and potential customers can provide insights into demographics, needs and preferences. Having a solid brand strategy in place will help ensure that the images you create align with your overall message and resonate with your target audience.

Create a mood board

While I don’t accept pinterest boards from wedding clients or portrait clients, it’s something I request from my commercial and marketing clients. A mood board is highly useful for the design concepts of your custom brand photography session. What’s a mood board? It’s a visual representation of your brand and the aesthetic you want to convey. It needs to include images that convey the type of feel you are looking for in your images, and the colors and fonts that your brand uses. A mood board will help you and your photographer visualize the final product and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Austin Custom Brand Photographer
Austin Commercial Lifestyle Photography

Nail down your brand message

Your brand message is the core of your branding and marketing efforts. It should be clear, concise, and consistent. For my wedding and portrait work, my brand message is “Capture Your Moment.” Your brand message should communicate what makes you unique as a business and why someone should choose to work with you. Think about the types of images that will help convey your message to your clients. If you need images of yourself and your face, think about how you want to be perceived? Approachable? Strong? Trustworthy? Fun?

Determine the end use 

Before your shoot, you should have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your branding and marketing photography. Are you looking to create images for social media, your website, or print materials? Are you working on a timeline?  Do you have a marketing calendar you are trying to tie your images in with? Knowing the purpose of the shoot will help you and your photographer create images that are tailored to your specific needs.

Austin Commercial Lifestyle Photography
Austin Commercial Lifestyle Photography

Choose your location and props

Depending on the goals of the shoot, your photographer is going to help you nail down a location. In general, the ideal situation is on that is clean, well-lit and free of crowds.  You should also think about any props you may want to include in your shots. These could include your products, signage, or activities that convey your target audience to your potential customers. In this custom brand session for Austin design firm Arts and Rec, they wanted to highlight the healthy active outdoor lifestyle that Good Call Foods clients participate in so their props included a picnic in the park.

Plan your outfits and makeup

If your branding and marketing photography session is all about YOU, you’re going to want to plan your outfits and makeup. Choose clothing and accessories that align with your brand and make sure everything is ironed and in good condition. You want to bring a minimum of 3 different looks – one casual, one professional, and one that’s a little bit of a wildcard at the bare minimum. Are you ready for a wardrobe refresh for the occasion but shopping feels overwhelming? I always recommend Rent the Runway for just this purpose and it’s where I personally source my outfits for my headshots and custom brand photography sessions.

Austin Lifestyle Brand Photography
Austin Lifestyle Brand Photography

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a successful branding and marketing session for custom photography. Remember to focus on your target audience, create a consistent aesthetic and messaging, and be prepared to be flexible. With the right approach, you can effectively promote your brand and connect with your ideal clients – if you’re ready to book your session, contact me here. I now offer stand-alone sessions, as well as 6-month and 12-month subscriptions that offer multiple sessions over the course of one year at a discounted rate so that you have the custom images you need to market your business effectively.