Refine your skills for the best brand photography – at home!
With all of us staying home for the foreseeable future, now is an excellent time to level up your brand photography game! Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional, we can all refine our photography skills to help elevate our brands online and continue to share meaningful content during this challenging time.
Before we dive into our tips and tricks of brand photography, it is important to understand exactly what brand photography entails. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but what do they say?
Brand photography is a variety of images that represent your brand in a visual way. These photos can include photos of you, your team, your products or your process. As highly visual beings, we actively consume brand and marketing images every day, helping to shape our opinions on brands, their products and their values – all without ever reading a word!
Even if photography is not your strong suit, our list of tips and favourite products is designed to help streamline your creative process and help you create quality photography for your brand.
Understand and identify your brand
When beginning your creative process for planning and executing brand photography, it is important to understand your brand identity and style. This style should be clear in your photography to help create a consistent and effective message. Whether your content lives on social media, a website or other related marketing materials, your brand identity should shine through. It is important to format your brand for these varied mediums, but your style and identity should always remain prevalent.
We recommend narrowing down your style and identity to a few simple words or key phrases. Examples of photography style inspiration could include:
One of our favourite ways to develop a brand identity is to find inspiration in other brands and social media channels. Some of our most trusted ways to find inspiration is through Pinterest, Instagram, VSCO and even Etsy!
So, here’s the break down: When establishing an inspiration board, we recommend pinning everything that draws to your eye and catches your attention. As you continue to refine what you like and what you’d like to adopt as your brand’s identity and style, remove photos or inspiration that no longer fit. We recommend completing this process several times until you have a consistent and focused style for inspiration. This process of narrowing down your brand inspiration is an important step and should be done routinely to keep your brand on track. Time to put your Pinterest addiction to good use!
When you reflect on your vision boards or Instagram inspirations it is important to identify what exactly in the photo is drawing your attention. These details can be incredibly small but often make a world of difference in telling a brand story. A variety of details and how they interplay with one another sets the foundation for brand photography and a consistent brand presence online and on social media.
We recommend writing these details down so you can better reflect on how best to articulate your own brand in your photography. Make notes on the colours you find yourself drawn towards and the types of lighting you prefer. Examine the composition of the photos and how these best align with your brand – are the photos of people, places or things? Are the photos staged flat lays or more organic shots? Do the photos have props or interesting backgrounds? These are all important composition elements to keep in mind when creating your own photos.
Once you’ve narrowed down your style, brand identity and composition details, it is time to put your inspirations to good use. Utilizing your brand identity and photography style, it is important to create a cohesive visual aesthetic for your website, packaging and branding and social media channels. This aesthetic should permeate all marketing materials so consumers learn to visually relate your aesthetic to your brand.
There are numerous tools available to help you establish and maintain your brand aesthetic. These tools are often focused on social media channels such as Instagram and can help you to schedule, review and refine your content to ensure it meets the aesthetic standards of your feed.
When photographing small products, a studio box is a game-changer for creating a consistent brand image. A studio box can help to eliminate external light and shadows, helping you to easily manipulate the look and feel of your photos. This Mini Studio Box has a vertical and horizontal shooting window and comes with 6 professional background colour, helping you create the precise image you want. Users are able to easily improve the lighting quality of their photos with integrated dual white LED light strips built right into the Mini Studio Box.
This product is easy to adjust and is perfect for shooting small objects such as beauty products, jewellery, toys or food.
For shooting photos in a small space, spaces with dim lighting, or for lighting flat lay photography, we recommend dimmable, tripod lights like the Neewer 5600K USB video lights. Each USB LED panel light consists of 66 LED bulbs for superior, dimmable lighting powered by a convenient USB charging mechanism. These lights are lightweight, sturdy and are versatile for any style of photography. Supported by an adjustable tripod, each light comes with 4 colour filters for a wide range of lighting capabilities and customizations.
One of the most preferred styles of product photography is the flat lay. For consumer brands, product photography and marketing is an integral part of overall brand identity and aesthetics. This style of photography is popular due to its’ easily manipulated style and success on social media channels such as Instagram. A flat lay photo requires minimal material and technology, however, there are a few necessary features required to take an effective flat lay photo.
In a flat lay, products and other props are arranged artfully on a minimalist background. These images are often photographed from above and can mimic real-life situations like tablescapes. To create a background for flat lays, many photographers use paper or flat surfaces in their homes. However, using these types of material resulting in a lack of diversity. To create a new, unique background for your flat lays, we recommend this beautiful marble background self-adhesive vinyl, sometimes called contact paper. This self-adhesive vinyl sticker creates the look of marble without the unnecessary expense. This vinyl is easy to apply and can is budget-friendly and effective.
To level up your in-home lighting set up for brand photography, it is often necessary to manipulate light using light reflector plates. Light reflector plates allow photographers to manipulate light to construct their images. Many argue that these types of effects can be mimicked by photo editing software or filters, but for best results, we recommend manipulating your lighting to achieve the same desired effect. This retains the quality of your image. This handy 5 in 1 light reflector kit will help elevate any amateur photography into a professional and high-quality final product.
Each coloured disk serves a specific purpose such as:
The Arkon Pro Phone Stand is perfect for photographers who prefer to use overhead photography styles or are taking the majority of their photos on their phones. This high-quality universal stand fits all smartphones and attaches securely to any countertop, table or flat surface. With a weighted base and extendable arm, this phone stand is the perfect addition to any at-home photographer’s tool kit.
Understanding and effectively executing brand photography at home is not a simple task and often requires trial and error. However, harnessing this skill is critical for the success of many business owners, entrepreneurs and social media influencers. In our current time of social distancing, developing these skills is even more important to help amplify your brand and share your story online.