Building a brand for professional services with photographs
Posted on 20th March 2023 at 11:58
What consitutes a brand?
A brand goes further than logos and colours. It is a distinct identity of a business that conveys who you are, what you do and ultimately tells your story. It consistently communicates at a glance what your values are. Photography is a crucial part of that.
1. Do photographs communicate a brand?
I believe it is essential to communicate who you are, why you do what you do and how you do it, through strong visuals. Inspiring photographs tell your audience what your brand values are, reveal your business personality and connect with them.
It is the 'know, like, trust' factor that a branding photo shoot underpins. That old expression of 'know, like, trust' can be reinforced by photographs that genuinely reflect teh business.
Having a great set of website photos that brings your business to life and shows the character of the people behind the busines is a huge asset. And reinforcing the message through social media posts with 'on brand' photography is also essential.
Your marketing can be transformed as the images connect to your target audience.
2. How do you use photography for professional services?
I'm often asked how I can do personal brand photography for professional services such as accountants, solicitors, copywriters, coaches etc, because they have no product or physical story to illustrate.
The answer is by asking lots of questions! Every business is unique and has a story behind it. There will be brand values that they may or may not have yet articulated, there will be a target audience they want to connect with and they will have a USP. Like this strategic marketing consultant who has a wealth of experience inthe horticultural industry.
It is by understanding these elements of a business that I can start to create a visual identity and undertake stand out website photography.
3. What sort of photography do professional services have?
To give an example, I worked with a firm of accountants based in Windsor on their corporate photography. They were targeting businesses in and around their location.
I created a set of images of them in and around the office, team and individual headshots, but also some iconic imagery of Windsor to pin point them firmly in that location.
I additionally created art for their office walls from the bespoke photography I had created, which ensured continuity of brand from a visual point of view.
4. Where do you undertake photography?
I believe location and therefore backdrop is important to consider, and you can read more about my views on this here. However, to give you an example, financial services is a business area where it is difficult to stand out from the crowd, so when I was asked to create headshot photography and team photos for this IFA I asked lots of questions.
They suggested I photograph them at their offices, but when I dug a bit deeper, I found that they do regular client briefings at Cliveden House, which is a beautiful location and gives a very different 'feel' to a business than modern provincial offices.
So by understanding their client base, target market and marketing strategy I was able to offer a solution by booking a shoot at Cliveden House which was a more in keeping backdrop for this dynamic team with high end clients.
5. Is it possible to articulate a message through corporate photography?
I particularly enjoy the messaging part of creating a visual brand. It is quite straight forward to photograph a person who wants to come accross as friendly yet professional, but it takes more creativity to conjure up an image that says 'I stop businesses from going under'.
However, it is just those sorts of messages that I create in images. It involves thinking outside the box and visual - word assocation.
To get to the end results I often ask my clients lots of questions and I pull out words or phrases that they say when talking about their business in order to visualise how I will create this imagery that says their words.
And sometimes they have to be willing to get wet! Take a look at this case study by way of example.
Including brand colours or logos in a professional photo shoot
It is good to consider clothes and location in terms of colour palette against a businesses existing brand colours, so that the website photographs can complement and not jar against them. One client was so wedded to her logo that she had a necklace made in its shape so I created abstract images of that which worked really well, especially against the brand colour scheme.
If you would like to find out more about how I work with businesses in the professional services sectors, do give me a call on 07793 205155 or contact me
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