MKW Graphics
Helping small businesses turn brand vision into visuals
mkw_coffee filter sculpture.jpg

Tips + Thoughts

To call myself a blogger feels all too millennial. Instead, I consider this portion of my website to be part knowledge library, part design magazine and part entreprenurial-digital-nomad travel journal. Hope you enjoy reading my musings!

- MKW

Branded Photography: What it is and Why you NEED IT for your Business

I am still on the photo kick guys and I think I am hooked! The difference between what I was doing with my brand and what I feel like is just around the corner is HUUUUUUG!!!  ehem... I mean it'll be sweet.

The more I think about my business and it's growth, and the clients that I work with and their business growth, the more I want to encourage GOOD, ORIGINAL, HIGH RESOLUTION BRANDED PHOTOGRAPHY. 

What the heck is branded photography?

Branded Photography is not a formal term, per se, but I might just make it one. You have to think about your brand and the experience that you customer or client has with your brand from start to finish, from intrigue to purchase, from consultation to final product. 

Part of your branding, (the most obvious part) are the visuals. Your logo is a part of your brand (What is the difference between a logo and a brand? That'll be my next blog post). Your brand is also any and all visual communications, broken into two sub-categories: print and digital, broken into even more categories. Your visual BRAND = emails, blog, web, social, business cards, email signature, letterhead, postcards, video AAAAAND you guessed it, PHOTOGRAPHY. 

Now, there's a difference between plain ol' photography and branded photography. Branded photography SHOULD:

  • be visually consistent with your existing brand, aka AESTHETIC SPECIFIC
  • reflect your brand colors 
  • reflect your brand values
  • reflect your mission and goals 
  • share your personality in a way that will help you relate to the clients that you WANT to work with

How do I get started with branded photos?

I really just did this for the first time earlier this month, so by no means am I an expert, but here's what worked!

  1. THE WHY - Come up with a list of objectives
    What are you doing in your business that is interesting or unique? What projects or products are you most excited about? What are you goals for growth? 
    I did this most recent shoot with my sister, who just started her wedding planning business. We both have a majority of our initial consultations with clients at trendy coffee shops so we can get to know them and what their design needs are. We knew we both wanted coffee shop photos to add to our websites and social to help future clients visualize our processes.
     
  2. GET PINNING - Make mood boards for your Shoot
    I love using Pinterest as a brainstorming platform for my clients, so I made a Pinterest board aptly named #Girlboss to gather ideas. I wanted professional headshots that leaned more towards lifestyle photos than School portraits. I wanted bright colors, clean consistent lighting and minimal background detail. 
     
  3. HIRE A PHOTOGRAPHER YOU TRUST, BUT ALSO FITS YOUR BUDGET
    This is super important. Check out local photographers on instagram by searching the hashtags. i.e. #sandiegophotog #sandiegophotographer See whose aesthetic matches your brand goals. Share your Pinterest board with them and get a quote up front. If they are also small biz owners, they might even want to trade for your services! Regardless, be sure to give them plenty of shout outs and tags on social. Shoutouts to @LaurenVanWechel and @BijanAskari.Photography

 

BUT WHERE COULD I USE MY BRANDED PHOTOGRAPHY?

  • to use for Instagram posts 
  • to add to your Instagram Stories
  • to create Instagram Stories Ads
  • to make engaging Facebook Posts
  • to explore Facebook Ads
  • to send creative Email Newsletters
  • to add to your Blog Posts
  • to educate your clientele
  • to attract new clients
  • to share your personality 
  • to update your social media avatars
  • to create seasonal content for your followers
  • to share tips or tricks
  • to build face recognition
  • to use for one side of your business card
  • to promote a discount or sale
  • to use on a flyer or handout
  • to use on branded contracts and service agreements
  • to use as web banners on your website
  • to add to a pitch deck or powerpoint presentation
  • to make a funny gif
  • to send a custom thank you note to clients and customers
  • to send to collaborators
  • to add to a media kit 
  • to submit to local publications who should feature your content
  • to have added to your college alumni website

    and most importantly....