Why It Is Important to Take Your Branding Seriously

Why It Is Important to Take Your Branding Seriously

As a photographer, it's important for you to understand the significance of branding in your industry. While it may not seem obvious, branding is just as important for small businesses like yours as it is for large corporations. Branding encompasses much more than just a logo. It is the first interaction a potential client will have with your business.
Your brand should provide a comprehensive overview of the entire experience a customer can expect from you, including tone of voice, content design, customer service, and more. The logo is certainly an important aspect, but it is not the only factor to consider when building your photography brand.

In order to effectively brand your photography business, it's important to take into consideration the various elements that make up a customer's experience. This includes the colors and font you use, the tone of speech you employ, and the level of customer service you provide. Your branding should give clients a clear understanding of your brand and what your business stands for without them having to ask any questions. When developing your brand, start by defining the type of photography you specialize in and what sets you apart from others in the industry. This could be your unique shooting style, the type of equipment you use, or the way you interact with clients. Once you have a clear understanding of your brand, move on to creating a visual representation of it, including a logo, website design, and business cards.

Whether you specialize in surreal landscapes or intimate family portraits, being true to your style is crucial in building trust with your audience. Clients hiring you for their special moments, like a beachside elopement, will expect the final product to align with your style and aesthetic. The same goes for magazines, ad agencies, local businesses, and anyone seeking eye-catching images. Gone are the days of needing a deep understanding of darkrooms and chemical processes to maintain consistency in your work. With advanced photo-editing technology, like Lightroom's batch editing, custom presets, and modern filters, you can now standardize your images with ease. Photoshop also allows for the incorporation of consistent elements from edit to edit.

Branding image of Ryan Smith, shot by myself, used with permission from Ryan Smith Fine Art Photography

As an artist, it's important to continuously grow and innovate. But when it comes to curating a professional portfolio, it's essential to think of yourself as a brand. This means balancing creativity with consistency and authenticity. By utilizing the latest advances in software, web development, and AI tools, you can save yourself time and effort, setting up a successful and sustainable career to last for years. Promoting your brand is just as important as creating it. In today's digital age, consumers, artists, and businesses expect to discover and engage with each other online. Having an online presence, along with your portfolio, can open doors to new clients and business opportunities and showcase your reputation. Word of mouth is still a powerful tool, but in the digital world, it has the potential to reach a wider audience.

The opportunities for building your online presence are endless, from email marketing campaigns to social engagement and showcasing your portfolio in the most accessible medium possible. As a professional photographer, having a digital presence sets you apart from those who simply snap pictures of their food and friends. There are enough platforms, options for portfolio publication, and marketing channels that it's unrealistic to incorporate all of them with your business branding. Existing on every single platform and maintaining a continuous presence on each platform can turn into an arduous and time-consuming task. At some point, it makes good sense to pick and choose which channels to use that actually help you push your business forward. 

Identify where your prospective customers are most likely to spend their time looking for professionals like yourself, and invest time into developing a strong branded presence on those channels. Branding is a critical component of your photography business and can greatly impact your success. Promoting yourself in all the places where your customers are already looking is a strong strategy to pursue and will help set you apart from the competition. If your ideal client doesn't spend time on Instagram, there's no reason for you to spend time on Instagram either. If you know that your ideal client routinely scours talent on Behance, that is absolutely where you need to build up a strong branded portfolio. By investing the time and effort into building a strong brand for yourself, you can establish a clear and consistent identity, attract new clients, and differentiate yourself from the competition. Don't overlook the importance of branding and take the necessary steps to build a strong, interconnected presence for your photography business.

Rex Jones's picture

Rex lives in Saint George, Utah. His specialty is branding and strategy, working closely with businesses to refine their branding, scale internal structure, and produce high-quality marketing efforts. His photography is primarily commercial, with intermittent work in portraiture, product imagery, and landscape photography for his own enjoyment.

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Good read, thanks Rex! My photographer friend always says, "Show the work you want to be paid for," and this is solid advice. I find that a lot of photographers' websites are a hodgepodge of genres that lack cohesion. It's tough for a potential client to know what to expect in that case, so having a clear, concise, portfolio, is extremely important.

Thanks, Pete! The idea for the article came from self-analysis, really. I've been guilty of everything above, including what you mention. Consistency and clarity are worth their weight in gold.