Your company has a message to share, and the way you brand yourself will make a huge difference. Branding is not just about your logo, your company colors or your Web site. The best brands in the world are consistent, focused and engaging, and they do this by using multiple mediums to share their message.
One of the most memorable ways to captivate your audience is by using images to show your brand’s message and story. The type of photography you use will help set your brand apart from the competition.
There are two types of photography methods you can use for your brand communication: stock photography and photo-shoot photography. There are pros and cons of each, but we recommend using original photography from a photo-shoot. This will help your company stand apart in the competitive marketplace. The differences in styles are delineated here.
Choosing Stock Photography
Stock photography is the supply of photographs licensed for specific uses. They are purchased to fulfill the needs of creative assignments as opposed to hiring a photographer. One benefit of stock photography is its lower cost. However, because it is a stock photo, the potential for other companies to use the same image is high. It is not uncommon to see the same image in multiple communications across the same industry.
Another benefit is the high number of stock photography Web sites and resources available. There are literally hundreds of other stock photography sites, but this list can get you started:
- www.gettyimages.com – Images, video and sound clips
- www.corbisimages.com – Creative images, illustrations, royalty-free CDs and editorial images
- www.istockphoto.com – Creative images, illustrations, audio video and editorial
- www.thinkstockphotos.com – Offers monthly subscriptions to download many files on a month-to-month basis
- www.masterfile.com – Photos, vectors and illustrations for web, mobile and print images
Once you have chosen a Web site, type a keyword into the search menu, and hundreds to thousands of images will appear. You can simply pick the size you want to use for your final output, and purchase the image on the spot. The image will immediately download to your computer, and you can hand the file to your graphic designer to use in their print collateral, or you can work with the image yourself.
If you are going to be using a stock photo for print collateral, such as posters, brochures, or pamphlets you always want to buy the highest resolution image possible. This will give you high quality and the ability to use the image for multiple purposes.
Doing a Photo Shoot
Hiring a photographer to do an original photo-shoot is one of the best investments for your brand. Photographers specialize in bringing your message to life though images and colors.
Many people don’t realize the different types of photography styles, and often pick a photographer thinking they can do the job just fine. A professional photographer specializes in a specific category. It is important to do research and hire the right photographer for your needs.
When you do an original photo-shoot, you have images you can use for a lifetime, and they are 100% unique to your company. Sometimes hiring a professional photographer can be costly, so these tips can help you make the most out of finding a photographer for your company.
Understanding Photographers’ Specialties
Photographers are not a “one size fits all.” Many photographers specialize in one type of style, and if you hire a photographer thinking your job is done, you are mistaken. Recognizing that a photographer has a specialty will help you reach your communication goals. For example, a wedding photographer would not specialize in food shots, but most likely portrait or lifestyle.
Think about your company’s goals and the style of your communication. Do you need photos of your product, people, location or food? Asking yourself this question first can help you make the most out of your hired photographer. Here are common photographers’ specialities and styles:
- Still Life – specialize in products, packaging and still life
- Food – specialize in food photography and restaurant environments
- Lifestyle – specialize in capturing people and situations in the moment
- Portrait – specialize in close-ups or people, capturing emotion
- Landscape – specialize in nature, elements and outdoor
Royalty Free and Rights Management
When you purchase and download files from a stock photography site or when you work with a photographer to shoot original images, you will have the choice between Royalty Free and Rights Managed images.
Royalty Free Stock Images
Refers to a copyright license where the user has the right to use the picture without many restrictions based on one-time payment to the licensor. The user can therefore use the image in several projects without having to purchase any additional licenses.
Rights Managed Stock Images
Refers to a copyright license, which, if purchased by a user, allows the one-time use of the photo as specified by the license. If the user wants to use the photo for other uses, an additional license needs to be purchased.
Learning about photography can help take your brand communication and brand presences to the next level.