How to gather amazing photos for your brand
In an increasingly digital world, pictures are becoming more and more important. They help to tell the story of a brand and improve visibility and loyalty.
Creating a photo library doesn’t need to cost a fortune or take forever. Let’s take away the overwhelm and consider these four things to get started.
What photos do I currently have? What photos do I find myself searching for?
Is there a color scheme your business uses in its logo? Are there colors that describe your brand’s personality? Incorporate those colors and other branded items into some of the photos.
Make a list of what photos you’d love to have. Mark which photos you think you could take yourself and the photos you need to hire someone to take.
Photos take up a lot of storage. How can I effectively store them and resize them to put on my website and social media?
Chances are you have some photos to choose from already even if you’re unclear on what they are. Take inventory of the photos on your phone. Keep an eye out for photos that are clear, crisp, eye-catching, and have one focus.
You should look for a few photos of groups of people, landscapes, individuals, and relevant objects such as books and apparel.
It’s important to engage with your audience so if you can find pictures that will help you to tell a story and relate to people, go in that direction.
Don’t worry if you don’t have any photos that you think are relevant! We’ll get to some tools for stock photos as well as what photos might be good to start with.
Make a list of what photos you’d love to have! Don’t hold back. Write down everything you’d like to have access to. If you need inspiration, go to Pinterest and look through your pinned photos. Then, go to Instagram and check out a few of your favorite accounts. Take note of what you like about their photos and how you could gather similar ones relevant to your brand.
After you’ve taken at least 20 minutes to create this list, write who the photographer will be for each photo. If it’s a portrait of yourself, maybe you’ll hire a friend or professional. If it’s a photo of your desk with some books and your computer, you can take that yourself with your phone or a camera.
Once you’ve listed out these items, tackle the low hanging fruit first. Go for the ones that you can take yourself and that you’re prepared to create.
If you’re just starting out, think about what color or colors you’d like to use for your brand. If it’s a personal brand, what color do you tend to wear a lot? If it’s a professional brand, what colors are in the logo? What colors describe what you do or the personality of your services? If you sell physical products, consider using colors that can be found on those items.
You don’t need to make sure that these colors are found in all of your photos, but if you’re curating photos, then it’s a good idea to be mindful of this aspect of your brand. Think about an Instagram feed. If you’re looking at the grid of 9-12 photos, it helps your eye to see some continuity between the photos. And an easy way to get that similar aspect is to incorporate color!
Whether you’re taking photos yourself or hiring a professional, it’s a good idea to get your gear together in advance. Make sure you have…
1. Your list of photos to take
2. A camera and a charger (a cellphone will work!)
3. Props for stock images
4. Locations for landscape shots
5. Outfit for portraits
Preparation will save you time and hassle! And remember – not everything needs to be done in one day!
To easily size and edit photos, I highly recommend Canva! This software is user-friendly and gives templates to easily create the right size for the platform you’re planning to share to.
For stock photos that have already been created, I recommend Canva and Creative Market. You can also look for royalty-free images on a Google search by clicking images > tools > usage rights and then select the one that’s right for you.
If you’re looking to learn more about photo editing in Photoshop, there are some great resources online for how to get started!
Now that you have a small library of photos, it’s time to think about categorizing them and storing them for quick access and easy use.
If you took the photos on your phone, you have some options. You can upload them to the cloud and download them as needed from your computer. You can email them to yourself as needed.
If you took the photos on a camera, remove the memory card and put it in your computer. Select the photos you’d like to save and save them to a folder on your computer. Consider naming them by category and date taken. After you resize an image, save a copy of that in the same folder and name it by size or platform it’s sized to match. Keep original copies of photos for future projects.
It’s a good idea to start with a photo library of at least 25 photos and build from there. And remember – authenticity is important! So don’t aim for perfection. Aim to be mindful of the details, but don’t let the details stop you from creating. Your photos will evolve over time and getting your work out there is more important than making sure everything is perfect.
Don’t get caught up in the details. Putting your work out there is more important than perfection!