Guest Blog Post by: Emily Wilkerson, Fern & Fountain. A personalized brand shoot with Emily is included in your investment to attend the Bloom Retreat. Click here to book your room.
Hello! My name is Emily Wilkerson and I’m primarily a destination wedding photographer, but I also do dozens of family sessions and branding projects for other businesses- which is what brings me here today! I’m here to tell you why branding photography is crucial for your business, and why I am so passionate about the branding sessions I will be doing at the Bloom Retreat!
I’m based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania but you’ll often find me emailing you back at ungodly hours because I’m in a different time zone, somewhere with spotty wifi, maybe up a mountain or on a beach. But the place I keep my hats and pickup my mail is the tiny town of Lancaster, known as a hipster town and “the mecca of the arts in the land of the Amish.”
That’s me ^^^
By sharing this image, your brain just mentally made some assumptions about me. Your brain told you, “she likes plants, her hair and makeup is super casual so I know she’s low maintenance, and she has a really old camera around her neck so she’s either
- 'basic' and likes too much cream in her lattes, or
- she’s a photographer.”
Well what if I showed you this next one:
Maybe your brain told you some new things about me with this one.
Perhaps your brain told you, “she’s elegant because she hangs out in places where there are chandeliers and pretty floors, she’s in the middle of a task because she looks like she just looked up from her camera- perhaps she’s working with the camera… maybe she is a photographer. She’s having a good time, she likes her job, she doesn’t take herself too seriously. This picture seems a little older because she’s tan and it’s spring, so either she’s in a warm climate or this is from last summer.”
Here’s the last image of me, this one is an older one:
What did your brain tell you? Maybe something like, “She’s wearing a dress with bows on the sleeves so she’s girly but she likes to be outdoors. Her hair is pretty messy and it’s getting dark outside so it seems like she has been outside for a while. She’s laughing at someone, so someone else is there with her. She’s holding a camera but it looks like she just put it down because someone cracked a joke. She’s not trying to be poised, she seems like she’s hanging out with a friend.”
I share these images and the possible commentaries/judgment calls your brain may have just made about me to demonstrate how smart you are, as a consumer. Consumers download tons of information about personality, profession, setting, social status, and so much more, from looking at a photo.
So here’s the catch: What do you want your customers/consumers to think about when they see images of your brand?
When a prospective client sees your brand, do you want them to think, “this is a startup and they’re probably gaining experience. They don’t seem to have much business yet so maybe they’re young, maybe straight out of school?”
Or would you rather a customer look at your brand and think, “this seems like an established expert in their field. They had someone take very nice images of their work, so apparently they aren’t working with thin margins and can splurge on professional imagery. So they must be very good at what they do. I believe this person can guide me to get the most out of my investment, and they have my best interest in mind.”
Images are the first thing people want to see about your brand. Images answer the unspoken question, “how much is this worth?” By having images that demonstrate your value and personality, you’re communicating TRUST.
It all comes down to Trust. When you’re asking someone to hand you the money they worked very hard for, they need something in return: trust. They need to trust that it’s an investment and that they will see good returns on it.
If I tell you I’m a great photographer and I charged someone a whole bunch of money to photograph their business, do you believe me?
You shouldn’t believe me! Nothing about my writing the above sentence says that you should part with money to trust me with your business. Anyone can say anything… so how could I say the same thing, and also convey trust?
This is a brand photo shoot I did for a wildflower tea company that also raises bees. You can see that it’s spring, that there’s abundance surrounding this brand, and that the item they are selling is valuable enough to justify its own photo session. You can see how fresh this is, and instantly, you’re thinking, “This looks like yummy tea.”
You want your customers to look at the work you are showing and know that people think you are worth their investment. You want them to look at photos of you and learn your personality, your values, the scope of your work.
Here are some more photos from a brand that I did a while ago:
These photos show off a backpack/makeup bag line.
You can see that they are very organic, down to earth, possibly hand-made, and suitable for every gender and age. You can use it as a diaper bag, your partner can wear it, your teenagers can get good use out of it, and you can grab the little bag and bring with you separately. The brand has personality and detail, and it will fit in in natural settings or around your cute townhouse. It’s the perfect bag combo for the on-the-go family who needs a lightweight bag anyone can wear. And people are wearing it.
That’s probably the most useful takeaway. People like this product. That’s social proof. They bring it into different settings, people with different personalities like it. But people are using it. It’s a valuable addition to their lives.
More can be said with a photo than can be said with words.
That’s why I like photographing brands. It’s my job to make you look good, to find out what makes you and your product special, and how to demonstrate all that in an image so your customers can take in all that information, and learn that they can trust you!
This is why personalized brand shoot with me is included in your investment to attend the Bloom Retreat. Click here to book your room.