For many start-ups, quality brand photography and other marketing expenses tend to fall in the nice-to-have column.

However, no matter what type of business you run, good photography can help you elevate your brand and attract your ideal customer.

More than ever, visual content is critical in your branding and marketing strategy. Biologically speaking, the brain is hardwired to respond to visuals far better than copy. Not only do humans understand visual information quicker, we are also more likely to remember visuals over the written word.

Hiring a professional photographer can be costly, particularly for a newly launched business. So, if you’re looking to save on costs, here are the three types of photos your brand needs and some tips on how to do them yourself.

Product or Service Photography


DIY Brand Photography

The most basic need for any business is photography of your products or services. However, the approach to your photos differs depending on which category you fall under, so let’s break it down.

Product Photography

Whether you have an e-commerce store or a physical shop, you will need images of your products. They can be utilized in marketing campaigns, lookbooks, media requests, business planning or on social media. The most basic product shots use a clean, white background. Examples of these include clothing e-retailers like Vancouver Fashion Truck or Maya Mia Handcrafted Soap Bars.

The best way to shoot product photos on your own is to use a light box – a device photographers use to create nearly shadow-less lighting against a solid background. These can be easily made at home for less than $20 using materials you likely already have. Be sure to check out this great DIY tutorial online to learn how to make your own light box.

Additionally, you can always swap out the backgrounds in your light box to keep things fresh and on-brand for Instagram photos or blog photography.

Service Photography

One mistake service-based businesses often make is thinking they don’t need photographs. However, just like with products, professional photos can be useful for marketing, social media, public relations activities, business planning, as well as web design and other collateral.

These images can be used to motivate potential customers, like with fitness studio Train Like Heroes, or to help clarify what makes your business unique, such as with zero-waste grocery store Nada.

When working to create your own service photography, focus on the unique value your service brings and ask yourself how you can capture that in photos.

For instance, do you offer environmentally-friendly commercial cleaning services? Capture the team at work and the products they use. Are you an accountant that helps small businesses figure out their taxes? Snap some shots of a client meeting in a friendly environment where the client has a smile on their face – because you make taxes so simple it actually makes your customers happy!

Lifestyle Photography


DIY brand photography

Different from product and service photography, lifestyle photography speaks to the impact your business will have on your customer’s life. These are aspirational images that convey the feeling and life your customers want to have – and will have thanks to your business.

A great example of lifestyle photography can be seen on the Tease Tea Instagram feed. Some photos clearly show the product just in the background, and others have no branded product at all. However, both images convey a moment Tease Tea customers aspire to have in their lives.

As with any photo, good lighting can make all the difference. Natural, diffused light is a business owner’s friend. If you can’t take your photos outside, be sure to create plenty of soft light indoors for best results.

Team Photography


brand photography DIY

Customers want to know the faces behind the brand. Whether you have an about page on your website or share team photos on social media, headshots of individual team members and group photos can be a great addition to your brand photography.

You can DIY your team photography by turning it into a team bonding activity. Set an afternoon aside and challenge your team to photograph one another’s ‘good side’. You might be surprised at the quality of photographs captured by those who work next to you every day.

There are many other ways businesses can utilize photos in their storytelling and marketing activities, such as event photography or blog graphics. Nevertheless, product/service, lifestyle and team photography are the most basic photographic elements that should be considered for every brand.

By using these DIY tricks and a little bit creativity, you can create brand photography that will help your company stand out from the crowd!

Written by: Megan te Boekhorst, Futurpreneur Canada

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