“Photography helps people to see.”
#WorldPhotographyDay had us wondering, why is it so important to establish a photography style for brands and campaigns? We tapped into the brilliant mind of Phase 3 creative director Rich Guglielmo to get insight…
Why is the right photography essential for a brand or campaign?
You only have one chance to make the first impression. You need to get noticed, and then you need to be remembered. Using common, stock imagery that is available to everyone does the exact opposite. By being original, you can stand out more easily and create a distinctive and memorable experience.
What are the most important features of photography that help define a brand or campaign?
Originality: So that it belongs to your brand and no others. This sets the whole tone, because with the right imagery, you can capture attention, convey the brand’s message authentically, and grow credibility with your audience.
How do you define photography style guide?
Brands and the people that manage them or create marketing for them need to understand the essential rules for communicating the brand consistently, and of course, images are a critical element of this effort. You must capture and deploy instantly recognizable brand images. A style guide clearly outlines and defines the things that photographers and marketers need to know in order to maintain brand consistency, and even the things that must be considered at a photo shoot or during post-production.
How do you decide on an environment for images?
Everything is contextual; location decisions are based on the campaign goals, and then we need to consider the larger brand guide-rails. What’s important is that composition always prevails, otherwise, we won’t get the attention our images need.
Is it important to match your photography style with your audience?
Photography tells a story, but telling the right story isn’t easy. Capturing successful content begins with knowing your target audience. Every detail in the frame—light, tone, composition, color, and so on—communicates something to the audience, and makes them feel a certain way. So, these details must be intentional and built on an understanding of your audience’s preferences and expectations. You simply cannot achieve this using stock photography.
Who defines a brand’s photography style?
Most brands operate from a master brand guide, which codifies marketing methods and approaches specific to their audiences in order to create consistent communications that build brand equity. For the most part, the photography style will be an articulation of the brand described within the master guide, which may evolve over time as the brand grows.
What sort of research is most beneficial when working to define photo style?
You start with immersing in the brand, and connecting that new knowledge with what you already know about the culture, and about the industries your client works within. Walk in their customers’ shoes. Think about their world, their daily routines. And understand how to disrupt that routine a little bit to get some attention for your client with a strong and vibrant visual style.
Finally, what is the most important element to achieving great brand photography?
We live in an age where our culture is more and more visually focused, when pictures define brands. Imagery must be clear and concise to inspire your audience, and make them want to know more. As the importance of images increases, the most important key to the right photography is to hire a competent, experienced, professional photographer.