Hey, let’s take a selfie.
WOW, that turned out so great! We could upload this on social media and become professional photographers… and travel the world… and… and become famous!
And there goes your stream of thoughts when you start daydreaming with your best friend by the porch on a breezy afternoon. Though photography seems like a common yet highly appreciated profession, it is not just limited to traveling the world and becoming famous.
What would the purpose of photography institutes be if every amateur had to become the next top photographer? It is a good thing that there is a wide variety of differences that differentiate between professional photographers and the newbies. The gradient that defines a photographer’s efforts develops from the tips, tricks, methods, and processes they have learned at the institute. Once they have unleashed their hidden potential, all they need is a platform and the right tool to exhibit their brand.
As a professional photographer, you need to establish your identity as a photographer so others may distinguish your work from other commonplace images. But how to brand when you do not know who your audience is? How to say it all and not say it? How to captivate their hearts and make them dive into the depth of the image?
Bet you cannot make up your mind so we have this for you. We have listed some guaranteed photography branding tips along with some examples from the famous photographers. From them, you can take your cue and follow their footsteps to the moon. So, here we go:
- Stay Natural
You have graduated from a top-notch institution and you are ready to spread your wings. You have learned all the ways to make your photos appear appealing to the public. But all your dreams can be shattered if you take a step towards being showy and pompous.
The crux of branding your photography business is being you and let your work be a natural expression of how you see the world. Adding surplus elements and effects might make your work lose its originality and downgrade the quality of your work. The example that fits here like the last puzzle piece is that of Jimmy Nelson. He’s a UK-based professional photographer who loves to capture moments from the natural habitats of Vietnam, Tibet, Africa, and a lot more. The originality of his work makes him a world-recognized photographer and that is what you should be going for too.
- Stay Consistent
Consistency is the key. If you are struggling to define your approach and be the best among the crowd, things are nor easy as they seem. In fact, all the photographers — opting to establish their brand — have to face the challenges time puts in front of them. If they are equipped with the right instruments and the right techniques or they are lucky, then it is for sure that their brand will live up to face the time’s test.
You know Steve McCurry, right? He’s the eye behind the lens that captured the world-famous Nat Geo’s ‘Afghan Girl’. For years, McCurry’s passion has put him on the verge to keep consistent and according to him,
“If you wait, people will forget your camera and the soul will drift up into view.”
- Focus on the Diversity
One of the best things you will notice about photography brands is that they just do not focus on a single aspect of life. They believe that the beauty comes from the diverse nature of the universe and it should be celebrated as a part of their brand. Similarly, you should incorporate different elements and make them work for you. Rehahn is the photographer without whom the world of photography is incomplete. According to his biography,
“By capturing images of these exceptionally contrasting cultures, and collecting their traditional costumes and precious artifacts, he has built up the Precious Heritage Collection, which is now the core of the eponymous Gallery Museum”
- Mark Your Uniqueness
The most important yet difficult part about distinguishing yourself is marking your distinction. Focus on what you are good at and improve your skills. If you are good at capturing some epic moment in the ordinary routine, then you can direct yourself to the path of success. Lee Jeffries focused on homeless people because their eyes held untold secrets and riches. He not only photographs the homeless but also collects funds to help them live a better life.
- Deliver Your Message
Of all the things a brand must contain, it should be able to deliver your message to the other end. Know your message and know who your audience is. Ask yourself this: what message should I be delivering via my photos? Who is my target audience? How would my brand appeal to them? Once you figure out the answer to all these questions, you will realize how important it is to deliver a clear and transparent message.
Take Mario Testino, for example. He started by selling portfolios on streets to wannabe fashion models and today, he is a polished gem who took shots of the late Princess Diana for the cover of Vanity Fair Magazine. His approach had always been fashion-centered, which combined with experience, has given rise to a wonderful fashion photographer he is today.
- Be Adaptable
Most of the times, many photography brands run out of fresh ideas and end up dwindling their success. The reason behind that is the lack of understanding of the word ‘adaptation’. Photographers need to realize that brands need to adapt with time and make use of everything they can lay their hands on. If you want some inspiration, check out Timothy Hogan’s works. The guy is an all-in-one package and a jack of all trades, who does not fall short of ideas. Whether it is the kitchen sink or a film or a fashion project, you can let this guy get hold of all your photography projects.
- Be Creative
When we say ‘distinguish your brand’ and ‘mark your uniqueness’, we want you to realize that in order to make your brand a huge hit, you need to first make sure that it is a brainchild of your creative thought process. For instance, Jeremy Cowart started as an artist, after which his passion started bubbling for creativity. He started experimenting with photography later and found out his forte; it all just came naturally to him.
- Pursuing the Reason and Passion
When you are running a brand, it is important for you and your employees to know why you work and for what reason you work. While the reason behind your brand is of immense importance for yourself and your employees, it might not be as significant for the audience. But if they are interested, it means that you’ve got a potential reason behind your brand.
If you are a photographer that has a heart-warming story of struggle behind them, it is pretty cool. You can take the example of Annie Leibovitz, the professional photographer from the USA. She started her career as a staff photographer for the newly-launched Rolling Stone magazine in the 70s. She slowly came to learn about different magazines and realized that she could work and tend to her personal projects as well. From that moment onwards, she pursued the reason and passion behind her brand.
- Let Your Photos Speak For Your Brand
At this point, your brand needs to be recognized for the work it creates. A photography brand must resonate with the photographs that are captured and developed by the professional himself. If you are managing your business online, make sure you display your masterpieces that alone speak for your brand. But that does not mean that you do not need a logo or other brand elements. Also, you must never ever sacrifice the quality of your photos for that matter.
If you ever come across the works of Nicholas Samaras, you would see a passionate artist capturing the most mesmerizing marine moments. His passion and commitment to the sea and the underwater creatures led him to bring out the hidden beauty of the water world. As for the quality of his photos, he won his very first international award in the DAN EUROPE PHOTO CONTEST in 2006.
- Explore the Possibilities
Ok. Now that you have everything in line, all you need to do is let your passion run wild and explore the possibilities whenever and wherever you can. Experimenting with ideas and material subjects not only prepares you for the outcome of different ideas, but also let you realize what you need to do in order to be successful.
Mareen Fischinger is a renowned name in photography who is not afraid to show her passionate side in her photos. She experiments with creative ideas and brings life to the conceptual possibilities. Her unique pieces are put together wonderfully, as she keeps on experimenting and implementing the possibilities of endless ideas.
In The End
Photography is all about letting your inner passion out and if you are willing to shape that passion into a definite form, you must know the fastest yet the smartest ways to brand your photography business. And there is no issue if you cannot get the hang of it initially; you can always count on the experts to keep motivating your every move. Just pay close attention to the details in the photographs from your favorites, learn from their approach, and create your own line of work.
Jennifer Stone is a devoted graphic designer who has dedicated her time and experience to logo designing. She keeps a birds-eye view of all the trending news on the logo design desk. Her hobbies are intertwined with her profession, which allows her to explore her love and passion for graphic design and that is why she heads for random design on the internet and comes up with creative and easy-to-follow ways of graphic design creation.