Cool brand alert: Care/of is on a mission to disrupt the world of vitamins. The company delivers tailored daily supplements in convenient little packets based on each person’s unique needs. I love the concept. And I love the branding even more. The imagery is gorgeous and memorable and they really made something that is so not sexy and beyond inconvenient into something that I actually want to take regularly.
If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m a sucker for good marketing. I’m a willing consumer ready to give my business and my hard-earned dollars to support brands that get it. Brands that truly understand my needs and wants and interests and genuinely appeal to them. Care/of has a unique model and they could have charged ahead with more traditional vitamin branding like others on the market (if it’s not broken, don’t fix it right?). But instead they chose to build a memorable online presence with gorgeous imagery that matches their vision. Bravo to them!
Okay, so why do we care? Well, as humans, we process pictures very quickly – in fact, faster than text, video, or audio. Visuals allow us to make a really quick decision about whether we are going to engage with something. Which is why, as brand owners, we have to care about building an online presence for ourselves that looks both professional and beautiful. Too often, I see entrepreneurs whose gifts go unseen because visually, they come across as amateur. And coming across as amateur is a surefire way for customers to dismiss you, no matter how great your product is, even if what you offer could help them immensely.
Here are four quick photography tips that you can start implementing immediately (plus a free bonus that you’re going to want to download!). For the purposes of this post, I won’t be talking about actual photo content (i.e. how to use your camera), but I will share impactful tips that will help you create high-quality images for your brand. Let’s get started.
#1: Establish Your Brand Style
I know, I know. This is something I say…a lot. But I promise you- if you know your style, you will create smarter visual content. For instance, I can recognize immediately when certain colors or elements don’t match (or complement) my brand. So I won’t even consider posting those images. Why? Because I want consistent branding that builds trust with my audience and inconsistencies like that can throw everything off. I also only want to share what will attract my future ideal customer. That means not posting every single picture I take or project I’ve worked on if it’s not necessarily my style and won’t resonate with my actual dream clients. Remember:You can post a pretty photo, but it doesn't mean it will help you sell. #pictureabetterbrand Click To Tweet
#2: Shoot As Close To The Finished Product As Possible
Imagine that you’re sitting at a cafe, finishing up a great breakfast meeting for a partnership that you’ve finally booked. You haven’t finished your coffee yet when you look around—this cafe is insanely adorable. You decide to share this on Instagram and tease your followers with good news from the meeting. So you take out your phone and snap a few pictures—mostly of your coffee and the other half of your avocado toast. These photos are not your best; the angle is weird, there are crumbs on the table, and you can see your reflection in the utensils. But instead of deleting them, you hastily apply a VSCO filter and post away. Behind-the-scenes pics don’t have to be amazing quality because that’s what makes it real, right?
Here’s my take on this (and I see a lot of entrepreneurs make this mistake). they are so quick to post something that they snap a pic without first considering two things: 1) Would their followers, who follow them for specific on-brand content, really care about a hastily taken pic of avocado toast? and 2) Are you so eager to post something that you didn’t actually notice what’s in the frame first? Believe it or not, these questions make a difference.
Here’s the thing—there’s a time and place for everything. I would recommend reserving content like this for IG stories: ephemeral moments that are tangential to your business but do share what goes into running your business. Or I would consider posting a different image entirely (that is actually on-brand while sharing the context of your meeting in the caption).
As for what you are actually capturing in-frame: you can easily adjust for things like changing your angles or getting rid of unsightly details right away. Fixing these same things in post-processing isn’t always a guarantee. So the more you can get right at the time you take the picture, the more productive you’ll be in your content creation.
#3: Prep Your Photo
You may have noticed not all photo opportunities are created equal. Some have incredible lighting baked into them, others have more saturated tones than what you would normally post. And most of the time, images come out of the camera looking pretty flat. That’s why when I work on enhancing my photos, I actually edit in two different phases. Phase 1 is all about prepping the image.
Like we just talked about, managing consistency should start when you take the photo. But then there are certain edits that I initially apply to my photos before doing anything else to them to double-ensure that everything is connected visually. This is so I can clean up an image before I infuse my brand and style into it. I want the picture to look like it was taken in the most perfect conditions (at least by my standards). Some photos need more prepping than others but thankfully, this method to my madness has saved me a crazy amount of time with my edits.
#4: Style Your Photo
Phase 2 is where you get your content to really shine by cooking your recognizable style into your image. Do you keep getting hung up on which filters or presets to use every time you post? If the answer is yes, you may be missing an important piece of your workflow. Stylized editing should actually take you even less time than prepping does because if you know your brand style, you’ll know what additional adjustments to make immediately.
The editing process is what I see a lot of brand owners attributing their “inconsistent aesthetic” to when it comes to showcasing their photos, especially on social media. While it’s not always the only reason why they’re not happy with how their feeds look, a big part of it is because they don’t have the right kind of workflow in place. But approaching your edits in two phases will help to produce the kinds of photos that make you (and your business) feel legit.
You will want to keep these photography tips in mind, not only to take better pictures for your brand but to ensure that you feel confident in the visuals you are marketing with and add value every time you post. Can you imagine the kind impact you could have if almost all photos you used in your marketing connected specifically with your ideal customers nearly every time? It’s totally possible.
I’m including our interactive Smarter Edits Tracker to help you streamline your editing process immediately (remember, Phases 1 and 2!).
If there are certain adjustments you find yourself making every time, track it. It will make you more efficient over time and eventually faster the more you practice. Download the freebie here!
- Using these photography tips, take 3 photos with your brand in mind and start implementing now
- Download the free template and keep track of your editing workflow
- Leave a comment below and tell me how you did
The right visuals are one of the most essential components to building a beautiful and professional online presence. Can’t wait to see what you all come up with!