Your Media Brand Photo Is Spreading Rumours - But What's It Saying?

By: William Penworthy


A creative media brand photo can say a great deal about your business. Brand photography is a critical element within overall brand awareness and media exposure. As such, a media brand photo has a very great deal of responsibility in portraying the values, aims and principles of your company, presenting the public face of your company, and in many cases initiating the first communication between your company and many thousands of potential clients and customers.

So, with so much importance attached to brand photography and brand marketing, what should you consider when planning a photographic opportunity, product photography or media image exposure?

Whether you're thinking about a media photo opportunity at an event, function or trade show, a promotional photograph to celebrate or promote brand awareness following a press release, new product launch or company expansion, or even a product photograph to promote product awareness and boost sales, brand photography is often the first point of contact, and the most lasting impression potential customers have of your business.

It's often the subtle aspects of a photo which can leave subconscious ideas and associations with customers. Concepts such as moving forwards, moving up, changing, expanding and growing can all be easily hidden within a brand image - just think of growing trees, expanding balloons, rising hot air balloons, transport racing forwards and other ways in which such concepts can be integrated into a brand image without making it so obvious that you're trying.

Often the less you appear to be trying to convey a subtle meaning or value, the more successful you'll be. As long as you are trying to include it of course. That careful balance of integrating concepts without making them too obvious they fail to work successfully is a demanding skill, and one best left to the professional brand photographers to develop.

Other concepts you might include in your brand photography images might relate to your green credentials, with images of open, lush landscapes, green fields, blue skies and happy cows! There are many ways of achieving this, and once you start to think consciously of how these hidden messages can be conveyed, you start to notice them in media brand photo images around you. Often it's those images you remember most clearly, or images relating to companies you think most highly of which seems to have employed them.

Think of Virgin's hot air balloon for example - expanding, rising, environmentally friendly, gentle yet persistent. It's clearly a successful idea, and not merely a lot of hot air! But of course hot air balloons photograph well too. The fire contrasting with the vibrant colours of the balloon, the skyline, blue skies, endless green fields, open water - and of course the brand name clearly emblazoned across the side of the balloon.

But although these large media images published in glossy magazines, on billboards, trade stands, in your brochures, newsletters and even on the web are clearly important opportunities to convey just the right message in just the right way, it should not be assumed that product images are any less important.

One of the important concepts to remember within brand marketing is consistency. If your media images and brand image are consistent in terms of quality, style and impact, then the cumulative effect is far more successful. Any poor quality or cheaper images that fail to live up to the same standard can cause a great deal of harm.

Consider the message potential customers will receive if they see a glossy advertisement image that portrays your company as thriving, successful and attentive, followed by product images on your website which look as though they've been produced in-house, much lower in quality, and suggesting that corners have been cut once the customer has begun to express some interest. A media brand photo is not merely the hook by which potential customers are reeled in. The brand image must be true to the underlying convictions and principles of the company.

It's important to bear in mind that a creative media brand photo needs to be four things - creative, appropriate to the media, marketing your brand successfully, and a photograph which is visually striking and convincing and which will gain attention itself. In other words, a creative media brand photo has to be exactly that - and not just a photograph. If a picture can paint a thousand words, media photography is a speech made directly to every single one of your potential customers. Better make it a good one.

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