Do I Need Custom Photography?
We’re pleased with the results of photographing our partner Blue Dog Bakery’s treats: our studio now smells amazing, we have human-grade treats to munch on if we get hungry, and the custom photography will help us better tell our client’s brand story. As much as—and often moreso than—any other element, a brand’s photographic assets communicate its personality and position, from premium to low cost-in-use, traditional to modern, inventive to conservative. So when photography is limited, so, too, is brand potential.
What are my options?
For our purposes, brand photography typically falls under one of three categories: stock, pre-existing, or custom.
Although stock photography has come a long way over the years and can be helpful when launching new brands, it can also be extremely restrictive. And there’s nothing worse than seeing the same dog from your packaging appear on another brand’s print ad. Or trade show booth. Right next to yours.
This is when a client comes to us with a good batch of photos they already had done and are currently using. This type of photography can be valuable, though at times it can also be dated and may have little to no connection to the new brand.
Custom photography gives us creative freedom to redefine a brand’s tone, determine visual priorities, and ensure that our strategic direction comes to life. It also guarantees that we’re never left wishing we had that one perfect photo, because, odds are, we took it ourselves.
When is custom photography right for me?
The custom-photography conversation comes up often in client meetings. Yes, it’s an investment. But if we recommend going the custom-photography route, it’s because we truly believe our photos will help you meet your goals. Strategy is at the heart of everything we do, and if we feel that we are not able to help our clients fully realize their brand’s potential with stock or pre-existing photography, we’ll tell them so.
This was the case for Blue Dog Bakery. While they came to us with treat photography that we used during concepting, they lacked the raw ingredient photos we needed to tell their natural story. By conducting our own photoshoot, Blue Dog Bakery’s website now features wholesome, natural ingredients that communicate their story in an authentic way. And because of that investment, they now have a library of photographic assets for use across marketing materials for years to come, saving time looking for stock, preserving hard-won equity, and allowing us both to faithfully tell their brand story for years to come.