Using Stock Photos, iPhone Photos + Professional Photography in Your Brand Strategy

April 29, 2021
Stock Photography

I have the luxury or not worrying about photography when it comes to my brand. That’s the perk of being a photographer. But I know that’s not the case for most brands. While professional brand photography will have the biggest impact on your brand there is always space for some stock photography and iPhone photos. Actually, having this variety, especially on social, will allow you to speak more clearly to your audience and connect with them. So let’s talk about how you can use all three types of photography in your brand.

Types Of Photography For Your Brand

There are three main categories of photos that you’ll utilize. Stock photography, iPhone (or smartphone) photography, and professional brand photography. Each one of these styles of photography holds a different purpose and can be used in a different way.

Stock Photography

Stock images are universal images that can be used by anyone. They won’t have your branding in the photo but can still help you tell a story. I use stock photos in referencing the workspace since I only have one desk in my house and it’s not very photogenic. So I use stock photos on social or as the headers of my blog posts to tell the story of a working environment. If you choose to go with stock photography, it’s important that you have the rights to the photos you use. Using royalty-free places like Unsplash or Pexels is a great way to start. However, you can find stock photos that match your brand and your brand rules by purchasing packages through places like Creative Market or Jana Bishop’s collection. Make sure that whatever images you choose they match the look and feel of your brand.

iPhone Photography

Photos taken with your phone will always be the least quality of images. That doesn’t mean they aren’t beautiful or powerful, but they’re less likely to be used on your website or in large format printing (like a magazine spread or a billboard). These photos are used predominately for your social profiles. Make sure when taking iPhone photos to use quality light and have your product or subject as the largest piece in the photo so that it stands out.

Professional Brand Photography

Yes, I’m biased. As a brand photographer and I see the power of professional photography and what it can do for your brand strategy. I also recognize that not every brand can afford professional photography, or at least not regularly. If that’s the case, you’ll keep using more stock photos and iPhone photos, but just know that professional photography is what will up-level your brand. It makes your look more professional and trust worthy. So find the budget for this type of photography and know that the investment is a marketing investment!

Mixing Photography Sources In Your Brand

So here’s the secret to mixing photos in your brand. 60% or more should be professional brand photos. This is because they are high quality and the speak directly about your brand. Your logo, your staff, your shop are all captured in these photos which will connect the best with your audience. iPhone photos and stock photography are used as a way to supplement your brand photos and are more heavily used on social where you need a lot of content.

This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t use stock photos or iPhone photos on your website or in your marketing. But they need to be used sparingly. Think about what your ideal customer and what they want to see in order to connect with the dream they want to achieve.

Below is a video that shows you how I mix up photography sources in my own brand. I specifically walk you through my personal Later account and show you what it looks like to use all three styles of photography in a single feed.

Mix Up Your Photography

As a small business, monthly photoshoots are most likely out of the budget. So learn to take amazing iPhone photos, find stock images that match your branding, and invest in professional brand photography anywhere from 2-4x a year. With the combination of these three styles, you’ll have the visuals you need to tell your brand’s story, connect with your customers, and grow the business of your dream.

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