How to tell your brand story through distinctive photography

To stand out from the crowd, ask key questions to identify your organization’s purpose and personality. Let the answers focus your lens on creating compelling visual narratives.

Telling your unique brand story requires you to find compelling people stories. 

Viewers are savvy content consumers, and their BS detectors are finely honed. Take a risk by telling a story with emotion and intent, and your audience will respond.

Know and share your brand’s image. The story you tell must convey your company’s point of view. Ask these key questions: 

  • Are you all telling the same story?  
  • What is your personality and purpose?

Whether photos are being used in internal messages or for external use, whether they’re posted by colleagues on social media or shot by a professional photographer, their message must stay consistent to elicit and sustain audience trust. Images you share to social media should reflect your brand personality and appeal to your targeted audience.

Brand photography uses light, timing and composition to tell your story from your viewpoint—and engage your audience.

What, exactly, is your brand “personality”? Is your brand based on tradition and consistency, or does it promote adventure and risk? Use the answers to create suitable images.

One striking example is Apple. Consumers recognize their products, their customers and their staff through consistently high-quality visuals—well-lit, crisp images on white backgrounds. The brand feels fresh, young and relevant, even when its images feature an octogenarian. 

The story of a hospital trauma center might be told in black-and-white photos with dramatic lighting. What is the hospital’s mission, and how do the photographs convey the story? The light, composition and timing should tell a story of drama, trauma, care and professionals at the top of their field.

Whether you hire a professional photographer to shoot marketing materials or you have staff posting more casual shots to social media, know your brand and edit your images accordingly. Tell your story with conviction and emotion, and your audience will opt in.

Eileen Ryan is a Ragan Consulting Group affiliate and has been photographing people all over the world. Her photographs tell stories and emphasize the humanity of all those in front of her lens. 

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