Good branding photography: When the image isn’t about you

Sometimes the internet is not my friend. It’s like when the phone rings and a potential client is on the line and your calendar app crashes just as you’re checking it for scheduling. Or when you just finished writing a great article and the internet goes out as you’re trying to upload it. In today’s case, every website seems to be loading a lot slower than they were yesterday. But a funny thing just happened as a result of this – I came up with a perfect example for branding photos that aren’t even about you.

It’s no secret that imagery sells and no matter what kind of business you are or who you serve, you need photos to illustrate your point or product. When it comes to photos that move beyond the basic headshot, though, how we apply that to each individual can change greatly. I’ve heard it said that your branding photos are somewhere between how you want to be perceived and how a customer will perceive you. This is what I mean.

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I clicked on this link, posted on a friend’s Facebook wall. It’s like the whole internet stalled for 30 seconds just so I could get it together enough to grab a screenshot while everything was frozen. I’m not single, but the photo drew me in because like most modern purchasers (of time, products or information) I’m a sucker for good packaging. But beyond that surface element, there’s a great lesson here.

The sunset image with flare drew me in, but this fluff website clearly knows great photos will help you bridge the gap between quickly closing this browser window after finishing the article and moving onto another article. Like them, you want to keep your viewers on your site as long as possible. Good lifestyle images don’t have to be of you. They should be related to what you’re selling, but they don’t have to feature you. In fact, I’d argue they often could be just a hint of what you want to sell. In this case, a freedom-filled stretch at sunset over a vista does the job well. It doesn’t have to be you, just the feeling you want to sell.

How could you apply this to your business? What kind of imagery will help you along your journey?