You might be wondering, “how different could brand photography REALLY be?” Episode 3 of the Become A Brand Photographer podcast uncovers the biggest differences between brand photography and wedding photography. Tune in to the 10 minute episode, or find the readable version below!
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- (00:04) Intro – Shifting your mindset to become a better brand photographer
- (00:53) What businesses really need from a brand photographer
- (01:58) How to create an offer and package as a brand photographer that serves clients well
- (03:48) Adjusting to the brand photography business
- (06:58) Lessons brand photographers can learn from B2B service providers
3 Differences Between Personal Brand Photography and Wedding Photography
Pivoting into Brand Photography from Wedding and Family Photography
If you’re pivoting into brand photography and you’re coming more from a traditional photography niche, this may be a new clientele to you that you’re trying to learn… and you might be trying to figure out how to serve them. When I first started working with business owners through brand photography, I had to change my mindset around my work and client experience. I quickly realized that the 3 main differences between brand photography and other types of photography are the ways pictures were going to be used, the sales experience the clients desired, and photographer mindset blocks that affect commercial clients.
Why A Business Hires A Brand Photographer (Commercial Use vs. Personal Use Photography)
The first main difference between brand photography and wedding photography is that when a business hires you for brand photography, they’re hiring you to have commercial use of the images. Businesses are investing in a product that will provide a monetary result. So they’re using those pictures to make more money in their business. Businesses use their brand images for marketing so they need a commercial use license or commercial use agreement.
While a business needs pictures to promote their brand, wedding or family photography clients hire you for their own personal use. This is important to understand because business owners need to work with a photographer that is willing to give them a commercial release. Commercial Use is different from Personal Use because it gives the clients more rights in how they use their photos, allows them to monetize their images, and therefore is typically worth more and should be charged at a higher rate.
Creating an Irresistible Brand Photography Package (IPS and Brand Photography)
IPS and print upsells might not be the best fit for the brand photography market… The second difference between brand photography and weddings is to understand what type of package appeals to brand photography clients. If you’re coming from the wedding industry, then a lot of times photography packages include prints or IPS, in-person sales. As a photographer that does in-person sales, you might book a session and have a sitting fee, and then you have your clients purchase images as an album or tangible prints.
Personal brand photography clients just don’t need their images printed the same way as wedding and family clients. Prints, albums and tangible goods are a profitable upsell for wedding and family photographers, but digital files are the real winner for the brand photography clientele.
Whether you include digital images in a set package or allow clients to choose and pay for their images post-photoshoot… Brand photography clients want digital images, not prints. While traditional IPS doesn’t thrive in this market, creative upsells could include b-roll and video footage, stop motion and gif add-ons, social media grid curation, marketing consulting and creative direction.
But if you did still want to offer prints, the way that you would do it as a commercial photographer or brand photographer is to offer prints for items that clients need for their business. You could do Christmas cards, flyers and brochures, business cards and more!
How “Best Practices” in Wedding Photography Distract from Brand Photography’s Goal
As brand photographers we are building their brand, not ours… so no filtering, asking crediting & other typical “best practices” from the wedding and family world don’t make sense in brand photography. Asking a client to not filter or alter your picture could affect the performance of a paid ad or designed graphic. Expecting photo credit on every social post distracts from the brand and promotion they are sharing. Those little nuances that photographers easily get caught up about don’t matter the same way when it comes to brand photography.
As a brand photographer you have to be okay with knowing that you’re part of making the art, but that it might change as the business owner that paid you for that art uses it to promote their brand. At the end of the day, we are there as the branding expert and as the service provider, but they’re building their brand, not ours. I want to provide an amazing client experience and I want to serve my clients well. Overall it’s just not a big deal if they don’t credit me or if they filter their professional pictures.
A Lesson from other B2B Service Providers for Brand Photographers
As brand photographers we can learn a lot from other B2B service providers. Copywriters and brand and website designers are amazing at their craft and art. They are artists, just like photographers, but at the end of the day they have to fully let go of their art and let the client run with it. Once those service providers hand over the work (logos, brand messaging, etc.) to the business owner, they know that it’s not going to be the same as when they created it.
That is kind of the mindset shift that I made as well as a brand photographer. I created the art that serves my clients well… but I’m letting go of it and I’m letting them use it to promote their business in the way that they best see fit.
Want more content and resources about pivoting into brand photography?
Check this out next!
- Visit The Brand Photography Shop and find templates and digital downloads to grow your brand photography business. You can even purchase The Brand Photography Starter Kit, which has all the resources and tools I use to run my own 6-figure brand photography business! If you need brand photography email templates, a brand photography client workflow or planning questionnaire, you’ll find all the downloads in the shop!
- Listen to the Become A Brand Photography podcast to learn how to pivot into brand photography. On the podcast I share everything I’ve learned the last 5+ years (and 200 brand photoshoots later) about running an in-demand brand photography business!
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