Download your copy of The Smart Website Planner.
Y’all, I am seriously so excited about our guest today on the blog. Laura James is not only an amazing designer, but she is also a talented photographer – a skill I seriously lack and covet! She’s sharing with us some ways to get stand out imagery for her brand, but if you’re just starting with styled photography, I also highly recommend her post from February about getting started for less than $20.
Whether you need an image to accompany a blog post, or you’re prepping your shop for a product photography shoot, determining the style of photography and imagery you want is pretty important. The right imagery will help enhance your brand by building on the consistent look and feel your following has come to know and love. If you dismiss the importance of a consistent style of photography and imagery, you run the risk of losing your brand power, and that can can affect your business success.
Now when it comes to utilizing professional images, you don’t always have to spend money, but you really should take the time to create consistency within your look. Whether you create your own images (see my tutorial on how to do that for less than $20!), or go elsewhere – whatever you do will ultimately speak volumes about your brand and your level of professionalism.
When I’m doing brand coaching, I go through a few specific steps to find the best possible photography options available. Here’s are my top 6 favorite ways to stay consistent and determine your style!
Create an inspiration board: Going on sites like pinterest can be a great source of inspiration and help you discover your style. Simply pin the images and marketing pieces that you think would look awesome on your website, business cards, social media, and more.
Look around you: What does your house look like? Your closet? Your jewelry drawer? Take inspiration from the things you love! Do you have a favorite restaurant, park, neighborhood? Visual inspiration can come from any person or place.
Take photos: This is probably the easiest, and my favorite, piece of advice. Take photos of things you think look awesome. Whether you schedule time for a “photo walk” through your neighborhood or you just click as you go, this is a great way to get some insight on your style
Curate! Just like Irene recommends when she wrote 4 Ways to Define Your Signature Style on Instagram, you should always take the time to reflect on everything you’ve looked at. When looking through, get rid of items that don’t fit or don’t really speak to you. That way you’re prepared for my final step: looking for patterns.
Look for patterns and trends: As you’re curating, saving, and adding to your inspiration files, keep an eye out for trends. Do you prefer items on a pure white background, or are you more of a dark chalkboard type? Maybe all natural wood? Are you seeing a lot of similar colors or textures? Do many of your images have people in them or not at all?
Summarize it all: Once you go through and look for patterns, trends, and curate a bit more, you’ll start to come up with a pretty definitive list of words that describe your style. Now use that list to start looking for the images that work best for you.
If you’re having a photo shoot done for your blog, start creating a list of shots you specifically want created and hand it to your photographer ahead of time. This makes sure you’re getting the photos you need for the brand you love!
Laura James is a designer and photographer that works with entrepreneurs, freelancers, and family businesses to create strong brand identities that they can be proud of. Laura James Studio was founded on the belief that every brand needs a professional, and unique style that makes it stand out. Laura started photography and graphic design in her teens, and is a proud military wife and mom.