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What You Should Know About Branding Photography | Brand Photography Inspiration | LMP Collective

Photo studio LMP Collective. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.

I'd love to educate you, answer your questions, and give you inspiration for brand photography! After documenting two incredibly talented local photographers, Amanda Lalama and Lindsey Fender, at LMP Collective I felt inspired to share their brand photographs, but also tell you what brand photography is all about!

If you're an entrepreneur and business owner, you should know about branding photography. Especially if you're a creative entrepreneur, having artfully branded photographs that tell your brand story is essential! Are you wondering what branding photography is? Are you curious about the difference between a headshot and a brand photograph? Do you know if you need brand photographs? I'll help answer those questions and more. Let's first talk about what branding photography is!

What is branding photography?

To define branding photography, you must understand what your brand is. Your brand goes beyond the aesthetics of your logo and website. Your brand articulates your business to your clients, both visually and emotionally. Your brand should reflect the entire process of working with you, from communication to the final product. Ultimately, your brand is you! Having branding photographs that display you is vital. You are your brand and should be visually included in your branded materials and marketing.

Branding photography is a set of professional photographs that clearly represents who you are in your business by utilizing light, color, backdrops, props, attire, and style. Successful branding photography clearly tells the story of your brand and evokes emotion from your audience. With intentional styling through light, color, backdrops, and poses, a branding photography session can make the personality of your brand come alive. The props you bring to your branding session can help your audience know more about you and your brand. When I am documented for a branding session, there is typically a cup of tea and a film camera. Those items don't just say I like tea and film photography. They speak to the type of person I am. They represent that I love to sip slowly and savor each moment. They represent that I value the aesthetic and history of film photography and aim to preserve moments that will leave a legacy. The photographs below clearly communicate that they are photographers and artists who aim to document their clients with creativity.

Metro Detroit photographer Amanda Lalama at LMP Collective. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Detroit photographer Amanda Lalama photographed at LMP Collective by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Amanda Lalama photographed in parking garage by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Metro Detroit photographer Lindsey Fender photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Detroit wedding photographer Lindsey Fender photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.

What is the difference between headshots and brand photographs?

A headshot is a photograph that displays your likeness and is typically taken from the shoulders up. That's it. Think about a passport photograph or your LinkedIn profile. A headshot doesn't represent your brand, but it could. Branding photographs take planning, intention, and emotion, whereas a headshot you can simply sit down and take a photograph. The idea behind a branding photograph is to tell your brand story, evoke emotions from your client, and make them fall deeper in love with your brand, and you! Headshots typically don't require much thought beyond what type of shirt to wear and how you should style your hair. But when considering your branding photographs, you should think about your entire outfit, the poses you'd like, the types of shots that will highlight your brand, and what props will give deeper insight into your brand.

Metro Detroit photographer Amanda Lalama photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Lindsey Fender, Metro Detroit photographer, at LMP Collective photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Photo studio LMP Collective in Metro Detroit. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.

Why do I need brand photographs?

When someone lands on your website, the first thing they see is your brand. They may see your logo, brand colors, font, copy, etc. But they also see your photographs. Digital media is everything, so your photographs will be seen as part of your brand. If you're a photographer, you likely have photographs that display your portfolio. The photographs show your talent, creativity, and style to your audience. But do those photographs display you? Remember, you are such an important part of your brand! If you're not a photographer, then you may be using images from others or stock photographs on your website. Brand photographs are much more personal than stock photography. You want to stand out with photographs and clearly display you, your business, and your brand.

You'll have personal brand photographs to display on your website, in email marketing, and on social media. Remember, your brand photographs should tell your story, which helps your clients get to know who you are and connect on a more personal level creating trust. Brand photographs elevate your brand above the competition as well.

Amanda Lalama at LMP Collective in Metro Detroit photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Headshot portrait with prism. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Simple professional portrait in Metro Detroit. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.

Why should I hire a professional for my brand photographs?

When your hire a professional photographer experienced with brand photography, they can offer guidance on how to incorporate and communicate your brand in your photographs. The photographer can help you create a consistent vibe with your photographs so that you're sending a clear message and cohesive brand story. Your brand story doesn't just showcase your brand, it evokes emotion. Do you want people to feel inspired, hopeful, excited, joyful, passionate, trusting, or enthusiastic when they look at your photographs?

Consider how much you value your brand! Did you hire someone to help with your website, design your logo, or run your marketing? You should invest in every aspect of your brand, including your photographs. When the only photograph you have on your website that showcases you is a poorly lit cell phone photograph that doesn't tell your clients that you believe in your brand enough to invest in it. They're investing in you and you should invest in yourself! These brand photographs at LMP Collective clearly communicate to the audience that these creative entrepreneurs value their businesses and invest in their businesses.

Moody parking garage portrait in Metro Detroit. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Branding photography session at LMP Collective. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Professional branding photography by Nicole Leanne Photography.

How do I hire a brand photographer?

If you're in the Metro Detroit area, then look no further! But, if you're not local, then I'll give you advice on how to find a brand photographer. You can search brand photographers on Google or social media using hashtags. But you can also look for photographers who fit the style of your business or who you believe can tell your story through their images. This is a bit harder as you can't simply type that into a search bar. You can start by looking for local photographers by city. For example, you can type in Detroit Photographer in the search bar on Instagram and you'll have a list pop up!

Once you've found a photographer you love, make sure that their social media, website portfolio, or blog displays brand photographs. Then inquire with that photographer to ensure that you're a great fit. Ensure that they know what your brand is all about before your session and what the session entails. Your session could take place at home, on-site at your business location, at another spot that fits your brand like a coffee shop, or at a studio, like LMP Collective.

I hope you feel empowered to take the next step and book your branding photography session. If you're interested, you can reach me here! If you'd like more brand photography inspiration, you can check out my Branding Photography Pinterest board for location and outfit inspiration! Also, if you're a creative entrepreneur or photographer and would like more education for your business, you can sign up for my monthly emails here that are filled with tips and inspiration. I'd love to continue to help you along your brand journey!

All my love,

Nicole Leanne Photography at LMP Collective photo studio in Metro Detroit.

If you're a photographer looking for more ways to uplevel your business, then check out these free photography education resources!

If you have a branding session, lifestyle session, or really any photography session coming up, check out this blog that talks all about how to prepare to be photographed!

If you're ready to take this to the next level, then reach out and let's talk about how I can document you and portray your brand story!



welcome to

hey there, i'm nicole!


I'm a down-to-earth, honest soul capturing Detroit and Windsor couples, families, and brands. I document clients who desire raw and timeless imagery. I also offer education to new and seasoned creative entrepreneurs.

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