How to Stand Out in a Crowded Market with Brand Photography


A core component of branding that’s often undervalued is brand photography. You may have heard it said that your brand is so much more than just a logo.

Although we love our own stylized R&A logo, our brand extends beyond just a teal and gray icon – and yours does, too.

One way you can truly differentiate yourself in a crowded market is with compelling and well-thought-out imagery.

R&A Brand Photographer - Melissa Gilmore -

Yes, stock photos are often free and can be found in abundance but that’s just the thing. They’re almost everyone’s first resort.

By creating original content, your website and brand assets will feel fresh, consistent, and help to truly tell the story of your unique brand.

We’re not against outside stock photography, but it should be supplemental, not the main show.

Not to mention, with much of marketing taking place online through platforms like social media, there’s a huge emphasis on the visual. That’s what’s going to catch your customer’s attention and allow for the accompanying copywriting about your great products or services to keep it!

So how can you achieve a bench of beautiful on-brand images?

One way, of course, is by selecting and hiring a brand photographer who gets what you’re trying to accomplish.

Our own internal photographer, Melissa, does this for us at R&A and for our clients.


Below she’s outlined some of her best tips for a successful brand shoot:


1) Bring props &/or branded collateral to the shoot.

This will make it feel more personalized and of course, on-brand.

2) Think through the colors – for both the attire worn by anyone in the shot and in terms of the backdrop or setting.

Personally, we love a good light, bright, and white background!

3) Chat with the photographer ahead of time about your vision.

You should be able to connect with the photographer beforehand to chat through your vision, and maybe even assemble a shared vision board through a platform like Pinterest.

4) Create a shot list before going into the shoot.

This will make it much less frustrating or stressful for you and the photographer when you already have an idea of what you’re looking to capture. Additionally, what type of space or dimensions are you looking to fill with your images? Do you need vertical or horizontal shots? A mix of both?

5) Consider seasonality.

Lastly, take into consideration the time of year and whether you need your photos to reflect a summery or wintry vibe, or to be ‘evergreen’ – meaning they can really suit the aesthetic of all seasons. These are a bit trickier but well worth the effort as they will keep you from feeling like you constantly need to change up your photos.

Unless of course, your products or business can truly be seasonal. Then, by all means, consider quarterly shoots so your content feels timely and relevant.

Additionally, here are some ideas and purposes behind a brand photoshoot:

  • High-quality team photo shoot to obtain:
    • Profile images for your website or LinkedIn
  • Headshots for business cards, email signatures, etc.
  • Lifestyle images for social media, press releases, marketing materials, etc.
  • Feature & showcase new products
  • Obtain seasonal imagery for ads & marketing materials
  • Supporting website imagery

…the list goes on. One thing is certain, without fresh, new visual assets, your options can become limited or repetitive very quick!

Brand photography allows you to not just tell your audience what you offer, but to actually show them (a) what it is (b) how to use it, and (c) the difference it makes.

If you’re a service-based business, it captures your brand personality and paints a picture of what it’s like to work with you. It should go hand-in-hand with your copy; adding to the story, not detracting from it.

Below are some of our favorite shots from photo shoots with clients and local businesses in the past:

The Wandering Petal

The Wandering Petal

The Corner Gallery

Lorak Jewelry

STAY by Cori Samuel

Method Infrared Sauna & Wellness

Bay Local Eatery

Stephanie Jones Fine Art

Stephanie Jones Fine Art

With spring finally here and temps on the rise, there’s no better time. Plan your next brand shoot today, and get in touch with us if you want more information about working with R&A!


-The R&A Team

Reed & Associates Marketing - a national marketing agency located in Norfolk, VA

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