By Allison Koontz, Small Coffee Intern
Photo by Brook Lark
Editor’s note: One of the first questions we ask new and prospective clients is if they have media-ready photos; horizontal, high-resolution, professional images that clearly depict their products and show the vibe of their company. We asked our summer intern, Allison Koontz, to blog about why it’s important to have strong photography.
I had the unexpected yet pleasant opportunity to sit down with Austin Monthly Deputy Editor Madeline Hollern during a recent shoot for the magazine’s August edition. During our conversation about public relations professionals relationships with journalists, we discussed the importance of brands having good professional photos. This is definitely something I knew was important-- but the more I talked with Madeline, the more I became aware that brands’ images have a major impact on others’ impressions and actions.
The most important purpose of brand photography is to capture the essence of a brand and develop its image. It should show what your brand is about. Sometimes it’s easier showing what you mean instead of saying it, especially in our image-driven world of social media. Photography should be an essential part of who you are as a brand, just like a logo or a specific font. Your images dictate who you are and how your audience perceives you. Why use boring stock images when you can show off your brand and what makes you unique?
These brand photos are incredibly versatile and can be used in a number of places to set your brand apart. Your unique images can (and should) be used on a brand website, on social media for cohesive, on-brand content, in media kits and on promotional materials. Having these images will separate you from competition and create brand recognition for your audience. Madeline mentioned how much of a game changer it is when publicists pitching to her include proprietary images from the brands they represent. Providing photos creates one less step for the media outlet because you’ve already done the work for them-- and considering many publications are cutting back on photography expenses, this is an added value to the pitch. Having professional photos will increase your chances of being highlighted in a publication, increase the chances of your photo being the first on a slideshow, and it may even add more real estate on the page.
We live in a visually-driven world where we consume thousands of images on a daily basis. Just take a look at Instagram and Pinterest, two platforms driven by images. For small brands and businesses, the investment for professional photographs may be a large investment, but it is worth it in the end-- and those photos will get a lot of mileage for months and even years to come. Brands, make yourself stand out, showcase why you matter and have fun creating who you are.