Styling Your Brand
There are tons of ways that you could go about styling your brand. I style my brand in my office, in what I wear, in photos, in social media...My office is like a shrine to my brand. But when it comes to needing stuff to match my brand, it makes it pretty easy!
You've probably noticed over time that a lot of my photos look pretty similar (if not basically the same)...and that's because they are. When I redid my brand, I worked with Hope Taylor on creating some styled branding photos. And let me tell you...IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST DECISIONS I EVER MADE.
I use them ALL. THE. TIME. I mean, it has all of my brand colors, my logo placed throughout and trinkets that I both love and mean something to me.
There are some GREAT, and I mean just amazing and fabulous, stock photos out there. And I definitely have some and have previously used them for numerous things. They are great to overlay text, crop, collage or just use as a photo when you may not have a photo that fits what you're trying to talk about. But shortly after using a few of the stock photos, I realized that it wouldn't be too hard to create my own to match my brand.
To get ready for my brand photos, I put together a pile of brand related items. Items that matched my brand (similar to this blog about building your brand) or items that meant something to me. For example, the paint brushes you see in all of my photos are really special to me. One was my grandmothers who used to paint and passed away when I was 16 and the other was a brush I bought back from studying abroad in Italy. And because the brand I went with is totally ME, the brushes fit right in.
I've found that styling a brand in this way, is a great way to test if the brand created fits you. If you want your brand to be totally YOU, then try to fit in some (not everything, but some!) of the things you love most into your brand. If they fit into your brand styling, then you are on point! If they don't, you may want to take a step back and take a second look....
Another thing is that for all of my images I used the same background: white. I love to keep things clean and simple. So white was my obvious option. But even for my Instagram images, I use either plain white or a kraft brown, but typically don't stray too far from that unless the photos are from another photographer. It keeps things cohesive and gives it a similar look.
When Hope took my images, I gave her a huge pile of brand pieces that I love, and let her get to work. I trusted hat she knew the best way to lay these out for stock images, and she did a fantastic job (Obviously, she did an amazing job!).
Can't hire a photographer? Don't worry. I still use my own photos too. Even though they definitely aren't the same, thanks to iPhone Apps that filter photos like Afterlight and Instagram, it's easy to make your photos look bright, clear, and more professional. I've got the same system for every photo: brightness, contract, warmth, then filter. Each photo uses these at different levels, but overall the end result ifs very similar, especially if I use the same backgrounds.
All photos by Hope Taylor Photography