Three Mistakes Photographers Make When Branding Their Photography Business

Three Mistakes Photographers Make When Branding Their Photography Business

Branding your photography business is the number one way to make your business stick out from the competition. Here are a few mistakes photographers make when they begin the branding process.

As photographers, we like to think the main reason a client books us is because of our fantastic photography. And while the quality of our photos does play a part in the decision-making process for potential clients, there are several different cues the typical consumer looks for when deciding to hire a service-based business like photography. One of the main ways to grab a potential client’s attention and capture them as a lead is to have a great brand. However, when going down the branding road for the first time, beginners tend to make a few common mistakes. Here’s what to avoid when starting out with branding your business.

When starting the branding process for your business, you may be inclined to go with the first design that comes to mind for your photography business logo. When choosing a logo for your brand, make sure that it isn’t an amateur design. This, more than ever, is an excellent place to outsource. Outsourcing your logo doesn’t have to cost a lot of money (you can find designers of all price ranges on sites like Fiverr and Etsy,) and will make all the difference in the eyes of new clients.

Having No Consistency Throughout Your Branding

When building a brand, it's essential to be very intentional about the design choices you make. Design aspects like colors and fonts send specific psychological cues to potential clients. One of the most significant mistakes photographers make when branding is not having consistency throughout their brand in all of their online and print marketing materials. If your website has a specific color scheme, use those colors throughout your marketing in business cards, social media, and advertising. Likewise, choose fonts that complement each other, are professional, and make sure the fonts you’re choosing are fonts that you’ll be happy with over time. Rebranding is tricky and can often cause you to lose trust among potential clients.

Not Researching the Competition

The photography business is an oversaturated market. This means that every photographer within their local market has competition. When beginning to brand your business, one of the best things you can do is research your competition and see what they’re doing right, what’s working for them, and what to avoid. Not only will researching your competition help you to understand your local market more, it may also help you understand the type of clients you do and don’t want to photograph.

Branding should always be an intentional, well thought out process. You’ll be able to easily avoid all of these mistakes by stepping back and making sure you’re taking your time in making design choices for your business. With a reliable brand, great logo, and excellent design, you’ll be sticking out to more clients, and booking more photo sessions.

Lead image by via Pexels.

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Pawel Witkowski's picture

I saw so many great photos with terrible logos on them that ruins completely my perception about that persons aesthetic. Having good logo I believe is more important to many that one could think.

Jen Photographs's picture

While this is a great topic, you missed the opportunity to flesh it out and provide valuable content to your readers. For example, one of the "mistakes" is to have an amateur logo. But you don't define or provide examples of an amateur logo. What makes a professional logo professional? (aside from paying for it).

Ditto consistent branding. Telling people to research their competition is great and dandy, but how do they ID and critique these benchbmarks their competitors are using?

Pedro Pulido's picture

The biggest mistake imho is the lack of investment in marketing and lack of will behind the scenes. Many think it's all about you and your camera while in reality, first of all, it's all about how you position your brand, how you market it and how you reach your target correctly and efficiently. You'll spend long hours behind a laptop and it won't be for editting. Please be aware of that!

Rio Yoshi's picture

As a Photographer/Brand Designer, "Fiverr" kind of site is killing us as a designer... It is like a free/low price photo providers... so tough to be a creative... sorry I know my comment is off the subject here...

Jon Kellett's picture

Having not used a service like Fiverr for design work (though having heard the result of a custom song), my impression was that it would be worth what you paid.

That's not to say that there aren't some very talented people out there who could earn much more, just that being a good graphics person doesn't make one a good design person.

I'd not expect an outsourced budget graphics freelancer to understand the psychological impact of form and colour, nor to be an expert on brand consistency. For that reason, I'd only use a service like Fiverr to get some ideas drafted to take to a more marketing oriented designer.

So if I ever choose to revamp my logo (something I am actually looking at), rest assured that I'd be supporting my local economy and paying a proper rate. :-)

shawn starr's picture

Never ever use fivver for design services. Its an insult to real, hard working brand designers. A comparison would be to hire an iphone photographer for your wedding. Fivvrr = some kid in india simply plugging your name into a logo template that 100s of other people already have.

Want to stand out? Hire a real brand design agency...not your cousins friends boyfriends roomate, who knows photoshop and makes logos on the side.

A brand is the soul of the company. Its much more than color and funky fonts or a hipster logomark. What is tue voice of your brand? Is it personal and honset...or is it professional and PC? What is your mission statement and value proposition? How are you different than the other billion shooters out there? Do you have a "brand style guide" and asset library in place, so your marketing efforts are integrated?

What is your exit strategy? Will you be able to sell this business (and brand) to someone else in the future? Or will you just keep working until youre bored with it and just move on?

A brand influences every customer touchpoint from reviews, ad listings, website, contact forms, estimates and contracts, packaging materials, emails, CRM....on and on.

If youre running fivver logos, on dont have a brand juggle templates efficiently.

John Wolf's picture

This is very good advice. I was told many years ago to have a top notch pro do your logo and business card art work. Especially when working with art directors that have a highly refined sense of taste.