I’m Dave Williams, and today in writing I’m facing a challenge. The Tuesday after Photoshop World was never going to be easy on any of us, but now I’m afraid I have to interrupt for #TravelTuesday proceedings to take effect. Something that was so astoundingly evident at Photoshop World was the multitude of diverse personalities. I am so fortunate to be able to call a lot of the people there my friends but beyond that there’s one thing in particular that stood out to me. Identity.
The importance of brand identity for a photographer is, I would argue, more important than in any other field, and here’s why. A photographer is selling a service to the masses, whatever service that may be, and they must not only stand out among a crowd of other skilled photographers but also demonstrate their value over and above the technical abilities of the person off-the-street wielding the expensive camera and who calls themselves a photographer because they took a really good photo that one time (you know these people.)
The real reason a photographer needs a good, strong brand identity is because they aren’t simply selling their photos – they’re also selling themselves. Take a look around and you’ll see want I mean. There at Photoshop World was, among others: –
Sam Haddix – an unmistakable look owing in part to the gear set-up and in part to the retouching abilities possessed by this man, trying and testing combinations of techniques until the right fit was found. Check him out here.
Peter Hurley – a strong identity as the world’s leading headshot specialist, coining memorable terms to suit his model directing, having a signature lighting set-up, and a distinct look to his shots. See him here.
Kaylee Greer – an unbelievably amazing, unmistakeable style of shot obtained with a consistently specific style with huge, open skies, incredible vibrance, and similarly amazing model direction. Banana sandwiches are here.
Tim Wallace – technically perfect, colourful but not saturated, with perfect compositions on every single detail shot, and the man is an actual, real-life architect of light. Have a look right here.
You see how they all have that brand identity? It’s the brand identity, a combination of their shooting style and their personality, which has caused these incredible photographers to be able to stand above the head and shoulders of the competition.
Further to this, and a big boost to your brand identity, what Dave Clayton says is absolutely true – a graphic designer is a photographers best friend. Having a good brand identity includes having a good, clean, effective website and logo. When someone is attracted to you somehow, perhaps on social media, and they decide to look further and go check out your website it’s so important that you’re able to pull them in further by having them look around with thoughts like, ‘this person is really professional’ and, ‘it looks like they know what they’re doing’ rather than be put off by a bad logo or a clumsy website.
Ladies and Gentlemen – in photography your brand is you, and you are your brand. Make sure you succeed by leaving no stone unturned to ensure your brand identity resonates with the people who you want to be your customers.