The Creative Process of Brand Photography pt. 1

The time to take the leap of faith into brand photography is now. Brand photography is a massive industry that will continue evolving for decades. With the growth of social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, there has been a higher demand for stunning imagery. If you’re a prospective brand photographer or an amateur, this is a gold mine. Our generation doesn’t want to be sold to. They want to feel like you are adding to their lives. And you can help a brand accomplish that through your photography skills.

This introductory resource will include 10 steps of the creative process, but this week I will be focusing on the first three steps. You will learn everything from the start of a conversation with a brand to nailing down the brand’s message.

Before you dive into these steps, I want to encourage you to stay motivated throughout your creative process. It will be trial and error at first. There will be tears. Not everyone is going to love your work. But in the end, your hard work WILL pay off. Trust me, I’ve been there and I’m still learning.  

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STEP #1- Connecting with the brand

Your first conversation with a brand is crucial to your collaboration with them. Why? Well, this is how you’ll seal your date with them. This is where your relationship with them begins — or ends. This goes the same for a brand. As a brand, your initial contact with a photographer will help you figure out whether you have found your soulmate or if you need to look for a new photographer. Be attentive to how the photographer connects with you!

To my photographers: You need to personally write every email to the brand— not an automated message system. You wouldn’t like it if your potential date was sending you messages that were drafted by someone else. Neither do brands. This is important because you will be setting the tone of the project and getting to the core of the brand’s mission statement.

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STEP #2 - Aligning with the brand

Deciding whether you and a brand are a suitable match can be a difficult decision. It’s one of the most important steps of the creative process. It’s here where you decide what’s best for you, your business and the brand

Let’s be honest, the income and exposure that comes along with working with a brand can be enticing. I get it. As a full-time photographer, my income also comes from these big projects, but I have learned that the best way to serve a brand is by, 100 percent, supporting their mission statement.

You want to make sure that you serve a brand to the best of your capability. By serving them at your best, you will deliver a phenomenal product and continue having a relationship with them even after the collaboration is done. The work being done should be mutually beneficial. You don’t want to short-change the brand - much less, yourself.

STEP #3 - The brand’s message

In this step, I make sure to nail down the brand’s intended message to its audience. If the brand or client does not have a message, I help them figure it out by asking a series of questions. Here are some examples:

  • What aspects of the brand should resonate with the audience?

  • What is the theme of your campaign?

  • What emotions do you want to be expressed in the images?

  • What types of edits fit your brand?

More often than not, the brand you work with will have a targeted message. But it’s good to always be prepared in case the brand needs your help. Once you know what their message is, your job is to figure out how to effectively deliver that through your photos.

Although we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the creative process, I hope you’ve learned a lot from Steps 1-3. These steps will help you establish a foundation for the rest of the campaign collaboration — but you’ll see that unfold within the next few weeks! So, stick around because I have more coming for you!

Sneak peek of next week’s post:

Step #4 - Polishing the details

Step #5 - Picking the models

Step #6 - Did you really think I was going to give it away all at once? You’ll have to wait and see! ;)


Christine & Alondra

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