How Does Professional Photography Contribute to a Brand?
If you're considering or actively seeking professional food photography, you may have thought about the value of the services. Questions like those below may have popped into your mind:
Can I take the photos myself?
Can I find decent photography on the cheap?
Does the photographer's experience in food photography matter?
The answers to the questions above actually lie in your answer to one question:
How important is your brand to you?
In other words, when someone encounters your company's brand, what do you want them to associate it with? For some companies, it may be fun, hip and colorful. Others may prefer professional, polished and modern. But regardless of the characteristics of your brand's personality, most companies can agree that they aspire to have a single trait in common: high quality. No matter what your target customer is seeking, you want them to have a best-in-class experience when they encounter your brand and your products.
So if your goal is to communicate a high-quality brand, you must be selective in how your brand is represented. This means speaking to your target customer in the copy you write on your website, providing excellent customer service, and ensuring all visuals put out by your company is beautiful, professional and most importantly – high quality.
When a customer encounters a company with high-quality photography, the images speak to them in a number of ways. Whether consciously or subconsciously, they are thinking:
This company invests a lot into its brand. It must invest even more in its products, which means I'm likely to receive high-quality products from this company.
I can envision myself in the stories depicted in these images. This must mean this company understands me, my lifestyle and what I'm looking for in these types of products.
This company prioritizes consistency as they are consistent in all of their brand assets. I always know what I'm getting from them.
There are so many ways to enjoy this product that I haven't thought of. I will consider this brand and its products the next time I encounter these situations.
Photography quality is in the details. It's in the resolution, sharpness, color, light, composition, story and overall alignment to the brand's personality. Every piece of this process is perfected through the expertise and experience of a professional photographer. So when you hire one, you are not simply paying for someone to press a button on some fancy equipment. You are paying for the knowledge, time and experience that goes into messaging your brand as one that is world-class.
Just take a peek at the website of some of the top brands in the food, beverage, and restaurant space: Coca Cola, McDonald's, Kraft. There is no coincidence that you're not finding any low-quality photography there. They have very large marketing budgets - it's true. However, their decision to invest those dollars into their photography is a conscious one. And these investments started far before they became the Goliaths they are today. Their company's image was prioritized early, refined over many years, and culminated in the highly-recognizable brands you see today.
So the next time you think of whether professional photography is worth the investment. Ask yourself: How important is your brand to you?