Top 5 Lessons When Pivoting to Brand Photography


e’re Erica + Jon Hayes! We are husband and wife entrepreneurs and the proudest mom and dad to two incredible kids. We are commercial brand photographers and educators based in Pheonix, Arizona and thrive to make a positive impact on all clients. We've worked with amazing brands like Fabletics, Chicago White Sox, Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Amy & Jordan, Snuggle, and more.

When transitioning from the wedding photography space to the commercial brand photography space, we made plenty of mistakes along the way. In this blog, we are going to go over the top five lessons we have learned as brand photographers in hopes to help anyone pivoting to brand photography.

Top 5 Lessons We Learned When Pivoting to Brand Photography

1. Every Brand is Different

When working with the number of brands we have, you start to notice that every brand is different. Even brands that are in the same industry and sell the same product or service, no two brands are identical. Whether it's a change in their target market, style of photography needs, or main contact at the brand company, treat each brand as its own. Take the time to learn their individual needs as a client so you can provide them with the best client experience.

2. Brand Photography is More than Pretty Photos

When you look at a product or service brand online, great photography is very important. It puts the company's best features forward and shows the potential client what they will be getting when they purchase. However, shooting for brands is more than just taking pretty photos. It's taking intentional, purposeful images that help tell their brand story to their ideal client! A product on a table doesn't mean anything without showing the purpose and story behind it. You have to be both a good storyteller and a marketing strategist thinking of where the photos will end up and shooting for that purpose.

3. Go Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Working with brands means connecting with their ideal client, not yours! Oftentimes, this means photographers have to go outside of their comfort zone or style to have the client's desired outcome. Become familiar with uncomfortable and unconventional. This is where your best work will be done.

4. Brands are People Too

Brands are people too! Even the largest brands we've worked with, like the Chicago White Sox, Soft Scrub, and Isagenix all have real people behind them that want an awesome experience, not just great photos. Get to know your client as a person on top of as a company. The more you know about them, how they got to be part of the brand, and their vision for the brand, the better chance you have for a winning photo session.

5. Wedding and Brand Photography are Different

We started photography in the wedding and lifestyle niche. When pivoting to brand photography, we noticed there were a few key differences between the two photography niches.

Wedding and lifestyle photography - photos are sold on emotion.

Commercial brand photography - photos are sold on tangibles like increased brand awareness and increased sales and revenue!

Once you are aware of the difference, the way you shoot alters to make sure the brand and sales are at the forefront of your photography session focus.

Our Ideal Brand Photography Client

An ideal client values the work we create and trusts the planning process! We partner with our clients to take care of all pre-production planning and love when our clients trust us and our experience in this area to create the most efficient and effective photoshoot for them!

Our ideal clients recognize that the value of the assets we create goes far beyond a well-taken photo. It has a direct impact on their bottom line increasing! They are less about how much for how little and more about the overall value they receive!

CloudSpot Changed Our Brand Photography Business

We joined CloudSpot after meeting the team at a conference and we are happy we did! CloudSpot has allowed us to present our clients with beautiful and engaging galleries! The Client Mobile App feature is a huge plus for our personal brand clients who often need access to their photos on the go and makes that much more convenient for them.

CloudSpot has also given us a great platform to sell additional digital images through the online store without any manual interaction or fulfillment from us! 🙌

If you're ready to try CloudSpot, use our referral code to make a free account and get a huge discount off of your first 12 months when you upgrade.

Image: Leah Hope Photography

Want to Learn More from Us?

If you are thinking about brand photography but want to avoid the mistakes we have made, watch this free 60-minute webinar! We'll go over the three make-or-break learning curves for pivoting to brand photography.

Visit our website for other planning, styling, pricing, and mastermind brand photography courses.