Build a photography style guide for your brand

Photography is a key tool for any business – you can use photographs on your website, marketing materials and social media. So does your brand’s photography have a distinct style? And if so, have you ever put it into a style guide? Perhaps you know what you like and you style your photographs accordingly, but if you ever need to brief somebody else or hire a photographer, having a formal style guide can be very useful. 

Fortunately, today is World Photography Day, so this is the perfect opportunity to build a style guide for your brand’s photography! If you’ve never written one before, here’s a short guide to get you started. 

Keep it simple 

Your style guide doesn’t have to be long or wordy – ultimately it’s a tool to help any photographer achieve the look of your brand, so you need to convey what you want without going overboard on the detail. Keep your style guide to a page or two and include a short paragraph or some keywords for each point, and add a few examples of photographs that capture the look of your brand. 

Think about each element 

There are lots of elements to consider when composing a photograph, and even if you’ve never thought about them in formal terms before, you probably have a good idea of what you like. You can use this list to help you explain what you’re looking for: 

  • Content: What do you want photographs of? Think about whether your brand is focused on people, products, nature and landscape, buildings or a mixture of everything.  
  • Composition: Do you want a plain, patterned or busy background? Realistic or staged scenarios? Close-ups or wide shots? Natural or studio lighting? 
  • Colour palette: Include your brand’s distinctive colour palette in your style guide. The product or service you’re selling will affect whether you use earthy greens and browns, bold primary colours or soothing pastels.  
  • Tone: This will influence the mood of your photographs and the feelings you want to evoke. You might choose warm tones for a sense of comfort and homeliness; cool tones to symbolise modernity or calm; or bright, vibrant tones to convey excitement. 
  • People: What sort of people will you use? Think about age, gender, ethnicity and diversity, clothing, jewellery and hairstyles. 
  • Editing: Do you want your photographs to be heavily edited – e.g. by adding a filter, retouching or enhancing elements – or do you want minimal editing? 
  • Technical specs: Include a section that lists the sizes and resolutions you need. These will depend on the format you will be using the photographs in – e.g. you may need larger, higher-resolution images for printed material than for your website. 

Good photography is at the heart of any brand, and it forms an essential part of your overall brand design. If visuals are not your strong point, don’t worry – Get Ahead VA can help. We have a team of professional virtual assistants who can work on all elements of design for your business, so you can concentrate on what you do best. To find out how we can help, get in touch today on 01483 332 230, or email office@getaheadva.com. 

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