Business + Marketing

3 Reasons to Add Business Branding Photography To Your Bookings

April 20, 2022

By Abbi Longo, La Vie Photography

Did you know that business branding photography is becoming more popular by the minute? How many times have you scrolled through Instagram and noticed that your favorite local businesses have some new, amazing lifestyle photos? Or saw a sponsored ad for, let’s say, a real estate agent with a fun eye-catching photo instead of a boring headshot? Branding photography is everywhere. Yes, there are photographers whose business is solely focused on creating branding photos for small businesses and entrepreneurs, and if you are, let’s say, a lifestyle photographer, you may think that there is no room for you in this space. But the truth is, there is lots. And if you haven’t yet found a way to incorporate business branding photography into your photo business, you’re missing out. Here are 3 reasons why you should start now.

Business branding photography shot of real estate agents at desk.
Branding photography for local businesses in your area can convey the more lifestyle side of that brand to potential clients. Here, a relaxed look at The Moretti Team Real Estate agents. All Photos © Abbi Longo/La Vie Photography

Why Choose Business Branding Photography?

1. To Book Up The Slow Season of Your Lifestyle Photography Brand

As a lifestyle portrait photographer, I’ve found that it’s inevitable that things slow down in the wintertime (at least here in Canada they do). Less people are interested in trekking through the snow for a beautiful family portrait. For these months, I used to rely on newborn sessions and the odd outdoor maternity session. But since adding branding photography, I no longer fear the slow months. That’s the beauty of branding sessions—they can take place all year round.

[Read: Branding Photography: Steps to Building a Profitable Niche]

As your branding client list expands, you can become more strategic when scheduling your sessions. Meaning, you can schedule most of your branding sessions throughout the slow months, knowing that your summer and fall are busy enough already. Ultimately, you have control of your schedule, what type of sessions you book and when. So for example, if your goal is eight sessions a month, maybe in July you book six family and two branding sessions but in February and March you have six branding sessions and two family. Once you establish a consistent yearly schedule, your clients will know what to expect and your slow months will begin to fill up.

Furthermore, branding sessions are perfect for weekday bookings. Since many of these clients are entrepreneurs or small business owners, they have the flexibility to meet on a weekday, even in the middle of the day. This allows you to keep weekends open for maternity or newborn sessions if needed. Or maybe even a date night or your kids’ soccer games. Wouldn’t that be nice? Adding branding to your portfolio provides both financial and scheduling freedom.

2. To Build Repeat Clients

When you’re a family photographer, nothing feels better than clients coming back for more sessions. There is something beautiful about capturing the same family year after year. It can be the same for branding clients but instead of booking each year, they book multiple times a year. Here’s why.

These days, to help remain relevant, you need to have a strong social media presence. Even as photographers, we see the value that being online brings. For small businesses and entrepreneurs, it’s no different. This means they will always need fresh new content, for social media, a website, and so on. What pairs best with new content? Good photos. Good photos that feature them and their business. This is where being a lifestyle photographer helps. Content photos are not meant to be perfect headshots. Clients often want action shots of them working or doing something related to their business. They want photos their audiences can relate and connect with. Lifestyle photographers thrive on connection.

[Read: Reset Your Photography Business with Rangefinder + WPPI]

As a business grows and changes, there is a consistent need for new content. Knowing this need exist means you have an opportunity to create different packages for your clients that will encourage them to commit to multiple sessions a year. For example, I have a package for three shoots in a year; if my client decides to go with this, they save money when compared to booking three separate sessions. I love this option because with each session I get to know my client a little more and know what shots they might need or be missing.

Now, the practical side of me cannot fail to mention that photography as part of a business is categorized as a marketing expense. Which means, come tax time it can be written off as an important part of operating their business. This is why business owners are more likely to book a couple times a year. It’s a sensible expense that will help them grow.

3. To Expand Your Clientele

When I started my photography business, I was set on only capturing families. But I knew to grow my business, I would need to photograph whatever sessions came my way. I did cake smashes, birthday parties, extended families—you name it, I did it. Then a friend of a friend messaged me and said she liked my style and wanted to hire me to take some photos for her real estate business. Without hesitation, I agreed.

I had never done a branding session before, so I had to tap into techniques I learned for family and newborn sessions and went for it. The pictures turned out pretty great. I began sharing them on social media and from there I got many more inquiries, expanding my business in a way I didn’t even think of. But the best part was that same client has also now done a newborn and family session with me. My point? Just because you add branding to your portfolio, doesn’t mean you need to give up your family portrait side. In fact, they actually go hand in hand. Almost 90 percent of my branding clients have families or are starting one. So a successful branding session not only turns them into a repeat client for branding but also makes them think of me for family or newborn portraits. This is one of the biggest reasons why I only have one mailing list. I never know when a branding client might be interested in family portraits or a family client might be interested in branding. It truly helped expand my clientele.

[Read: Fine-Art School Portraits: The Beauty of Volume Photography]

Another way that a successfully executed business branding photography session can help your bottom line is when a company connects with your art. All you need is to impress an executive at the company and it can lead to many more sessions—likely photographing everyone at the company. For example, I did a couple of branding sessions for a local real estate agent and that same realtor open her own brokerage. She hired me for a whole day, to offer mini branding sessions for all her agents. It was great financially and for exposure. Well that turned into her asking me to be the brokerage’s photographer. Every time a new agent joins her, she hires me to do their branding photos as part of welcoming them on. It also helps create consistency and cohesiveness among the agents on her team. Another win win.

This is only one example. There are also other companies that bring photographers in to photograph their staff at the office or on a work site. This is a great way for them to create content photos that include their real employees. It can result in a full day of shooting but if priced properly, can be very lucrative. Businesses always thrive for convenience, consistency and creativity. All in which can be provided in one day of shooting. It’s also a chance to show your style of photography to a large group of potential clients.

If you have been wavering on tapping into business branding photography, stop. Take the leap. Book some model calls and get your work out there. You don’t need to compromise on your style, no boring headshots required. Use all the techniques and skills you already have from your portrait business and get started. You won’t regret it.

Lifestyle photography shooter Abbi Longo, La Vie Photography.

Abbi Longo is the photographer behind La Vie Photography in Canada. Her goal is to capture beautiful, authentic family moments. ”I want to capture the raw, authentic, connection between loved ones. I want my clients to look back at their photos and remember how they felt in that moment in time. Because time goes by too fast and kids grow quickly! It’s important to have physical memories to remind us of those times!”