Anyone trying to market their business knows that they need images. Images for your website. Images for social media. Images for marketing materials.

Having high-quality, eye-catching images create critical first impressions for your brand. After selecting good photographs, you’ll want to think about how to customize them and place them.

Tips for creating eye-catching photography for your brand

Start with the basic rules of good photography

  • The photo should be crisp and clear. If the image is low-resolution or out of focus, it will be difficult to understand and look unprofessional.
  • Minimize distracting backgrounds. Especially if you take your photos, pay attention to the environment. If you’re photographing a product, think about what the table looks like. If you’re shooting the interior of your store or restaurant, get it clean and clutter-free.
  • Crop your photo if needed. Designers and photographers nearly always crop their photos to focus your attention. After downloading an image (or taking a photo), trim off any empty areas, so the subject fills the space.

Create a consistent style

Branding is all about consistency. Make it easy for prospects to remember you by developing a consistent style for your imagery. Think about the following aspects of your images and try to use the same style most of the time. 

  • Colors: Are the images saturated and bold or faded and pastel? Color is one of the most impactful ways to build a brand.
  • Lighting: A bit like color, your photos can be high contrast with lots of highlights and shadow, or they can be more uniformly and softly lit.
  • Literal or metaphorical: Are your photos more documentary style and look highly realistic, or are they more abstract, suggesting an emotional feeling?
  • Candid or looking at the camera: Do your images seem to catch people doing something, or are the people smiling for the camera?
  • Illustrations or other non-photos: Not everything needs to be a photo. Using illustrations–either created by hand or on a computer- gives a different feeling than only photographs. Here are five other alternatives to photos.

Consider how you use the image

Your photos will be used within the context of something else. It might be within a web design or on a flyer or ad. So how you place it matters. Consider:

  • The size: Does it fill the whole space (this is called full-bleed when it runs edge-to-edge), or is it small?
  • One or multiple photos: One large image can be dramatic, but a grid of smaller photos or a more casual collage effect can be used when you want to use more images.
  • Shape: We tend to think of photos as rectangular, but photos can be cropped to square or round or any shape.
  • Colorize: If you can adjust your photos, you might colorize them or overlay color for different effects. Sepia tones look vintage, and large color overlays look bold and modern.

One style is neither right nor wrong with any of these options, but you should be consistent. A consistent style for your photos will make your brand more memorable. It can also make it faster and easier for you because you don’t have to overthink each creative decision. Just follow the same visual style every time.