CREATING IMAGES WITH INTENTION FOR YOUR BRAND

Published on May 10th, 2016 // BRANDING 101 BRANDING BASICS BRANDING TIP BUSINESS CULTIVATE CREATIVITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP MOODBOARD PERSONAL BRANDING STYLE GUIDE

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It’s Reverie Rendez-vous and today’s guest is non other than Trisha-Marie Byrnes from Anchor & Flourish – You can read a quick little bio at the bottom of the post or learn even more about her and her beautiful business here. She’s here today to talk to us about creating images with intention and purpose, conveying the personality and story of your brand. Enjoy! And feel to ask questions in the comments.

I’m so excited that Katell has invited me to write to you all! I’m Trisha Marie, the stylist + brand photographer of Anchor & Flourish! By now you’ve heard over and over that your brand is not simply your logo, but rather a culmination of all the elements that speak on behalf of your business. Being a brand-photographer, one of my favorite parts of a business’ brand is the imagery- of course! To me, an image conveys a million little details and emotions within the space of a few seconds –That can certainly be a very scary thought, but at the same time, doesn’t it allow you a huge opportunity to decide exactly what message they are receiving, and exactly who it resonates with? To me, that is a very exciting idea!

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So my question for you is (ok, really a few questions!) – Are you using photography with intention? What message are you conveying in your brands photography? Is your imagery sending the message you want, and is it marketing to your ideal client? When I work with clients I like to start with a series of questions that really gets them thinking about their brand as a whole, questions like how they want the client to feel, their brands mission, all the way through long term goals of the company – these with heavily influence the direction of their brand imagery, and when looked at in a bigger picture, begins to craft a cohesive vision to grow with!

So the word ‘intention’ is everywhere – but how does it pertain to your imagery? It’s simple – creating images that are on purpose. Not random images with the hope that they look great together. Yes, that sounds simple – but to be able to do so, you have to really know your brand, right? You need to know it inside and out, like your BFF – that way the imagery tells a story of your brand that you have purposefully designed! When you purposefully design your big brand picture, you can purposefully create a cohesive brand, and market purposefully! Yes, I used that word a million times – it was on purpose.

So how can we accomplish this? Let’s start by looking at a few questions to see your bigger picture and begin to draw inspiration:

  1. What four words would you want someone to use to describe your business?
  2. What is your company’s mission?  What do you stand for?
  3. What problem are you solving for your client?
  4. Who is your ideal client – spare no details!  Think of all the facets of their life, personality, shopping habits, where do they socialize, etc.
  5. How would you describe the personality of your business? It is your business, and you need to love it – how do you want the personality to be? Is it playful, etc?
  6. What makes you different from your competitors?
  7. What is your process? (whether it’s creating a product, or your process while working with a client)
  8. What are your business goals this year? 5 years?
  9. How would you describe the ‘voice’ of your company?

I could go on and on with a million questions, but these are some of the ones that I really recommend spending time with – they help solidify the core of your business, and its personality. After my clients go through a similar series of questions, I find they really have a great mindset for seeking out inspiration! So next we’d move on to create a Pinterest board – I have my clients start the process with 6-8 images that really speak to them – ones that make them say: this totally could be my brand, or I love the way this image feels, or I love the way this process is shown, etc.  I think this part of the process is really helpful in defining what you love and in the process you’ll often find a pattern of what type of ‘styling’ you are drawn to.

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With my clients, I take cues from the images they pinned and gather additional inspiration that draws on their company’s colors, personality, processes and problem solving from the questionnaire, and I use it to design a style board. Style boards are another huge part of my design process – this is where we define what color ranges will be used, descriptive words, images that evoke the feelings and personality we want to convey, etc. This board is used as a pivotal tool for the remainder of the process. I use it when shopping for props, when I am sketching images I will later create for them, during the shoot, etc. A great idea you can also do is to create a board that is full of inspiration that fits your brand (colors, feel, look, message) – have it include images that span the seasons – and hang it in your office. This doesn’t create a log of items to duplicate, but rather gives inspiration and is a constant reminder before you post anything to keep within the big picture of your brand.

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Once you have your inspiration and style board, create a prop list and list of photographs you want to take. Look for props that convey your brand or help tell your story – perhaps it’s a cute little unicorn, or a ukulele that shows you’re having fun, or maybe it’s the perfect polka dot planner to show that you are one organized lady! That is what is great about our businesses – being unique and showcasing your personality can lead you to the most amazing clients that totally get you! Be purposeful when creating images – ones that tell your story, that show you creating your awesome-ness, which shares your business’ personality – go back to the questions you answered and ask yourself, how can I tell this in an image? For example, if you looooove to collaborate, create images that showcase what that would look like, or perhaps your process includes sketches for your clients – show off those cute pencils, and beautiful sketches! Show potential clients what it would be like to work together – give people a peek into what makes you, you.

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About Trisha Marie:
Trisha Marie is the stylist + photographer behind Anchor & Flourish. She helps brilliant business owners like yourself highlight the very best of what you do through beautifully styled images designed to appeal to the heart of your audience. While I work with businesses all around the country – I live along Lake Michigan in gorgeous Holland, MI!

You can also find Trisha-Marie on Facebook and on Instagram @anchorandflourish

REVERIE MINGLES: Have you found it challenging to use photography to tell your brand story? Do you find it tricky to connect your photos to your visual branding?

  • Ashley

    I love this!! I’ve been struggling with finding my voice and style as a photographer and I’ve been working on really being intentional and purposeful in every image I post. Thanks so much for the great words!

    May 11, 2016 at 10:49 am

  • Kate Whelan

    It’s tough for me, as an event designer, as I work with so many different photographers. It’s incredibly hard to keep a consistent brand look in my portfolio over the years.

    May 11, 2016 at 10:57 am