The term “brand” is a catch-all phrase that encompasses a promise that an organization makes to its clients. To marketers the “brand” is the sum of all parts, to me, it is a living breathing entity. It has thoughts, opinions, style and grace, it makes promises (and ideally keeps them), it is an entity you want to engage with again and again; in the best of cases, the person experiencing the brand views it as a trusted friend.
Where the writing style of a brand speaks to the way it thinks and speaks; the photographic style speaks to the brand’s style and personality. I am as careful and dedicated in selecting images, as I am around selecting words.
In selecting a photograph of a mountain for a particular campaign do you choose a photograph of a mountain with a sign, without a sign, with a trail, without a trail, is the trail easy or difficult, is a person in the photo, what emotion is the person projecting, each of these decisions guides the overall impression of the look and feel of the brand. More directly, each of those decisions guides whether or not the viewer clicks the link for more content, or scrolls on.
In “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” Malcolm Gladwell’s research suggests that our decisions are informed by an elaborate combination of experiences, sensory cues, and both overt and subliminal messages that are all processed in the blink of an eye.
Over time the style of imagery of a brand changes, it grows, as people do, it changes to reflect current events and it rolls along with innovation.
I Take Pictures with an IPhone (these days)
I used to carry a 35mm SLR around with me (I’m a Canon-girl). That changed when I went to Easter Island. I had a little back up point and click digital camera that I brought, but I was a snob and a purist … or I was until I ran out of film halfway through the day. Oh well, at least I’ll get snapshots of the trip, I thought to myself, put away my now useless SLR and pulled out the point and click. I came home, developed the film and downloaded the digital snaps. All the pictures had two things in common:
- My skill level, nothing changed there – selecting the subject, framing the shot and getting the shot was nearly the same. The digital camera had a delay of a few seconds (a lifetime in some cases), but for shooting Moai and landscapes in daylight, it wasn’t an issue.
- Both sets of photos were essentially the same (for my purposes).
I was hooked. The technology has improved leaps and bounds, today I take pictures on an Iphone and while a younger version of me shudders at the statement, there it is.
Full disclosure, I also have a Canon Rebel that I love. I use it less than I should.