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Picture Perfect: Enhancing Your Brand Image with Custom Photo and Video Libraries

We’re living in the age of relatable, authentic brand imagery. Scroll through any website or social platform and see which brands catch your eye. Are they the companies blasting stock images across their channels? Doubtful. Today’s consumers want unique, honest, and purposeful brand images, and they won’t settle for anything less.  

Whether shoppers accidentally bump into your print or digital ad or intentionally peruse your website and social media, your brand’s first impressions are often made through imagery, so you need a strong photo and video presence to stand out in the digital crowd. If your stock images just aren’t cutting it and you’re looking for a better way to reach your audience, we’ve got the tips you need to create your own brand photo and video library – and some best practices to get the job done right.  

The Benefits of Your Brand Photo and Video Library

Our world is saturated with images, and the only way to rise above the noise is to create a visual content strategy that pulls its content from a library of custom brand visuals. Sounds great in theory, but we all know that creating brand photo and video libraries takes time and effort. So before you fully commit to developing your own brand photography and ditching those royalty-free assets, here’s a snapshot of the top benefits of creating your own custom brand visuals:

  • High-Quality Content – Stock photos and videos often leave much to be desired, with overly staged subjects, uninspired sets and poor lighting. Plus, it’s often difficult to find the diversity and originality that truly reflects your brand personality and helps you stand out. Set up a custom visual library, and you can create images unique to your products, services, and brand personality.
  • Easily Recognizable Design – One critical aspect of brand recognition is easy identification. Creating a brand photo and video library ensures that every image and video you post tells a cohesive story that instantly brings your brand’s name to your target audience’s mind. Publishing original images means you’ll never see them on anyone else’s site, and while this might cost more upfront, it’s far more cost-effective in the long run.
  • Ready-Made Visuals – A custom photo and video library helps you stand out among the competition, but it also keeps your creative flow moving and your campaigns on target. Your brand image library can serve as a creative jumping-off point for future campaigns and new product launches. You can also plug-and-play your visuals across your entire brand ecosystem, creating a cohesive brand voice and saving you time, money, and effort as your business expands.

Ready to dive in and start planning your first brand photo and video library shoot? You can hire an experienced studio like (spark) that understands our brand personality and needs, or you can follow the checklist below and create a brand photo and video library on your own!  

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Pre-Production: Creating Your Library’s Mood and Vibe

One common misconception about setting up brand photo and video libraries is that they all need to give off an extremely polished vibe, but the truth is, your brand image library should reflect the tone and mood of your products and services. Is your brand playful and exciting, or serious and thoughtful? Are your products tailored to an action-packed lifestyle or designed for cozy comfort? Understanding your brand’s personality goes a long way in pre-production planning.  

We recommend starting with a mood board that reflects your brand and its voice. Once you’ve nailed down your overall vibe, you can make more accurate and efficient decisions about pre-planning details like lighting, lenses, wardrobe, and shooting locations. Choose natural light sources and lens flares for a soft, cinematic look, or go all-in with studio lighting for a more professional approach. Lastly, consider colors: Wardrobe and props can tell a brand story through bright pops of color, and carefully chosen scenery can cash in on natural earth tones.  

Pre-Production: Planning For Future-Use Scenarios and Relating to Your Audience

Now that you’ve determined the mood of your upcoming photo and video library shoot, it’s time to look to the future. Think about specific shots you’ll need for all your brand’s digital platforms, as well as any upcoming campaign needs. Consider where and when you’ll post your new visuals, keeping any upcoming campaigns that will need specific images front-of-mind.  

Next, think about your target users and how they live their lives. Many users, especially brands with younger audiences, will likely view your content on their phones. Mobile devices rely heavily on vertical orientations, so plan to shoot your image and video accordingly. Aside from optimizing for device and layout, you also need to consider how your visual content will represent people using your products or services. Consumers want to see themselves mirrored in your images, so choose actors, environments, and actions that feel authentic to your target audience. A strong understanding of your consumer base will inform the kinds of locations you use, the time of year you shoot, and the way your actors use your products. If you’ll need to capture product shots as well, you might need to book a photography studio, even if your other shots are on location. 

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Finding an Experienced Studio to Capture Your Brand

Let’s say you’ve planned every detail, you’ve nailed down the specific style you need and story you want to tell, and now you’re ready to shoot. Congratulate your creative team for all of their hard work in pre-planning! On the other hand, your internal creative team might be knee-deep in other vital projects, and you know that asking for assistance is the best way to bring your brand photo and video library to life. Partnering with a professional brand photo team can not only alleviate unnecessary stress, but these experts can also elevate your finished product to levels you could only imagine.  

Studio teams can help you think through your entire visual content strategy, plan for the videos and images you’ll need, and design images that capture your unique brand personality. They also know how to navigate multiple different industries, expertly manage all aspects of production, and help you create a video library. Some studios, like (spark), even offer post-production services and editing, so you’ll go home with a finished, polished product.  

Capturing B-Roll Footage

While primary interview footage is key, capturing supplementary B-Roll is arguably just as important. B-Roll footage visually enhances video interviews and fills out the brand narrative in ways an interview alone cannot. This complementary footage can include shots of products, work locations, or behind-the-scenes perspectives.

  • Remember how the (spark) team prefers to use a two-camera setup? The A and B Cameras can work in tandem to capture wide-angle and close-up views of interviewees as they cook, load trucks, create artwork – essentially any activity that would be of interest and fills out an interviewee’s story.
  • Also keep in mind that B-Roll footage should be shot with the same care as primary footage, meaning our team pays attention to background audio, scene backdrops, and lighting just like they do when filming formal interviews.

Post-Production: Organizing Your Library

After your visual assets have been edited, you’ll want to organize your brand photo and video library. Find a centralized storage location and decide who can control and access your visual content. You may want to tag images and videos with labels to help you quickly identify them. Some asset management platforms offer automated tagging, which can create efficiencies if you have a large library. And of course you’ll want to make sure you regularly update, archive, and backup the content you’ve worked so hard to create.  

Start Your Brand Photo and Video Library With (spark) Today

An experienced studio like (spark) offers you decades of experience creating photo and video libraries. We can help your brand strengthen its visual strategy, streamline the photo shoot process, and stand out from its competition. Want to leverage the high-class production skills of our (spark) creatives? Build a contract with our company and gain access to these benefits and more: 

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Developing a customized video library for brands is just one of many ways that (spark) elevates our clients’ online presence. If you’re ready to take your brand photo and video library to the next level or simply discuss how a production agency like (spark) can maximize your brand reach, contact us to learn more.