042 – The importance of Brand Photography for businesses with Katie Krupa

042 – The importance of Brand Photography for businesses with Katie Krupa

Do you struggle with your brand identity? Do you ever wonder how some brands are able to perfectly connect with their audience and establish credibility. In this episode of the Take Your Shot Podcast, learn how strategic brand photography can elevate your business’s identity and help you stand out in a competitive market. You will learn how to seamlessly transition your visual content to reflect your business’s core values and connect more deeply with your target audience.

  • Essentials of Brand Photography: Discover the key differences between general marketing photos and brand-specific photography, focusing on how these visuals can tell your brand’s unique story and highlight its differentiation.
  • Developing Your Visual Strategy: You’ll find out how to craft a visual strategy that mirrors your brand’s mission and engages your audience effectively, including tips for planning photo shoots that convey your brand narrative with impact.
  • Collaborating with Photographers: Learn how to select and work with photographers who can capture the essence of your brand, ensuring the images represent your business authentically.
  • Creating Distinctive Images: I’ll show you methods for producing unique and memorable images that capture attention and make your brand noticeable, even in crowded markets.


Download Katie’s FREE Brand Photoshoot Guide: https://katiekrupacreative.myflodesk.com/brand-photoshoot-planning-guide 

Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katiekrupacreative 

Get the best business resources we have to offer: More resources here


The importance of Brand Photography for Businesses with Katie Krupa

[00:00:00] Welcome back to another episode of the Take Your Shot podcast. Today, I've got Katie Krupa from Katie Krupa Creative, and we are gonna be talking all about brand photography, the importance of it, and all the things. So Katie, welcome aboard. Do you mind introducing yourself and telling everyone a little bit about the brand?

Who you are and what you do. Yeah. So my name is Katie Krupa. I am the owner of Katie Krupa Creative, and I'm a brand photographer based in Northeast Ohio. I am a strong believer that every business owner deserves to feel confident and empowered. , to run their business, no matter what their confidence level is in front of the camera.

, especially for wedding professionals, wedding photographers, videographers, we're so used to being behind the camera as photographers. So, , I absolutely love working with different creatives to, you know, Help them, create meaningful brand photos that are full of life and personality and, , bring their brand to life.

So that's a little bit about me and what I do as a brand photographer. There's such a need for just solid imagery when it comes to brands. And I [00:01:00] think it's so easy to hide behind the product or service, but like what you're really bringing to life is just like the importance of actually making it cohesive and all the things.

So I think that's so awesome. And I can't wait to dive more in, but I'd love to, like, First, give a little bit more context, like, so how did you make the transition into brand photography? How did, how did you get started? What did that look like? Yeah. So I actually have a background in photojournalism and marketing strategy.

So I worked full time doing marketing for Angle Builder and during that time period, like transitioning from college to corporate life, I started my own photography business on the side. That's pretty cool. And, , I started kind of doing everything I was doing weddings. I was doing family photos. I was doing seniors, I was doing all the things.

And as I got more into my business and like. Really found what I enjoyed. I niched down into wedding photography and I did that for a couple of years and I really, really loved it. And during [00:02:00] that time, I also added photography cause I really loved it as well. And I, after so many years of doing weddings, I was like, I love this, but because I work a full time job and.

Also, , have so much love for branding, I decided to transition from weddings to fully doing branding. And part of the reason is because I just, I love that strategy piece of it so much. , I love working with different business owners in my area to create meaningful images. So it's just something that I, like my heart was set on it.

I loved everything about it. So that's where I landed in brand photography. Man, I love what you said. Oh, yeah. And I just kind of did brand photography. Like, you just kind of added it into the mix. There's so much to unpack there. I am really curious though, okay, so if someone's out there, and we're going to dive into more of like the specifics of branding and all that stuff, , when it comes to like photography, but I am curious to like, what were some of the like first steps you took to like start dabbling and like getting transitioned into that?

Because I know that's like kind of a big swing to go from like weddings to branding. I'm sure people are wondering [00:03:00] like, Oh, if I wanted to try this, like, how would someone go about doing something like that? Yeah, so it's funny because they're totally different. , but what happened is, is I had a friend that she was hosting an event for, , bloggers and entrepreneurs in the area.

And she was like, Hey, Katie, I know you're a photographer. Would you be willing to like, Pro bono come and take some headshots and help me out with this event. And I was like, sure, why not? Like, that sounds fun. So I joined in on the event and at the time I also was doing like, I kind of had a lifestyle blog and it was just like my way of like another creative outlet for me.

, I was living in a new city on my own and I just like wanted something to be able to post to. And so I had a blog. I love writing. And, , I, but I had no one to take my pictures. So. I went into this event having kind of like that mindset that like these other bloggers and entrepreneurs might not have somebody that is able to take photos for them as well.

So I'm at the [00:04:00] event and everyone, it was me and another photographer and this other photographer was very like old school, like kind of senior photo photographer and he was super nice, but I just don't think his photography style. And, like, the way he was going about, like, the strategy side of it was really working for these people that we were working with.

So, , I took all of my photos, I worked with these women to try to figure out, like, what they wanted. And, , they were like, you're really good at this. You should keep doing this. And that's kind of how my, the concept of brand photography, like, came into my mind. At the time, this was back in, like, 2017, 2018.

Their brand photography was not a thing. Like I do not remember hearing like a single person talking about brand photography on like Instagram or Facebook or anything. And so I started adding it, but I feel like until like probably around 2020, like right before the pandemic, that's when I was really like, This is a thing.

This is like, this can [00:05:00] really take off somewhere. So, , yeah, so that's how I transitioned into brand photography and I just, I think it's so important to have because everyone needs it. If you're a small business owner, like you 100 percent need it. I couldn't agree more in the sense of that. It is such a need.

And I think it's really cool how you kind of just like, I found this passion and people are like kind of validating you and that like, Hey, you're really good at this. You should keep doing that. And I think it's always fun when you can like kind of pair your passion and also be validated by other people being like, man, like this is actually really good stuff.

Please keep doing something like that. So I think that's really cool. , and we're, we're talking a lot about brand photography today. Do you mind just like for our listeners defining exactly like what, what is brand photography? Like how would you define it in your own terms? Yeah, for sure. So, , while wedding photography and like family photography focused a lot on capturing like specific moments and memories, brand photography takes more of a strategic approach to capturing images.

, it really aims to visually communicate the essence and values of a [00:06:00] business's brand, and it goes beyond taking like really pretty pictures. It's all about like telling a story and conveying a message. And creating like a cohesive identity. I think a lot of times, like some photographers or like business owners in general, like they have pictures that they might have on like their iPhone, or, , maybe they did have like their friend who owns a nice camera, like take some pictures for them.

And they're like, not really cohesive. Sometimes like people will slap on different presets. It's all these different things and they just don't have a cohesive presence, especially on like Instagram or their website. So brand photography takes all of that and, , makes everything cohesive and really just tells the story of your brand and your business.

And I think that's really great that you add the element of like storytelling to it and just like really getting their values and their message and identity all in like one place. , as a part of your process, do you have anything that you kind of do to make sure that you're able to capture those for someone?

Because I [00:07:00] feel like those are really big things and , how does, how does one even like comprehend how to even capture something like that for a brand or like how do brands even know how to communicate what they want if they're trying to work with a photographer that's going to do brand photography for them?

Yeah. So when I work with all of my clients, , I start out with like, we go ahead and we book our shoe and we get right into planning. , I have a entire brand like questionnaire in my client portal that I use and it asks all sorts of questions like, what is the purpose of your shoe? What are you trying to show your client?

Potential customers or clients. , what are your brand colors? , are there any like upcoming promotions or like launches or, social media topics, anything that you want to talk about that you want to show through photography. So, we take all of those.

questions and we create a game plan for the brand photo shoot. And that really allows me to create a strategic shot [00:08:00] list that will capture everything that they're looking to share, whether that being on social media or on their website. I think that makes total sense, especially with just like. Having them kind of convey like what they're hoping to get out of it too.

And then having like a really solid plan and shot list, which is way different than like something like a wedding. Right. Because a wedding where you're kind of capturing like candid moments, whereas this is a lot more preplanned and established and intentional. And I think it's really cool how you kind of transitioned into something like that, which is awesome.

So I'd really love to know, cause you talk a lot about like brand identity and, you know, just the importance of that. And. I would say one of the biggest challenges is how do people stand out in a competitive market? And so I'm really curious, like how does brand photography.

Entrepreneurs and business owners, like with that, like standing out and actually like finding their unique identity rather than looking like the. You know, competitors next door. So a wedding photographer's brand identity really encompasses everything from like their logo to their color palette to their shooting style.

And they're like editing style. , but [00:09:00] this is all like a visual representation of their brand's personality and values and just their like overall vibe. , I think a strong brand. Identity not only helps a wedding photographer attract their ideal clients, but also ensures that they stand out in a crowded market.

, we all know there's like a million wedding photographers out there, and I'm completely community, over competition, but you definitely want to stand out. Cause like, if that's, especially if it's your full time job, like you got to get clients in the books. So, , for example, like a photographer with a romantic and whimsical brand identity may appeal to couples seeking like a fairy tale, like wedding.

, so they want all of their branding to represent that. , and especially I. I think that if relating this back to brand photography, if you are doing a brand photo shot session, you want your photos of you to represent that as well in your, , what we're [00:10:00] capturing. Totally. And I think that makes sense too, because you want them to be able to see the style and kind of see how it would be executed.

And so if you're trying to speak to someone, but you're not really speaking their language or you're trying to show them something that they need, but you're not able to like actually be the example, I think that totally makes sense in that having an established like brand identity and how having really good brand photos that really align with all of that is key.

And I think it's really cool that you pair those two together specifically, because I think it's so easy to miss something like that.

And I would love to learn a little bit more about just like, what are some of the common mistakes that you see businesses making when it comes to their brand photos and brand identity? So a lot of the things I see, , especially other photographers doing when it comes to like their branding and their brand identity.

Is they either don't have any photos of themselves again, that kind of goes back to we're photographers and a lot of the time we're so used to being behind the camera. So when we're in front of the camera, we either get a little camera shy, , we just Some, a lot of people don't enjoy [00:11:00] it. Like they just are like, Oh no, I don't, I'm camera shy.

I don't want to be in front of the camera. Like I would rather be taking the photos. , so I see that, or I see a lot of photographers saying, Hey, like I need an updated headshot. Can we do a headshot swap? And they find another like family or wedding photographer and do that swap. But there's no strategy behind it.

, it's just like, again, going back to pretty pictures. And while those are pretty pictures, like any photographer can make you look really cute and nice, , it doesn't really exemplify what your brand is. And, , so I think it's really important to hire specifically a brand photographer so that they can really help you show off who you are, who your business is, or what your business is, and really get those key photos of your brand.

What you do day to day.

Okay, I really love what you were talking about too, of just like the importance of really honing in on the [00:12:00] expertise of storytelling because That's something that so many people miss and like I, I see that I've made that mistake. I know that that's something that's very common. Do you mind though, just like defining a little bit more of like, okay, so you say storytelling, what does it actually mean?

Like, what does that look like and how can people actually like ensure that they're not missing that storytelling piece with their brand? So as a photojournalist, like I am so used to like telling a story through visuals and as wedding photographers and videographers, we're so used to doing that as well.

So with branding, you're able to do that by laying out what you do or like your process. And. Essentially capturing it through your, like throughout the whole process. So I worked with a, , Photographer and we did a photo shoot where we captured the typical, photos in her studio, , some headshots.

We were able to get some of those like typical branding photos. You might see of her, like at her computer or with her camera. [00:13:00] Um, just those of her, but then she's scheduled a family to come in and do essentially a styled shoot with her during her brand session so that I was able to capture her capturing them.

So we got some really awesome photos of her taking their photos and I got some like up close detail shots of like what she's seeing behind her camera.

We also did some wedding flatlays, like she practiced doing some wedding flatlays and I took pictures of her doing that. , we also had a couple come in and we took photos of her doing like an engagement style session. So taking all of those images really helps tell her story because , it's what she does.

And so when couples go on her website, they can see these images. Of her in action and taking photos and they're like, Oh wow, like I love how she's showing what she does and like, it doesn't have to be, you know, look how comfortable this couple looks, , she must make them feel really good. So it's , it all goes back to [00:14:00] storytelling.

It's showing your process. It's really just showing what you do every single day. And I think that's a really big key point because if you're hiding behind the camera and you're never getting in front of it, people will actually know and have that connection with you. And so I think that's really cool.

And I think that's smart. So do you like have them kind of lay out like a storyboard of like just all the different processes and then you kind of just build a shot list off of that or or I guess with the strategy pieces or anything else that goes into it other than just showcasing these different parts of like their process.

Yeah. So like I said about my questionnaire, we, I have like a bunch of different questions about what is your process? Like, what kind of things are you going to be talking about on social media? , do you have any upcoming launches? A lot of , photographers are also in the education industry or mentoring industry, so we might want to make sure that we're capturing images that represent that side of their business as well.

So we really just from this questionnaire and also from their strategy like phone call [00:15:00] session that we do before their shoot where we put the entire plan together, we're able to Essentially create storyboards or like a shot list that really owns in on what they're needing and wanting for their brand photography session.

Yeah. No, that's so good. And I, I love, I love how intentional you are with the process and just making it really easy for them to follow from like the questionnaires, the planning out the shots and actually executing it in a way where it's like, okay, it's not just them with headshots, but it's like so much more, right?

It's like so much for the client to see and really bring people into the brand. So I love that. And I think you do such a great job. Now if there's anyone out there who kind of wants to start doing this for their own business, I'd What tips or next steps would you have, , for them to start kind of implementing for themselves?

So, if you're a wedding photographer or videographer, and you're like, Oh my gosh, I never show my face on social media. Or I don't have very many pictures of me on my website, or I want to show more of what I'm doing. , the first thing would be to like assess everything, like assess your current [00:16:00] branding materials, really take a look at like your visuals, your website, your social media platforms, your marketing materials.

Some photographers have like, whether it be like a PDF guide or printed materials that they hand out to clients. , really take a look at those and identify areas where your visuals are not consistent or you just don't think they're like adequately representing your brand. , you might see, like you might've done, like I said, a headshot swap with another photographer and been like, I like that photo of me, but it doesn't really represent who I am or what I do.

So that's like the first step is just really owning in on what you have currently. And then you want to move into defining your brand personality. , That means writing down your key attributes that make your brand unique. , what is your style? What are the emotions you want to invoke or evoke? what story do you want to tell?

What do you want your future clients to get from your visuals?

After you define your [00:17:00] brand personality, the next best step would to be to plan a brand photo shoot. , you can start off small by planning a mini brand shoot, or you can go big and plan a normal photo shoot. , but the key is finding a brand photographer because that person is really going to be able to help you.

Bring your brand personality and identity to life. , and then from there, you'll want to update like your online presence. You'll want to go through and update, take those images, update your website, update your Instagram, , even update your Instagram bio. Cause like you did all this work to narrow down your brand personality and identity.

So you want that to be reflected in your bio as well. , basically anywhere you are online and sharing content, you'll want to like update and use these images and then engaging with your audience through storytelling. Like I said, we, I do storytelling in my images, so you also want to do that in your captions for social media or your blog or wherever [00:18:00] you're using these images.

You want to tell the story behind that image. Okay. That was really good. I really loved how you like really paired in, like not only getting these assets, but then like actually where to put them, like making sure that you're updating Anywhere that you're having an online presence, like your website, your Instagram, even just the bio and the copy and stuff like that.

I think that's so important because I think that's the missing piece. Sometimes people just take the photo and maybe they'll post it in one, like one or two places, but they're not actually looking at like, how is this cohesively telling the whole story? So I love that. I love that so much. And this has been just such a great conversation. I really feel like so many people are walking away, learning a lot more of like the intention behind your brand photos.

It's not just getting a good headshot of you smiling at the camera, or you holding a camera. It's like really talking end to end the whole process and the storytelling of it. And you did just such a great job of laying that out for our listeners today. Now, if anyone's interested in learning more about you or, , some of the services that you offer, where can they find you and what types of things do you have for them?

So you can find me on my website is probably the best place to [00:19:00] get all the information about brand photography and the services that I offer. , my website is katiecrupacreative. com. And then I'm also very involved on Instagram. That's probably like my main social media platform. And my handle on Instagram is also KatieKrupaCreative.

And I know those are going to be added to the show notes. So you'll be able to click on there. Awesome. Well, seriously, Katie, thank you so much just for everything you shared today and everyone listening, go check her out.

We'll have everything linked in the show notes. She's got a couple of guides for you as well. So take a look at those and everyone, I hope you have a great day. We'll see you next week.