When I talk to business owners about brand photos, a lot of them struggle with knowing the right time to invest to have the biggest impact – trying to find the balance of needing content but also needing to feel sure of their exact messaging.
Amanda of Amanda Kane Photography was at a point where she felt it was time to pivot. She’d just moved cities (to the gorgeous Charleston, SC area), she was wanting to move up in her market to higher end clients, and (we didn’t know this at the time), she was preparing to welcome a new baby!
For Amanda, she is very secure and confident in her brand messaging. Along with the pivot, it made a ton of sense to invest in brand photos, and our focus shifted to maintaining her relatable personality while also attracting higher end clients.
The challenge of Amanda’s brand photos was keeping the balance between being aspirational, seeming high end and luxury, while still remaining human and authentic to herself and personality. We approached this with two storylines: “Elevated and Approachable” and “Eye for Aesthetic.”
CONCEPT: I believe that you can be both approachable and friendly, while also appreciating the beauty in finer things. The core of loving the high-end look comes from admiring the small details and the impact they can have – like the joy of seeing well-designed paper goods or curated pieces within a home.
Amanda has a focus on higher end clients because she loves fine details and intentional design and wants clients that also hold that value, but she doesn’t believe that luxury means being impersonal. She believes that she can be both friendly and approachable while still enjoying beauty and the finer things.
These photos are about humanizing Amanda while keeping her aspirational. We used her own home for a lot of these photos. (These have been some of my favorite brand photos so far because of how picturesque Amanda’s interior design is. If you’ve got it, flaunt it.)
Note to the reader: One thing to think about is that you don’t always have to use your home to communicate to your clients. You can connect with clients over food, or vacations, or love of details. It’s all about digging into where your connection with them is, finding where you already are, and capitalizing on that.
We photographed her eating Chick-Fil-A, her standard wedding prep meal; we had her drinking coffee at her home coffee station; sitting her dogs; and her enjoying her own wedding albums, curled up on the couch in a sweater and jean shorts.
We showed her being human in an elevated space because Amanda has a goal of capturing genuine laughs and goofy smiles, presenting them in a fine art packaging – Amanda on the couch eating CFA is the genuine, her home in the packaging.
CONCEPT: I live for the curation of an experience throughout a wedding day, including personal pieces that share your story and are pretty. You have a vision that will need to be curated throughout the day, from photographing things in a Pinterest-worthy way to noticing when things are out of place. I want you to relax and know that I care just as much as you do.
While Amanda is human, she is still a respectable business owner – she’s going to have everything she needs to show up prepared on your wedding day, and she has a vision.
This is where we showed Amanda actually doing the work clients expect from her – creating flat lays with her styling kit, carrying a bouquet around the streets of Charleston with her camera bag, and working in her office.
Amanda wanted the city to be a larger part of her brand, so we included iconic Charleston locations, like Chalmers Street filled with colorful, historic homes.
We also made sure to get promotional photos of her interacting with her albums, since that will be a focus of her business in the upcoming year.
Making high end photos does not mean having to recreate an entire high end wedding, it is about making choice, focused investments in props and locations. Amanda ordered a bouquet from a florist like one an actual bride would have, and she looks like a wedding photographer in her photos because of it.
Another way we avoided unnecessary spending was that we photographed part of her home as if it was a bridal suite, knowing that a lot of brides in Charleston do get ready in homes/Airbnbs.
(To read more about if you should rent a space or use your own for brand photos, check out this blog post.)
Since we happened to be in Charleston around Christmas time, we also got some photos with the holiday decorations. You never know when they could come in handy and I love making sure we have some holiday themed content if we know it’ll be coming soon! Always good to have in your back pocket 🙂
Most people think that things like “higher-end” and “luxury” come at the cost of becoming stuffy and losing your personality, but you can use your personality and authenticity to your advantage.
With Amanda, it was her beautiful detailed house, for others, it might just be one corner of their house, or the food that they love, or the places they love to visit.
It’s all about having a clear brand identity, being self-aware about your own brand position, finding the shared connection you have with the clients you want, and capitalizing on that.
I’m Dakota, a Wilmington, NC-based photographer Helping engaged couples feel comfortable in front of the camera and creative businesses grow with purposeful brand imagery.
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