Photography | Level Up Your Brand Story

You know it’s a good photoshoot when someone is hanging from the rafters. Ok sometimes just standing barefoot on a chair that’s on a table. Or maybe blocking traffic in the street because they need a new angle. But seriously it takes flexibility to get the right shot, and a fantastic partner to help tell a brand story. In celebration of National Photography Day, we’re celebrating our longest-standing photography partner that gets the job done.

Whether you’re part of a giant corporation or a lean and mean non-profit, you’ve likely experienced the pain of finding the perfect photo that tells your story. Especially if you are digging through stock images. There’s lighting, cropping, negative space and so many other elements that make the difference between expertly representing your brand and … well, a possible brand catastrophe. 

It is this aspect that makes photography such a deep influence on branding. When you can control the setting, content, colors, and even mood, you enhance the visual story of your brand. After all, isn’t that what we’re shooting for, curated, purposeful expressions of your brand story across every touchpoint? 

Stock Up

We’ll admit, stock photos have a place, we don’t want to discount the need. When you must use stock photos, please be sure you are taking the time to select images that fit your brand. Take the time to find, crop, and make color adjustments to make them work with your style. Read the license agreements carefully and always credit the photographer if you use a free image, yes even in your social post. Some of the best photographers even have some personal work available in this format. 

At the end of the day, stock photography is best for: 

  • Mockups
  • FPOs
  • 1-off uses
  • SOME internal collateral 
  • Pitch decks
  • Testing the waters 

So how do you know when you’re ready for professional photography? When you need to differentiate from the 20 other websites using the same image; or when you need more than one image to tell your story across multiple communications; or when you’ve just reached a point where you want to tell your story your way, without compromise… It’s time to find a photographer to help you capture your brand’s personality. 

Level Up

Once you make the decision to build your own library of images, it is important to find a photographer that truly understands your brand’s personality. For many of our clients, we are the Art Directors for these images and we want to be sure the people behind the lens become partners in that conversation. We want photographers (and their teams) that can add to our process, who can find the special moments that capture a brand story. We want them to ask the tough questions, in advance, becoming a part of the process, and not just a snap machine. 

Partner Up

One of those amazing partners for us is GammaNine, led by Marc Fiorito. Marc was introduced to me, and Noise 13, via a mutual friend back in 2009. I had just started a dinner club called Localize to highlight Noise 13’s Chef and Winery clients. We needed a photographer to capture those special evenings, and Marc was looking to get into the food scene. Those were some amazing dinners, and if you never got an invite, I suggest you look into Good People Dinners and for a similar vibe. 

All these years later, Marc and his team have literally grown up with me and Noise 13, from small projects, where it was just the two of us doing it all, to huge productions, with months of prep and 20+ people on set. We have had the pleasure of capturing more than delicious dinner parties, with popular food events like Eat Drink SF, to years of brand-level content for Uber, Tile, Wine Country Botanicals, Pacific Catch, and coming soon: Aquaroo, Instacart, and more. Like all good partnerships, GammaNine has offered us a true collaboration from start to finish. 

Finish Up

Noise 13 has worked with many amazing photographers in support of our brand, our incredible clients, and the In/Visible Talks conference. To celebrate them, and encourage you to find the one that fits your style, here are a few we love and recommend: Aundre Larrow, Kassie Borreson, Leigh Beisch, Claudia Goetzelmann, Henry Dombey, Kaitlyn Miller, and even former employees like Sarah ChingChristie Malvin, and Jessie Clapp. A special shoutout to Frankie Latour (who took some the best portraits of me ever) and I’m sure there are more I’m missing.

If you’re not currently in a place to work with these incredible partners, that’s ok. From DIY tips from Shopify like their great product shots at home to unique stock photos on Unsplash and others, there are so many options to meet your current needs. But when you are ready for the next step, give us a call. A great brand experience comes full circle when we creative direct your custom photos with our partners.

Thank you so much to all the photographers, and their teams, who have helped us bring our client’s visions to life. We look forward to more amazing days with all of you soon.