How Stock Photography Can Help Tell Your Brand Story

 In Competing in a Crowded Market

In a recent post, we explored strategies for using compelling visuals to tell your brand story. Photos, graphics and images are an important part of the brand story. They evoke emotion and create connection. Messaging provides context for who you are and what you do. Together, images and messaging tell your full brand story in ways that inform and engage your target audience.

While the visual elements and messaging work together, the visual element is what draws people in for a closer look. In this post, we’ll take a deeper dive into photography and explore ways to maximize photos in your marketing initiatives.

Connecting with your audience through photography

Photos are powerful. A simple photo can communicate volumes. It can stir a range of emotions. Photographer David Alan Harvey said, “Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like.”

Conveying the emotion in the care and support you provide to patients and families is essential for educating family caregivers not only about what you do, but how you do it. Whether you’re communicating the benefits of receiving care at home or the value of end-of-life care, connect to the emotion through photography.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a professional photographer and photo shoots to create a library of images to use in your marketing efforts. Stock photography not only is a budget-friendly option but can elevate your marketing. Transcend’s lead designer Alex Hall shares some tips for making stock photos your own.

Know what’s being used in your market

Businesses of all shapes and sizes use stock photography in their marketing. Take a look at the advertising in your market, from hospitals and restaurants to banks and retail stores. Be aware of the people featured in stock photos to make sure you’re not using the same photos or the same people featured in the photos.

Connect to emotion vs. show emotion

As Harvey said, you want your photos to convey emotion. Select images that connect to the emotion rather than images that show the emotion. By this, we mean that you don’t have to be exact with your photos. If you want to convey the support you provide to family caregivers, you don’t have to show someone in scrubs comforting a family member. Consider a photo of a family member with someone’s hand on their shoulder. Or, zoom in on the hand on the shoulder.


Don’t be so literal

You don’t have to bring out the literal police when choosing a stock photo. While a literal interpretation of a subject might connect quicker with an audience, a metaphorical interpretation might offer more interest. For example, to show teamwork, you could use a photo with a group of people in a “go team” pose. Or, you could show an image of threads in different colors woven together.


Create a story

You don’t have to use the stock photo as is. Modify it to meet your needs. Change the background color or an element within the photo to one of your brand colors. Crop in on the subject. Utilize multiple images with messaging to tell a story.

Famed photographer Ansel Adams said, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” The same is true with stock photography. Start with a photo that supports the message you’re trying to communicate. Then, make it your own. Connect with the emotion. Consider focusing in on one aspect of the image. Add your brand colors. These design tips can elevate the stock photo and help tell your brand story in a powerful, personalized way.

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