Photography communicates a brand's style and values without needing to spell them out. It is therefore an extremely powerful means for a brand to establish what it is about. However, photography is able to communicate every possible style and no style at all, and easy access to images through phones, digital cameras and the internet mean that a brand can be overwhelmed with off-brand images unless clear guidelines are issued.
Effective brand photography requires clear guidelines set out in the Visual Identity.
Photography guidelines should cover:
- Subjects — eg, people, product, buildings
- Background and secondary interest
- Technical requirements
- Sources — especially dealing with use of stock photography and 'found' images. Many organisations run the risk of a law-suit because of use of copyrighted images 'found' on the internet.
A good set of photography guidelines will specify types of images which are not to be used as well as the ethos.
Examples from external sites (not affiliated):
- Visit Brighton's brand guidelines contain a useful section on photography. Note especially the 'please do not's.