Someone asked me today how I got started in Brand Photography, and it is probably a similar story to many photographers dipping their toes into brand photography for the first time.
I started out in the wedding industry, and what I found 10 years ago was that other wedding suppliers were often waiting a long time for images of the wedding to use in their own marketing, sometimes never getting them (and hey, I get it as wedding season is busy but it did always baffle me as it’s then free promotion for the photographer, anyway, I digress!) and very rarely would they get images of them in action. Now maybe it’s because we always shot weddings as a duo or maybe it’s because the way I see a wedding is the family and team as a whole, so it’s because of those suppliers that the wedding has come to life, so they are part of the story. And you’ll have guessed from my business name, storytelling is everything!
So I would capture the team there on the day and share the photos with them, which then grew into suppliers asking me to come to other weddings and shoot them and the set up specifically. I was also in this time meeting other business owners and realising that they didn’t have any decent photos of them for their business – brand photography was still fairly new to the UK at this point.
I knew brand photography was something I was really passionate about – telling the stories of the people behind the business, so AKP Branding Stories was born in 2014 and I was really intentional about how I was going to launch – I hired a beautiful shoot location and hosted a portfolio building day with 6 amazing ladies.
This day wasn’t about making a tonne of profit, I just about covered the costs but what it did was give me the start of my network and a portfolio of the sorts of images I wanted to be creating – storytelling and in a gorgeous location. I wanted to start as I knew I’d go on – creating an experience and helping my clients level up.
Some of those ladies from that day still appear in front of my camera to this day and have become dear friends. And it set me on the path to where I am now – blessed to have incredible clients who come back year after year to update their images. I get to grow with their business, seeing then business decisions turn into reality and create the marketing assets they need.
And this year saw me going back to that very same concept of a shoot day in a beautiful house because it’s a formula that has worked so well for me over the years. Only this time I was going big and 2023 saw the beta of a shoot house tour which has been a great learning curve to see where in the country this will work and what style of house people want. So in 2024 there will be the 2024 Shoot House Tour running from March to October, with 2 dates per month. And we’re talking houses that could easily be on your vision board (or your clients) to really enhance your brand visuals – from Glasgow to Cornwall. Will I see you there?
2024 will also see me brining back the Seasonal Edit®, my signature annual photography service (and the first of it’s kind in the UK when I set it up all those years ago) as businesses now need more and more content.
This year has also seen me sharing more of the business knowledge I’ve gleaned over the year, with helping other photographers fall in love with their business again, take their first steps into brand photography or just steer them back on track. And it’s been exciting and the brand photography mentoring is something I’m excited to be doing more of so watch this space for more details!
The other thing I’ve been introducing to the business is video, primarily b-roll / lifestyle video to show your audience what it’s like in your business, its exciting to learn a new skill and it adds a different dynamic to your content which is definitely needed in social media these days!
I’m really thankful for this question, it’s been so lovely to reflect on where my business has been over the last 9 years. And I’m wondering how to celebrate my business birthday in November. Any thoughts?
September 27, 2023