From Snapshots to Storytelling: The Evolution of Brand Photography

Behind The Scenes

Having awesome brand photography that people can relate to is so important for any business. It’s the first impression customers have of you, and it should represent your values and personality. A great brand photo can help you stand out in a crowded marketplace, attract your dream customers, and build trust with your audience. 

From old-school formal portraits to the current trend of authenticity and personalisation, brand photography has come a long way. In this blog, we’ll take a fun journey through the evolution of brand photography and see how it’s become an increasingly important tool for entrepreneurs to tell their brand’s story. Ready? Let’s go!


The Importance of Brand Photography

Brand photography has been around for ages. Back in the day, the norm was formal portraits. Brands used these images to show off their professional image, and make people trust and have confidence in their brand.

One example of early brand photography is the portrait of Thomas J. Watson, the founder of IBM. The picture shows Watson in a snazzy three-piece suit, staring straight into the camera with a serious expression. This shot exudes authority and sophistication, and it helped make IBM a leader in the tech industry.


Two joyous women laughing together, the one on the left is white with red hair and glasses wearing a white shirt, and the one of the right is black with braids wearing glasses, a lilac shirt, both are holding tote bags, standing by a white window with green ivy.

Image taken by London brand photographer AKP Branding Stories for the blog post From Snapshots to Storytelling: The Evolution of Brand Photography


Candid and Lifestyle Photography: The Rise of Storytelling

Let’s be honest! Nobody wants to see stiff, posed photos anymore. We want to see products and services in action in real-life situations. That’s where candid and lifestyle photography comes in. Brands have caught on and are using these types of images to tell stories about their offerings.

And let me tell you, storytelling is where it’s at! Brands are connecting with their audience on an emotional level by showing their products in relatable situations. By creating a sense of connection and empathy with their customers, brands can build trust and loyalty.

Take Annie Leibovitz’s work for American Express, for example. She snapped shots of famous people using their American Express cards in everyday situations. This not only created a sense of connection but also made the brand feel relatable to its customers.


Authenticity and Personalisation: The Current Trend in Brand Photography

Nowadays, brand photography is getting way more personal. Yup – people want to see real, relatable images that show the personality and values of a brand. Customers are looking for authenticity, and images that reflect this are becoming more important. Personalisation can make your brand stand out by creating a unique identity that resonates with your audience. By using images that reflect your brand’s personality and values, you can create a strong emotional connection with your customers, which can help to build trust and loyalty. Check out Everlane; they use images of real people wearing their clothes in everyday situations, creating a sense of authenticity and relatability with their customers.


Collage of three white women in natural settings: One in a white dress among ferns, second in a white shirt seated on a bench with bamboo background, third in a red blouse against a white fence with blooming jasmine.

Image taken by London brand photographer AKP Branding Stories for the blog post From Snapshots to Storytelling: The Evolution of Brand Photography


Technology and the Future of Brand Photography

Undeniably: Tech is changing the game! 🚀

Technology is opening up new possibilities for brand photography that we could never have imagined. From drones and 360-degree cameras to virtual reality and artificial intelligence, brands are using all kinds of cool tech to create more immersive and engaging visual experiences.

One example of how technology is being used is the virtual reality experience created by Rebecca Minkoff. Customers can “walk” through a fashion show and purchase the items they like. How cool is that?!

And the future looks even brighter. We can expect to see more augmented reality and artificial intelligence used. Imagine being able to see how a piece of furniture will look in your living room before you buy it! The possibilities are endless.

At the moment, whilst image creation is improving, I’ve not yet found a convincing AI system that will generate brand images that actually look like me! 


Smiling white woman with blonde hair holding a yellow water bottle, dressed in athletic wear with a navy top and floral leggings, standing in a park setting with autumn leaves and greenery

Image taken by London brand photographer AKP Branding Stories for the blog post From Snapshots to Storytelling: The Evolution of Brand Photography


Brand photography has certainly come a long way from the stuffy suits right? Now, it’s all about authenticity and personalisation to really connect with your audience. As technology keeps getting better and better, we can expect some really innovative and exciting ways to use brand photography in the future.

If you want to be a part of this exciting journey, join my waitlist for my next Seasonal release of shoot dates or if you’re raring to go, there are slots available in this current season. Who knows, maybe brand photos will be the missing piece to take your business to the next level!

January 17, 2024