What is content photography?

With the rise of social media over the last decade, content photography has forever the landscape of the photography world. As any good marketer would know there are only so many photographs you can source from stock libraries and use in your marketing content. As much as a stock library is a cost efficient way of spicing up your content there has always been something lacking …

Well there are tons of things wrong with using a stock library for all your content. Some problems are more obvious than others. I guess the answer lies in the fundamentals of the problem: “My brand needs content to tell a story.”

Research shows that people are more likely to engage with a brand when they can identify with the brands content. The engagement level is significantly increased when the content incorporates a visual element. Imagine walking into room full of people, within fractions of a second your brain has already scanned the room and identified people you want to engage with and others you don’t want to engage with. This behavior is not because we have already heard their story (content), no it is because we have judged them visually. The visual cue that has created interest, has created a desire to listen to their story. This very simple analogy can be applied to both business and social settings alike. The bottom line though is that when brands create content they need to have something not only that has substance in terms of a brands “story”. But also something that has visual appeal, otherwise brands risk losing potential clients with whom they can share their content.

Then why not just use the fantastic pictures available in the multitudes of online photography libraries, you might ask? Well the answer is actually simple yet complex. Just like people every brand is unique. There are many factors that make brands unique such as positioning, promise, values, personality and expression to name but a few. However we can agree that brands are unique, at the same time photographers are unique. Each has their own style of shooting, preference for different cameras etc… what both brands and photographers have in common is that they are true to themselves and consistent. Perhaps now you are starting to see where this is going. If I am a brand that is “funky and out there” chances are that I might find a few pictures in stock libraries that can be aligned to my brand. However as these are generic pictures they will never really represent my brand 100% !

So if I want my audience to experience my brand I need visual content photography that represents my brand. Easier said than done. One shoot with a photographer in the office is not going to cut it in today’s day and age. Take a look at companies like Red Bull, or GoPro. These are excellent content creators each with very different models when it comes to the creation of their content photography. But what is consistent is that these brands create visually appealing content that delivers. Each of these brands has loads of professional content creators that are constantly creating new footage. Social media is like a hungry beast that is never satisfied, it always wants more. So when you look at your brand and the content you need to create for the beast then it is obvious that you need some help.

You need a professional who can create content for you regularly that identifies with your brand and who can portray your brand the way you see it, and the way your target market will find it visually appealing. As you can see stock photos are just not going to cut it if you are really wanting to tell a story. You need someone to capture the raw essence of your brand. Simply put no photographer sitting at the other side of the globe is ever going to be able to consistently deliver the content that your brand needs.

I hope this has given you some food for thought. Now go out and find that photographer that will deliver the goods. I’d love to hear your thoughts.