business It's Business It's Photography

It’s time to get your own branded photos for your business

March 27, 2017

I see it time and time again……5 people using the same photo that they got from a site to promote their brand. They use it in their blog post, their instagram feed, and on Facebook. There is nothing wrong with using stock photos as I use them sometimes but I want people to have their own branded photo. Stock photos are ok to use in blog posts  but when you are trying to promote your business or brand you want something unique to you. Something to say…this is who I am and these photos can’t be used elsewhere. So what are stock photos you ask? In simple terms stock photos are photos you pay a fee for and you can only use it a limited amount of times.  You pay good money for stock photos and most websites don’t come cheap. There are a lot of places that you can use that will give you free royalty photos but I suggest that you don’t use that because 50 other people are using that same photo because of well….you know…..it’s free. If you are going to use photos pay for them so that you can use them and have some traction just in case someone wants to up and sue you. Not all royalty free photos are actually royalty free and sometimes (in rare cases) someone might come back and sue you for using the photo. At least if you use a stock company you can get a license to use it and it saves you legal trouble down the road. Now most stock photos company you can’t use the photo anywhere you like sometimes you have to negotiate with the person or the company to let you use the photo on more things. For example if you see a photo on the site and you want to use it for a book cover you will have to pay for the extended license because you are now using the photo to sell and trust me people want their money if you are looking to make money.

I pay for Adobe Stock photos for all of my stock photography. If I use stock photos that’s where I get mine. For free photos you can use Find A. Photo or get them emailed to you weekly through Unsplash. These are the only two sites I use if I am going to do free photos other than that I normally just use Adobe Stock and call it a day. The key thing to take away is …..pay for the photos you use so that you don’t ever have to worry about someone coming after you.

Now let’s get into brand photography which is what I do. I create photos for clients that they and only they can use to promote their brand. Each brand is different so I tailor each photoshoot to match the brand. For example I am working with Arnitris and she does websites and branding for companies..she needed some updated photos to showcase what she does

She helps company develop their website and branding and she needed some of her working. I captured that! These are her photos unique to her brand with the colors that work for her.

No one can use these photos because it’s for her and her only. Now you might say well Kita I don’t live there in Atlanta how can I get branded photos done. Well lucky for you I do travel to surrounding states and if you sell a product you can always mail the product to me and I will take photos for you by using models or other elements to create the brand.

I have also worked with a travel agency who needed some photos exclusive to her.

Aren’t those flowers cute! No one can use these photos but her! (She also lives out of town and sells a service so I can do that to)

So let’s get into tips for hiring a photographer

  1. State your budget. I am not expensive as a matter of fact I am as cheap as they come. I am not cheap because I don’t value my work I am cheap because I understand small businesses don’t have a lot of money to work with and I don’t like hitting people over the head with costs when they are already strapped. I want people to have nice photos without taking out an extra mortgage. I start at $50 for simple photos and then go up from there. I have never charged more than $150. Now with that being said I don’t have a team so you will have to have your own wardrobe stylist and make up artist but other than that I can do the rest
  2. Know the feel and look of what you want. I can help but ultimately this is your brand. Y’all know I am real so if you are selling baked goods we don’t need to be in a park somewhere we need to be in a kitchen taking photos of you cooking or baking. I have spots for shoots and we can come up with unique ways to incorporate your brand but just make sure you have an idea of the look you want
  3. How many photos will you need and what type of photos do you need. Do you need headshots, actual cupcake photos, pictures of you baking, etc. I don’t charge per the photo but I do charge per the different outtakes you may have. I also don’t charge by the hour because I know time moves fast. I charge by the amount of work I have to do. For all the above you are looking at the high end but you won’t get 10 photos you will get as many that turn out great.
  4. I don’t care about you using the photos or having a photo release from me. If I give them to you…they are yours to keep. I don’t care if it blows up in a magazine and you don’t mention that I took the photos…trust me I know I took the photos because I have copies so if I want to have bragging rights I can just get the link and brag and add more photos. I don’t need anyone to mention me (it’s nice if you do but I really don’t care) My pictures have been used in AJC, magazines, wherever and I am not going on some pissed off mode about OMG they used my picture without giving me credit…child please I got bigger fish to fry. You paid me and that’s all I need to know.

That is the difference with me….I don’t give you a set amount of photos and I don’t care how and where you use the photos you paid for. If I take 50 photos and 25 come out great…I give you all 25. Why do I need to keep them. Sure editing takes a while but I enjoy going through each photo and making sure they look good + I don’t pile on a lot of people at once so I am able to take photos…edit….then take on another client. I like to take my time with people and make sure they have what they need.

Another note* I do everything in writing via email so I can have stuff written down. It’s how I work….I talk to you on the phone but initially I like talking to people via email when talking about price and structure of photoshoot that way it’s in writing. Contracts are good also as it states exactly what I am going to do and not going to do.

Hire a brand photographer that fits your style because all of us are different. You want your brand to stand out and the only way for you to do that is to make sure you have unique photos for you. Hiring a photographer is also good because we have the equipment that will take your phone photos and turn it into something spectacular. Yes phones are good but my camera that canon…it’s a better beast. Everyone uses cell phone cameras stand out and get your photos done nicely. Photos lead to sales…if you have a nice photo people will want to buy from you. Now if you can’t afford to hire a photographer here are some tips that you can use

  • Use stock photos – Yes the ones I mentioned above will do remember to pay for the ones you use and stay away if you can from the free ones
  • Natural light, natural light, natural light……find it and use it. If you have to set up a photo outside do it. Nothing is better than natural light
  • Learn how to pose…for me I don’t do all the pose thing I like to talk to my clients and then we capture something. Being real and bringing out the natural elements let’s people know that they are real and approachable the posed looks are just that posed. I want people to know who the real person is
  • Hire me lol

Now go forth and get those nice photos up on your social media feed



  • Reply
    robin Rue
    March 27, 2017 at 10:48 am

    I rarely use brand photos in my posts. I think it looks tacky and you are right- when a bunch of bloggers use the same image it takes something away from the authenticity.

  • Reply
    Alli Smith
    March 27, 2017 at 11:17 am

    I hardly ever use stock photos. Since most of my photos are of the recipes and parties I create, I take my own. I love food photography and getting that perfect shot is such a thrill for me.

  • Reply
    Katherine G
    March 27, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    This is a great post! I need to get some done. I may be contacting you in the future. Got to get my ducks in a row. You are so very talented. I love your pictures.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    I don’t use stock photos which maybe I should. Have heard about using a brand on photos but never really knew that much about how to go about doing this. Wonderful instructive post.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    I believe stock photos are fine depending on the blog post topic and on last minute off the dome posts that you may not have time to take photos for. I’m notorious for the latter. It would be awesome to have some brand photos.

  • Reply
    Christopher Lewis
    March 27, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Great points. I love using Adobe Spark which is free and has a ton of stock photos to choose from. You can brand them any way you like without attribution!

  • Reply
    Christy Maurer
    March 27, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    I have never used Adobe photos, so I’ll have to check those out. Now that I got my new camera, I hope to use fewer stock ones!

  • Reply
    March 27, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    Great post. Hubby is a pro photographer and it’s amazing how many people think free is the way to go. I do see it often where you see the same photos over and over again. It is nice to have a budget and get a professional :-).

  • Reply
    March 27, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Thanks for a great post! I use stock photos a lot, usually from BigStock or iStock-I pay for them! However, I have been thinking about branded photos for my next project. I have the trademarked logo but need to build around it

  • Reply
    March 27, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    It is such a good idea to have branded photos! It shows that you take your business seriously and that you’re willing to spend the money to make sure that it looks good for your clients.

  • Reply
    Katie Kinsley
    March 27, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    I’ve been pretty good about taking photos myself, unless I haven’t bought the product yet! Once I receive the product, then I take the photos.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    I do stock photos from Adobe as well sometimes. But much prefer my own.

    I remember I use to only do stock photos and cell phone pics and hardly no brands contacted me. But the minute I got myself a camera they came knocking at my door. I even had brands tell me that they love the quality of my photos which is why they wanted to work with me.

    Your photography Kita is awesome! I can’t wait to have photos done by you again!

  • Reply
    Jacqui S
    March 27, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    For more personal posts, I definitely do not use stock photos. But I have more of an RV niche and I do use stock photo’s for those. Better pics than I can take! lol. Although, I’m going to tell a friend who loves photography to get me some good pictures of their RV and I’ll buy them from her 🙂

  • Reply
    Bren Pace
    March 27, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    You’ve gotten so good with photography, Kita. I envy that. I wish I had the time to learn how myself. Keep up the good work!


  • Reply
    Jenn @ EngineerMommy
    March 27, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    Nowadays it’s so important to create a cohesive brand on the internet. I didn’t realize how easy it was to get branded photos. Thanks for the tips.

  • Reply
    Annemarie LeBlanc
    March 27, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    I try to use as much of my own photos as I can in my blog posts. However, the only time I resort to using photos not my own are when I get opportunities for content reposting, where the client provides their own. Thank you for this great article. It made me want to go out and take photos of anything and everything I can use for future blog posts. 🙂

  • Reply
    March 28, 2017 at 12:39 am

    I love the photo for the travel service that you took. It is so important to have your own photos so you stand apart.

  • Reply
    Rebecca Swenor
    March 28, 2017 at 1:55 am

    These are awesome branded photos indeed. I love the map flowers which really actually make the photo pop. Branding is something that is so important to anyone’s business. Thanks for sharing these awesome example photos.

  • Reply
    Destany Alayne Pingle
    March 28, 2017 at 2:59 am

    I never use stock-type photos. I try to use my own photos or graphics I’ve created myself.

  • Reply
    my teen guide
    March 28, 2017 at 4:21 am

    I take more pictures than ever now that cameras and smartphones have made photography so much easier. I used to begrudge the time I spent on photos – stopping to snap them, putting them into albums. Now I realize the important role they play in a happy life.

  • Reply
    March 28, 2017 at 4:57 am

    I hardly ever use stock photos because i dont like paying for them. Lol real photos are way more personable.

  • Reply
    Ali Rost
    March 28, 2017 at 5:47 am

    I’m a food blogger .. so most of my photos I take myself. Although sometimes I do like to mix a few stock photos in .. depending on the topic I’m writing about.

  • Reply
    Tia | Pennies In My Pocket
    March 28, 2017 at 11:11 am

    I try not to use stock photos but hiring a professional photographer has been cost prohibitive. I love that your goal is to serve the budding business owner. Your prices and policies are fair and reasonable. If only we lived in the same city.

  • Reply
    March 28, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    I totally wish I could hire you! I need some branded photos so bad!! Love this post.

  • Reply
    Shannon Graham
    March 28, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    As someone who does more browsing and doesn’t have a blog, I appreciate unique things. I get bored easily. Seeing someone put effort in draws me in.

  • Reply
    Mimi Green
    March 28, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    I love your tips, I about going to try and make some stock photos myself. I need a one to use for my YouTube videos. I want it to be my intro.

  • Reply
    Felecia Monique
    March 28, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    Photography is so essential for bloggers and marketing. Has to be good quality work. Love the post!

  • Reply
    March 29, 2017 at 12:14 am

    I will definitely keep you in mind! You do great work!

  • Reply
    Bonnie @wemake7
    March 29, 2017 at 1:10 am

    I have always used my own photos for my business. I do use stock photos for blog post on occasion but I can definitely see why its important to have your own branded photos.

  • Reply
    Kirstin Fuller
    March 29, 2017 at 1:15 am

    I use a mix of stock photos and photos I take. I invested in a great camera and when I use that baby the pictures are fabulous. Great tips! You’re so right, branded photos will take your blog to a fabulous new level.

  • Reply
    March 29, 2017 at 2:05 am

    These are great tips for brands. I definitely get tired of seeing the same stock photos used over and over again.

  • Reply
    March 29, 2017 at 2:38 am

    Thanks for being transparent about what you do and your pricing. I totally agree with saying that people really do need to their own photos for their brand. Random stuff is okay but their brand should be unique.

  • Reply
    March 29, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    These are great tips! I definitely think it’s important to have your own branded photos, especially if you’re trying to step your blog game up.

  • Reply
    March 29, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Such great tips! I should start doing some of these to take my personal [photos to the next level.

  • Reply
    Nikka Shae
    March 29, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Sometimes I need stock photos to create fliers and fun things for my website. Thanks for letting me know another option to where I can get them.

  • Reply
    March 30, 2017 at 12:49 am

    Kita, these are great tips. I’ve been shying away from stock photos because I really want my own look.

  • Reply
    March 30, 2017 at 2:55 am

    The work you’ve done on these photos is great! I am certainly interested in seeing what your clients have to offer and I know if I were looking at their website these pictures would stand out and create more about them in my head. Great stuff here!

  • Reply
    March 31, 2017 at 6:41 am

    I absolutely need more brand photos. I need to take some new ones this year mine are two years old.

  • Reply
    Elle (CleverlyChanging)
    March 31, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Her photos turned out lovely. They give her brand a signature of elegance!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2017 at 8:50 am

    I use my own images mostly. I LOVE posing for the camera! 😉

  • Reply
    Katherine G
    April 24, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    I love this post! Everything you said is so true. It is definitely time that I invest in myself.

  • Reply
    Tonia @TheChattyMomma
    May 27, 2017 at 10:29 am

    I love this. Your honesty is what sold me. If I was closer I’d want to be shooting with you right now. Stock photos suck and a good photographer that is in it to satisfy the customer is everything! I’ll recommend you for sure, Kita!

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