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I'm Sarah DeShaw. I have a minimalist's heart  and a business mind.


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4 Ways to Get Custom Photography for Your Brand


In today’s post, I’ll be covering the 4 ways you can get custom photography for your brand, (including three FREE ways)!  Like I’ve said in previous posts and videos, having captivating, on-brand visuals is basically a superpower when it comes to marketing your business. It truly can empower your business to step into the next level. While there are many different types of visual content (video, graphics, GIFs, etc), custom photography is a great way to have on brand, original images that are sure to attract new followers and keep old ones coming back for more.


Think of it this way: One of the most basic marketing concepts is that consumers are hard-wired to be attracted to pretty things. This isn’t speculation, it’s science! Think of how you might choose between two pieces of fruit at the grocery store. Given the options, you’re definitely going to pick the best-looking piece available. So, whether you’re creating images for your blog, website, or social media, I want to help your brand be the prettiest apple in the bunch, giving you - and your business’ bottom line - an undeniable advantage.🍏✨💪🏻💰

To learn the 4 ways to get custom photography for your brand, click “play” on the video below, or keep scrolling if you prefer to learn in written form.

Four Ways to Generate Custom Photography for Your Brand:

Way 1: Hire a Pro

If you don’t have the time or energy to produce your own photography, you always have the option of hiring someone to create some custom photography for you. While it might seem like a big expense at first, the truth of the matter is, it can seriously pay off down the line to hire a pro. Not only will it save you tons of time in the taking of the photos, but it will save you the time of editing them as well.

If you DO hire a pro, it’s still a really good idea to know what you need in order to completely nail your brand’s aesthetic - meaning, defining your brand’s mood, color palette, and feel, BEFORE hiring a pro. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes I see brands and small businesses make - they expect the photographer to essentially be a brand stylist and capture their brand’s vibe when they themselves haven’t fully nailed it yet in a way they can actually communicate with their photographer. Doing a photoshoot before defining your brand’s aesthetic is essentially a shot in that dark. Your time, money, and creative energy is likely just going down the drain because if you don’t know what you want, you won’t know if you’ve got it! I’ve definitely had many, many photos taken that didn’t work for my brand because I planned photoshoots before I really knew what I was looking for. (One of the benefits of following this blog is the opportunity to learn from my mistakes!)

In case you didn’t know this about me, I’m a self-taught photographer and I totally love and enjoy creating beautiful pictures. Since I enjoy it so much, I’ve rarely hired a photographer. So, when I personally need some new photos for my brand, I typically use one of the options I’ll share with you next.👇

Way 2: Take Them Yourself

If you have access to a camera (or even a quality camera phone), you can take great photos yourself. There’s a wide variety of apps available that can be used to tweak or edit your photos straight from your phone. Even without these apps, if you can learn how find great light and some composition basics, your photos can look really, really good. Remember, taking your own photos doesn’t make you any less legitimate of a brand. Just make sure you’re working to incorporate your brand’s colors, mood, and vibe like I mentioned before so your photos look as pro as possible.

One of the major positives of knowing how to take your own photos is that you’ll have the ability to seize the moment and take key pictures that you can use or save for another day, without planning a big, time consuming shoot. You can really capture any big moments for you personally or for your brand. This is one of the reasons I feel really passionate about empowering brands and business owners on understanding how to take their own on-brand photos. It’s just not always possible to predict when you might come across an on-brand backdrop or when you might want to capture a special moment that will help promote your business, like if a celebrity walks into your boutique, or even if you want to capture the moment when you finish writing your book. These things can’t always be planned, so it’s a great idea to have this skillset in your back pocket for those moments, even if you prefer to work with a pro for the majority of your photoshoots.

Way 3: Do a Photoshoot Swap

The third way to get great, custom photography for your brand is to do a photoshoot swap. A photoshoot swap is super fun and one of my favorite ways to get photos for my brand. To do a photoshoot swap, reach out to a friend who you think might also want some fresh brand photography. Plan to meet for an hour or two, or however long you think you will need, and take photos of each other or of each other’s brand products. This is a really fun way to get a new perspective for your photos and a great way to spend some creative time with a friend that is also productive for your brand. 

If you choose to use this option, just make sure you approach someone who has a similar skill level as you and make sure you divide your time up evenly between the two of you, so it feels fair. Usually at this type of photoshoot, each person brings a few ideas for what type of photos they’d like to leave with for their own brand, as well as is generous with creativity and ideas during the session for the other person’s brand. When you’re complete, each person edits their own photos. 

Way 4: Customize Stock Photos

In case you were unaware, there are SO many wonderful stock photos available for free online. One of my favorite sites for this is, and I use the site by typing in one of my brand colors in the search bar along with a noun or adjective that I feel represents my brand.

As you’re searching for on-brand photos, it’s unlikely that the stock photos will be EXACTLY what you’re looking for, but you can certainly edit the photos to make them work for your brand. You could highlight or eliminate a color with an editing app, crop an element that doesn’t align with your brand out of the photo, or even add elements that showcase your brand, like adding your logo or product into the photo. After editing, the stock photos will look a whole lot more original, and won’t be as recognized as “stock photography”.

These four suggestions are just a starting point. There are certainly other options out there to create some great custom content -- you could even combine some of the options I shared in the video above. For example, you could hire a professional for a planned shoot, but use your own camera for pop-up moments. Or, you could use photos from your photoshoot swap layered on top of stock photography. The options are endless!

Last but not least before you go, I’ve created a photoshoot planner for you for FREE. It’ll help you plan and organize your next brand shoot. If you’d like to download that, click the graphic below to sign up for instant access to that PDF simply by letting me know what email address you’d like me to send it to.