Brand photography for interior designers tends to get overlooked. Do interior designers need brand photography or are your portfolio photos enough? I know it sounds counterintuitive, but in my experience, brand photos are essential. Yes, even for designers. Brand photography goes beyond interiors to…
- Create a cohesive brand identity across all platforms
- Make your design firm feel elevated, polished, and professional
- Attract your ideal clients and projects
- Establish a human connection with your audience
- Show what you really do (inside your studio, working with clients, etc.)
- Build trust and familiarity
Project photos simply can’t do all of these things. Whenever I create websites for interior designers, brand photography plays a large role. To help you get the most out of your brand photos (or new website), here’s what you need to know…
What is brand photography?
Simply put, brand photos are meant to express your brand identity. Photos should include you, your team, your studio, and your daily work. At a glance, this collection of photos will capture your design aesthetic, personality, work style, expertise, and the general ambiance of your design firm.
What types of brand photos are best for interior designers?
Here is a quick list of ideas, but you can download my brand photography checklist PDF by clicking the button above, just a snippet of what’s inside the Website Project Planner.
Your Team & Studio:
Headshots of you and your team; poring over documents or floor plans; meeting with a “client” (can be a stand-in); assembling fabrics and materials; discussing details with your team or trades; creating renderings at a computer; styling any space in a home; toasting success with your team, etc. It’s important that they see who they will be working with and what you do behind the scenes.
Vignettes of styled spaces; close-ups of design details; hands holding materials samples or fabric memos; flatlays that would fit any season of the year; important documents, like floor plans or renderings, etc.
Horizontal and vertical shots, close-ups and distance shots. These will adapt well to all mediums.
Your studio or office; a completed home (with client permission); a design showroom; a beautifully designed location near you; outdoors, but try to avoid scenery that is season-specific.
When it comes to PROJECT photography, try to include at least a few shots with you in them: sitting on a chair, styling the space, talking to your team, etc. Tell your photographer in advance that you would like a couple of photos like this, as they will often want to bring a specific lens type.
For even more tips, read How to Plan a Successful Personal Brand Photoshoot.
Where should you use brand photography?
Brand photography is an essential part of your website, internal client processes, and marketing. I always use brand photography when designing websites, usually for the About page, Contact page, and scattered sporadically throughout the site, as needed.
When it comes to your internal processes — such as a Lead Magnet, Services Brochure, Welcome Guide, or Client Presentation — these photos are equally valuable. They not only keep your branding consistent, but they continue to deepen the human connection with your client, which is essential.
Note: If you have any brand or project photos that you do not like, please don’t share them with your website designer. We won’t know how you feel about them! I like to make clients a Favorites folder and a Do-Not-Use folder, just to be safe.
How do you get brand photography?
I suggest using an established brand photographer, which is usually not an interior design photographer. A brand photographer specializes in capturing the scenes that highlight you and your business in the best way. Like website designers and copywriters, their specialization is a mix of creative skill and marketing savvy.
That said, your project photography and brand photography should feel like it belongs to the same business. (Can you imagine a home with a modern living room and a traditional kitchen?) Look for a brand photographer whose style matches your portfolio.
When should you get brand photos taken?
For brand photography, it can be helpful to know your desired brand color palette and overall vibe before your photoshoot. This will help you pick out your outfits and props. If you’re working with a professional copywriter who includes brand strategy — which will direct your market positioning — it’s ideal for your photoshoot to take place after the strategy is set. You’ll then be able to share your brand strategy guide with your photographer to get everyone on the same page. For more guidance, see How to Plan a Successful Personal Brand Photoshoot.
How can you prepare for headshots?
Headshots are ideal for About pages, but I’ve found that a lot of designers don’t like how they turn out. In my experience, it’s all about confidence. To prepare for success, I conducted this Interview with a Professional Headshot Photographer and highly recommend it!
What should you wear to a brand photoshoot?
In general, I recommend leaning toward neutrals and solids. They are less distracting visually. Of course, a pop of color can be a nice touch, but only if it fits your brand.
I also suggest an outfit, hair, and makeup that is similar to what a client would see you wearing. When new clients meet you in person, you should already look familiar to them!
A Note About Project Photography
Wondering when should you take project photos? As soon as you can! When it comes to project photography, get professional photos taken as soon as you can, and try to include at least a few shots with you in them: sitting on a chair, styling the space, talking to your team, etc. Tell your photographer in advance that you would like a couple of photos like this, as they will often want to bring a different lens type.
I hope this intro to brand photography has been insightful and valuable. If you’re interested in discussing a brand and website project for your business, I’d love to chat. Click here to book a call.