Impact of Lighting And Color In Brand Photography

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The Impact of Lighting And Color In Brand Photography

The way your photographs look, including the lighting and colors used, have an impact on consumers. That’s why it’s so important for small business owners to pay close attention to color and lighting when building their branding strategies and visual identities. Keeping a consistent look and identity helps solidify a brand, enhancing the brand’s appearance, building better consistency and trust, and more.

The Power of Lighting and Color

Lighting and color both have strong influences on people. Colors have meanings, for example, that may play a role in how a business is perceived. For example, here are some common colors and what they can represent.

  • Orange: Warmth, confidence
  • White: Calmness, cleanliness
  • Green: Health, positivity
  • Blue: Corporations, trustworthiness
  • Pink: Femininity
  • Brown: Earthy, natural, stable, neutral
  • Yellow: Energetic, optimistic
  • Purple: Wisdom, royalty
  • Black: Sophistication

Of course, these meanings are primarily applicable in the U.S. in a broad sense. Small businesses that hope to one day expand to different countries or who cater to specific demographics should consider how color meanings can be viewed. For example, in China, red is an auspicious color. In the U.S., red can mean power or boldness but can also be associated with danger.

Once a brand chooses its colors, the next step is to think about lighting in photos. Lighting sets the mood, meaning balanced lighting can result in easy-to-see, corporate-style pictures or images, while dimly lit images might seem moody or dark. Businesses have to think about the mood they want to set when choosing their lighting, deciding if they want the image to feel bright and happy, dark and mysterious, or something else entirely.

Enhancing Brand Perception With Light and Color

Color helps a brand stand apart and define its look. Lighting, on the other hand, helps create the “feel” of the brand. Ambient lighting, for instance, can provide even lighting throughout nearly any space. This lighting is great for product photography, for example, because it highlights merchandise.

Distinctly different from ambient light is lighting with colorful neon lights or darker mood lighting. To choose the right option for the brand, the brand must determine what mood it wants to set. For trustworthiness and direct sales, clear, bright images might be best. However, there are always exceptions, which is something to discuss with a commercial lifestyle photographer.

Tips to Create a Cohesive Visual Identity

Following the selection of brand colors and lighting decisions, small business owners must create a cohesive visual identity. The process is straightforward: Once a brand chooses its colors, they should be used throughout all marketing materials. The brand needs to know the specific hex color codes for consistency. 

Small businesses can create powerful branding that helps them grow and take their businesses to the next level. These five tips will make sure they’re on the right track.

  1. Create guidelines for the brand. Small businesses that make guidelines have a better chance of maintaining brand consistency when decisions must be made. Guidelines can cover simple things such as preferred logos or colors, the company’s mission statement, typography, photography preferences, and brand voice.
  2. Define the brand identity. Pick good colors and visuals (photographs and graphics) representing a business’s goals, origin story, and products.
  3. Create visuals and marketing materials. The way a business looks greatly influences its sales and profits. Essential steps are building a consistent appearance, a professional website with professional photographs, good use of color in branding, and obtaining a solid logo.
  4. Get to know the target audience. Brands do well when they know their target audiences. Knowing their audiences can create a visual identity that speaks to those people. They can also build more specific, personalized content that appeals to those customers.
  5. Set the business apart. Finally, small business owners must focus on setting their businesses apart by doing something competitors don’t. For example, if everyone in the industry uses neutral, brown, or green colors in marketing, consider going for blue or yellow. Being different can make a business stand out more against a sea of competitors.

In Summary

Small businesses are in the perfect position to create a strong brand from the ground up. The key is to start with creating a visual identity that represents the business well. Choosing the right colors and lighting options is only one part of the process, but they are one of the keys to reaching and engaging with a target audience while building a trustworthy, professional brand. 

Need a hand with brand identity? Contact us today to learn how the full-service digital marketing experts at Fisher Green Creative can help grow your small business.

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Jonathan Young of Jonathan Young Photography is a Los Angeles-based commercial photographer who creates clean and inviting images of people, food, and products that help to position them at the top of their genres.

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