I’ve always been a bit branding agnostic when it comes to photographers and marketing. While I enjoy a nice typeface and smart color palette I’ve also witnessed photographers dumping tons of cash on die cut business cards/letterheads and intricately designed logos when they really need to be spending time, money and effort on shoots that will give their photography an identity. I’ve always felt that as long as it’s not offensive, it really has no effect, but if it gives you confidence then it’s well worth the money. I’ve seen Art Directors fawning over marketing material a handful of times, but you really need some serious design chops to get to that level.
Heather Morton Art buyer has a nice piece on branding (here) where Art Buyer Leila Courey of Leo Burnett, Toronto has the same sentiment:
I don’t mind if photographers want to bling out their promos for extra attention as long as the quality of the work goes along with it. What I don’t dig, is photographers spending what looks like a ton of money on business cards, expensive promos or portfolios meanwhile they really need to spend more time crafting their work.
Heather goes on with an in-depth look at emerging photographer Michael Clinard’s branding journey.
Also, the Black Star Rising blog has a piece today on branding entitled “you are a brand start acting like one.”
I feel like photographers can really get caught up in tinkering with all the marketing material and periphery that goes along with being a professional photographer because, let’s be honest, it’s quite difficult to “improve your craft” and a lot easier to improve your letterhead.