08 Jan Authenticity is the business photography trend that will dominate 2018
Authenticity is the business photography trend that will dominate 2018
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, it is crucial to make an immediate impression on customers and prospects. In this post, I’m going to explain why I think authenticity is the business photography trend that will dominate 2018 and beyond!
If it looks real it is real
Every business owner interested in marketing their brand has dipped their toe in the stock image market to make their website or brochure look professional. Cheesy images of white-teethed models with perfectly coifed hair looking straight at the camera seem to have had their day – thankfully!
As more brands turn to social media and digital marketing, they are choosing a more natural, authentic style of photography to tell stories. Millennials are driving the trend to buy goods from cool, boutique brands that work with social media influencers and bloggers to attain a high degree of authenticity.
Digital Trends, an online magazine published this article that explains the recent trend towards authentic images from user searches on the ‘StoryBlocks’ stock image site. Top image search terms included ‘Real people’, ‘Authentic’ and ‘Candid street photography’. To predict the types of images that are likely to be most popular in 2018, stock photography companies have analysed terabytes of data to predict that “authenticity” and “creativity” will be the year’s most significant image trends.
Real people. Real stories. Real photographs
Thanks to sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, brands can have a two-way, one-to-one conversation with customers in a way that was never possible before.
A great example of this is Minnies Boutique in Essex. Founded by The Only Way is Essex reality TV stars, Sam and Billie Faiers, they cleverly use selfies of themselves and their friends modelling clothes on their website. Not only does this offer a very personal touch, but it allows fans to picture themselves wearing their clothes and accessories.
It is also important to note they are not using expensive photography equipment or a big studio. They are using the camera on their smartphone. A smart move!
Another brand using authenticity in its photography is Eden Mill, a boutique Scottish distillery that punches well above its weight. It manages to do so simply because they understand and have embraced the need for authenticity. As soon as you land on their beautiful website, the Eden Mill experience overwhelms your senses. The striking images creatively showcase the product as well as illustrating the process, craftsmanship and ingredients that go into every drop of their delicious gin.
Small doesn’t always mean beautiful
Finally, we visit global online retail giant Amazon. Authenticity drove this year’s all-important Christmas ad campaign. The ad shows their service experience and how it can have a powerful impact on real people. The lady on the bus ordering gifts on the Amazon app is something many of us do every day. The singing parcels add fun and creativity, and the happy workers in the distribution centre make us all feel warm inside. The advert’s finale is the happy child receiving their Christmas gift, blissfully unaware of the Amazon delivery process.
However warm and fuzzy the beautifully photographed Amazon advert makes you feel, some have criticised Amazon for spoiling Christmas for many young children.
Big brands can often get it wrong when trying to deliver an ‘authentic’ experience. Authenticity is usually easier to achieve for smaller companies and boutique brands as they are closer to their customers and can empathise on a more personal level.
A word of caution, though. Although it may seem tempting, you should never fake authenticity. Your photography, like your brand and its values, should come from a place that’s dear to you and that truly means something. Get that right, and your photographs will take care of themselves.
I hope you have found this post helpful. If you are considering using authentic photography to take your brand to the next level, but you still have questions, please get in touch with me.