Monday, March 22, 2010

Branding and Consistency

Lately, I have been interested in branding, which is something that I think is really important in establishing a personal style in photography (as well as in other fields). Branding is how a photographer presents themselves and their work through a consistent photographic style throughout their body of work. People want to look at a few images from a photographer and know what his work is about visually, conceptually, and the style that makes that photographer unique. Photographers are usually chosen by magazine publications because of their photographic style. Photo editors choose photographers based on which style would best fit the look and intent of the shoot as well as the magazine that is featuring it.

Here are a few people whose work exemplifies a consistent personal style and branding:

^ This is a blog that I follow. I think it is interesting, whether you like the style or not, that the photographers 'look' is obvious. The dust on the images (small white specks), the light leaks, the interesting color tones of the film, and the grain are consistent throughout.

^ I came across this photographer, Kyle Cook, today. His website is great because the design complements the images and makes himself, his work and his branding, very cohesive and contained. His images have a similar style to the ones in the blog above, but what is great about Kyle's site is that the tape headers and the handwritten text reiterate the 'amateur'
style. Because this is his style he would most likely not be contacted to photograph a studio shoot because that isn't the kind of photography he is promoting. I like that the grainy texture and blurry flashes make the image seem like anyone could have taken it, but when you look beyond the techniques, the intimate subjects are made even more intimate by the way in which they are taken. An intimate moment is captured by the amateur photographer, her lover, their best friend. The style brings the viewer into the lives of the subjects. Kyle has his style, his brand.

The first five images below are of the actress Hannah Murray (shot for Lula magazine) who is best known for her role in the British TV show "Skins". I think the promotional images of her are a good example of branding her 'look', her as a popular figure in entertainment, and her as a character. For anyone who has seen the show, she is styled in the same way as her character. For anyone who compares her style in the show and in the press, she takes on this role of an eccentric girl with a unique personality and fashion sense. Hannah becomes the character she portrays in the public eye, whether or not this is really who she is in real life.

Here are a few more images of her in the public eye that again reiterate the personality and style of her character in the show.


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