5 simple ways to build your photography brand.

A photo of the Golden Gate Bridge overlaid with a custom website design.

A brand is the essence or promise of what will be delivered or experienced when people interact with your business. A unified brand that’s consistent through all the customer-facing elements of your business will reinforce who you are and why customers would want to work with you. That extends to more than just a few aspects of your business: 

  • Business name
  • Domain name
  • Advertising
  • Website design
  • Business cards, thank-you notes, or packaging
  • Signage on your physical storefront or event booth

Your brand should tell your potential customers who you are at a glance, and it should enable you to stand out in a crowd. 

Studio KYK used SmugMug to help establish and grow her brand. She maximized SmugMug’s customizability, first working with a designer to develop her logo, then later designing her SmugMug website to best represent her brand, whimsical attitude, and individual style. Her SmugMug hub showcases her gorgeous photography and shows how much fun it would be to work with her.

Find inspiration for your brand.

Advertising is everywhere. Look through magazines; perhaps your favorite fashion label or auto manufacturer’s logo catches your eye. Pay attention to the commercials on television and even on radio. What taglines grab your attention? What’s your elevator pitch?

Think from your customer’s perspective.

Does your logo say sports photographer? Is your color scheme appealing to brides? Is your tagline going to grab the attention of a publisher?

Make sure your brand is clearly reflected in your portfolio, in your website, and in your messaging so your prospective customer can get a good sense of you, your work, and whether or not you’re a good fit for their needs.

How can SmugMug help create your brand?

1. Custom website.

SmugMug's customization tools let you establish your brand through the use of color schemes, fonts, and your own logos with only a few mouse clicks. Start with a design, upload your photos, and add your own brand elements all without writing one line of code.

As you work in the Customizer, we’ll show you a preview of your changes as you make them. You can save those changes to publish later or, if you like what you've done, you can publish immediately so your changes are live. There's a start-over button, too. Tweaking the look of your site is quick and easy with this tool.

Want something more uniquely you? Enjoy messing with code? Willing to hire an expert? SmugMug’s deep customization ensures that with a little CSS and HTML, you’ll have a completely unique look and feel across your whole website. The sky’s the limit.

2. Custom domain.

You don’t need your own domain to share and sell, but it does make a great impression. Most custom domains cost under $20 per year, which is less than you make in an hour of shooting. And if that isn’t enough, you can usually get a custom email address wrapped up in the deal. SmugMug allows you to easily use both on your site.

3. Cart and package branding.

Your customer’s experience doesn’t end after clicking “Buy.” Stay in touch and keep them thinking of you by adding a 4×6 thank-you print in the delivery box. You can customize it with any image or message you wish (like a coupon code toward their next purchase), and we’ll pack it up and send it along with their order.

4. Watermarks and printmarks.

Your watermark does double duty when your images are shared on social media: image protection becomes free advertising if your watermark includes your branding. A watermark needs to be obtrusive enough to prevent image theft, and yet be subtle enough to provide your customers with a clear view of the details in the photo. A large and centered, yet translucent, logo as a watermark is a great way to accomplish this.

Similar to a watermark, a printmark is your logo or other design printed on the items purchased by your customers. Add your studio logo or artist signature to the prints you sell so there’s never any doubt who took those gorgeous prints. 

5. Mobile-site branding.

Your SmugMug galleries automatically appear on mobile devices looking smooth, slick, and beautiful. All SmugMug sites are responsive to the size of any device they’re being viewed on, so they’re mobile friendly right out of the box.

These are just a few ways SmugMug can help your brand kick off in style. You can dive deeper with packages, coupons, seasonal designs, and more to uniquely express everything that makes your business stand out.