3 Types of Brand Images Every Creative Business Needs

Once again, our friend Nicole Bedard, a creative brand photographer from Connecticut, USA, has written a standout article for you, the modern maker, on brand photography. She explains the 3 key types of imagery you can use to communicate your business.

3 Types of Brand Images Every Creative Business Needs

People, Process & Product

Word by Nicole Bedard.

Let's get honest:

The simple product shots you've been using? They're just not cutting it anymore. 

Your photos are clear, sure, but are they telling a story? Where's the heart behind your creations?

Makers often tell me they consistently share pictures of their products, but their brand imagery just doesn’t seem to connect with their audience. 

Finding new, effective ways to present your products so they genuinely resonate with people and convert to actual sales can feel like a huge challenge.

But here's the thing – while clear and simple product photos are important, they're missing a few crucial ingredients: 

  1. The people, faces, and stories behind your brand and product. 
  2. The unique process and materials you use to bring your creation to life. 
  3. Your product being used in the wild so the items you make feel part of everyday moments!

Without these key elements, your products are just objects, instead of the inspired creations they really are. 

It's time to shake things up with brand imagery that goes beyond just showing – it needs to tell a story, evoke emotion, and make a connection with your ideal customers.

In this blog, I'm going to show you exactly how to capture this magic with the three types of brand images every maker needs: people, process, and product. Plus, I’ll provide examples of how you can effectively use this brand imagery to enhance and promote your creative business, giving you practical ideas to visually bring your brand’s story to life.

Impactful brand photography isn't just about showcasing what you make– it's about sharing who you are, how you create, and why what you do is so special


One of the best ways to help your products authentically stand out? 

Environmental Portraits. 

These aren't your typical headshots. Instead, these images are designed to give viewers an immediate understanding of who you are and what you do. In essence– the people BEHIND the products.

Every maker needs at least one strong image like this!


Because your future customers want to see who is behind the business they’re investing in!

Whether it’s a shot of you in your workshop, an outdoor image in front of your studio, or capturing the essence of your locale, these portraits add depth to your narrative. 

Seemingly simple details like where you live and work really bring your story to life as a creator. Sometimes, my clients are skeptical at first. They don’t see the importance of familiar-to-them things like where they live and work. But for people looking from the outside in, these little things help paint a clear picture of what your brand is all about!

The key here is for you, and your team if you have one, to step out from behind your business and get in front of the camera. This often feels intimidating for makers and creatives, but remember, you are the heart behind the products you craft. 

The good news is that showing your face becomes much more comfortable when you’re in your natural setting, interacting with your products just as you normally do.

How To Use Environmental Portraits

Your environmental portraits bring a personal touch to your brand. Here are three impactful ways to use these images:

  • Your YouTube Channel. Environmental shots work great as YouTube video thumbnails!
  • In Customer Communications. Use them in emails (even add to your email signature), newsletters, or thank you notes to create a personal connection.
  • Social Media Campaigns. Share your story through these images, making your social media presence more relatable and engaging.

Pro Tip: Don’t limit your environmental portraits to your website! They can also be great for magazine features, online courses, in-print ad marketing, and more!


Believe it or not, your process is just as important as the final product. 

Your process is what sets you apart. 

Spotlighting your unique selection of materials, your workspace setup, and even those not-so-glamorous moments of trial and error can bring a rich, authentic dimension to your brand narrative.

As a brand photographer for creative businesses, I like to highlight all aspects of the journey from idea to creation!


In the beginning, there's so much that goes into an idea taking shape. It's about how you interact with clients on custom projects, the way you brainstorm, and the initial steps of generating ideas. 

Picture capturing these moments: sitting down with a client, sketching out first drafts, choosing materials – these are the seeds from which your final creations grow.


As you move to the creation portion of the process, you’ll want to showcase how you bring your ideas to life. Whether you’re in a bustling studio, a quiet workshop, or a cozy corner of your home, this is where the magic happens. 

Imagine photos of your hands at work, the tools and materials in action, the gradual transformation of raw materials into something more.


As your project wraps up, it's all about getting it ready for the customer. This last step is about how you wrap, package, and send off your creation. 

It’s these little details – the neat wrapping, the special packaging, the moment it's sent out – that show your care for every part of your work, from start to finish. 

These final touches tell a story of dedication and thoughtfulness, adding to the whole experience for your customer.

Capturing the entirety of your creative process, from the early stages and the tools you use, to the progress and final touches of your creations, offers a transparent glimpse into what makes your work extraordinary. 

These images not only narrate the story of your dedication and skill, but also showcase your unique traits, such as the materials you choose, how your workspace is organized, and candid moments that make both you and your brand feel approachable and relatable.

All of these elements combine to add a rich, authentic dimension to your brand narrative.

Pulling the curtain back on your process will also enhance your ideal buyer's appreciation of your product. They can see the care, time, expertise, and quality that go into the work you do, which adds significant value.

No matter how many others are making the same kind of product, nobody will ever create it in the exact same way you do. This ensures you’re always able to stand out in the marketplace.

How To Use Process Images

Here are some ideas to inspire you to use your process images: 

  • Educational Content: Use them in blog posts or social media to educate your audience about how your products are made.
  • Newsletters. Keep your audience updated on new projects while also building anticipation! 
  • In Product Descriptions: Give context to your products on your Etsy Shop or online store by showing key parts of the creation process.

Pro Tip: Process images are also perfect for behind-the-scenes social content, website banners, marketing and promo materials, and media inquiries! 


Finally, let’s talk about product imagery. 

It might seem straightforward, but many clients are surprised to discover the impact that a range of product photos can have on how their audience values, appreciates, and experiences their products.

As a maker, there are two essential types of product images you need:

Still Product Images

Still product images are your standard product shots against a clean backdrop. Their purpose is to build trust with your audience by highlighting the details, materials, and quality of your offer without distraction

Lifestyle Product Shots

Known in the industry as “in situ” (meaning in its natural place or intended use), lifestyle product shots bring your products to life. Instead of just showcasing the details, you’re putting your product in context. 

For instance, a candle lit on a table or a painting hung above a couch. They help future customers understand how to use or enjoy the product, as not everyone can envision this themselves. Your images can inspire them to see the possibilities.

Pro Tip: Tailor your lifestyle shots to your ideal client. This ensures they resonate with your audience. For example, if your audience prefers coastal chic over traditional formal, you’d present your artwork in a different setting.

How To Use Product Imagery

Once you have a mix of still and lifestyle product images, you can use them effectively in your business:

  • Etsy Shop or Online Store: Feature your product images prominently in your online store. Clear, well-lit photos that showcase the details and use of your products can greatly influence customer buying decisions.
  • Art Shows and Marketplaces: Start by using product imagery when applying to art shows and marketplaces, as these images often determine your acceptance. Once in, use those same captivating photos on banners and booth displays to draw attention and make your brand memorable. For trade shows or craft fairs, use your product images on promotional materials like zap displays. This visual representation can attract visitors to your booth and give them a quick understanding of what you offer.
  • In-Store Displays or Lookbooks: If you have a physical retail space or create lookbooks (either digital or printed), lifestyle product images can create an immersive experience. They help customers envision how the products might look in their own spaces, making the shopping experience more interactive and inspiring.

Pro Tip: If you're interested in enhancing your product photography skills, check out my digital course, Product Photography 101. This course provides foundational information on Lighting, Composition, and Editing. Using a DIY Lightbox and a free mobile editing app, I guide you through the entire process. You’ll walk away feeling confident about taking your own still and lifestyle product shots!

Infuse Your Brand Imagery With These 3 Essential Brand Images

I hope this post helps you see your brand imagery in a new light, especially if you're feeling stuck in your current photography approach. 

The three types of brand images we discussed – people, process, and product – are crucial. 

They're simple, sure, but don’t underestimate their power. They're designed to captivate your ideal audience, showcase your unique magic, and, most importantly, get your creations into the hands of those who will love them as much as you do.

Remember, it's fine to start small. If you're taking your own photos, try just one new type to begin with and you can continue to experiment from there. 

Thinking about hiring a professional photographer? This guide can help you choose the right one. Look for someone who gets what creative businesses and makers need and knows how to strategically capture you, your process, and your product. 

Nicole Bedard is a Connecticut-based brand photographer, videographer and strategist, who is on a mission to help fellow creatives step out from behind their work, showcase their creative process, and make their branding irresistible to their ideal client so they can feel more confident, connect with more people, and create more of an impact in their industry.

Want to learn more about brand photography? Be sure to follow Nicole on the following platforms:



LinkedIn   Blog