Branding Photography Tips for Ethical Businesses

18 April 2023

Truly ethical businesses know who they are. You also understand that your clients & customers buy from you because of your ethics. So you know that in your branding practices, it’s important to show this and for your product and brand photography to convey your ethical business practices. Your brand photos are as much about creating trust and transparency as they are about your style. So how do you go about choosing and planning your brand photography if you’re an ethical business?

organic food business ethical branding photography

Illustrate your commitment to ethical practices

Your clients want to know that they can trust the businesses they support. Make sure that your photos are planned to show the transparency and ethics in your practices and your values. If your business is sustainably sourced wood, show this in your photography and make it a talking point in your marketing. Illustration is key to your readers remembering whatever copy you have written on your website or your brochures. So it’s important to know your clients’ ethical interests and illustrate them.

Be honest. Consumers who really shop ethically can spot a fake from a mile away. Be as authentic in your branding as you are in your business practices.

Align your values with your photographer’s

Of course it’s important to find a photographer whose work you admire and whose work fits your aesthetic. For an ethical business however, it’s equally as important to make sure their values and / or experience align with yours. So many businesses these day greenwash and adopt socially responsible slogans to fit in with consumer trends – but customers – especially those who genuinely shop ethically – won’t be fooled. Look beyond the tick-boxes and find someone who understands the importance of sourcing sustainably, working for purpose over profit, paying fairly and proactively promoting equality.

London lIfestyle photographer in action with styled product flatlay

What’s your story?

Show the story behind your business. Let people know how you make the world a better place. Some businesses are about their origin story, while others’ are the purpose of its existence. Your experience as a woman challenging healthcare designed for men, or how you reinvest the profits from your fairly traded cocoa in the communities who farm it. Tell your story powerfully through your brand imagery.

Make sure your photography reflects your brand ethics

This applies to any business – well defined brand values affect everything from tone of voice and aesthetics to content and action. For ethical businesses however it’s even more important to know what your brand values are and then to convey these in your brand photography.

Include photos of the real people (you and your team) at work

Any business who wants to create trust needs to show the real people behind the brand. For an ethical business, trust and transparency is paramount. Therefore, it should be an absolute no-brainer to show professional, well lit, friendly photos of the people (you – your team, your trustees) on your promo literature. The communities and makers you work with should also feature.

business coach branding photography for ethical businesses

Show your services in action

Likewise, your audience wants to get to know the makers and communities they support. But if you’re a service provider, they also need to see that in action, so they can imagine themselves using your services. It isn’t as hard as it sounds to set this up. Crucially, it will make a world of difference turning an abstract concept into an illustrated reality.

woodworking branding photography for an ethical business

Show how you give back to the community

As an ethical business, charity or social enterprise, your bread and butter is to actively support community. Your customers buy from you precisely because of this (as well as your amazing products and services) – so this is another element to add into your branding photography plan. People buy what they see, so while you’re not in the business of bragging, do make sure you’re showing this off.

Get your branding photography plan for ethical businesses right!

With the right branding photographer and plan of action, you can attract more customers who seek out ethically-sourced products and ethically driven businesses.

Meet Frances, London Lifestyle & Portrait Photographer

meet Spirited photography

Hello! I'm Frances, founder of Spirited Branding and Portrait Photography, London. I'm here to offer you inspiring portraits using my tried and tested tools to challenge camera shyness, alongside curated branding imagery that will up-level your brand. Spirited works mostly with change-makers, ethical businesses and creatives.

I invite you look over my headshot and portrait photography or branding photography services, and would love to help you with your next branding shoot!