Specialty: Brand Narrative

Dec 9, 2016
Industry NewsWonderful Machine News

Part of a photo editor’s job at Wonderful Machine is to categorize each of our member photographers in a way that makes it easy for clients to find what they’re looking for. Every once in a while, we'll change the specialties in our search menu to better reflect what our photographers have to offer and to keep up with changes in our industry.

One of the trends we’ve been seeing lately that has grown along with the rise in social media, is the advent of a type of photography we’re calling Brand Narrative. Just as individuals use platforms like Instagram and Snapchat to tell their personal story with photos, all sorts of organizations and brands have discovered that these types of storytelling photos can be a very effective way to share their commercial message and engage with consumers. The most common themes we see are photos that show consumers enjoying a product or that show a craftsman creating that product.

Wonderful Machine Brand Narrative Specialty

Here's how we define Brand Narrative on our Specialty Guidelines page:

Similar to Lifestyle in terms of depicting an idealized version of real life, but in addition, the photos need to tell a story (using multiple pictures in a series) about a consumer or producer’s engagement with a particular product or brand.

Stephen Holm, one of our photographers whose photographs prompted us to create this category in the first place, shows an intimate brand narrative project on his website telling the story of a young couple enjoying their Chevy pickup truck.

Stephen Holm photography, wonderful machine, brand narrative, chevy

With great, ethereal light and a warm yet vibrant treatment, Holm not only captures the story of a couple’s lifestyle that feels relatable but he shows that Chevy makes comfortable, safe and spacious cars that encourage the couple to enjoy their life.

In her Krispy Kreme series, photographer Liz Nemeth utilizes a soft and spirited approach, casting a group of playful kids together to enjoy a day full of tasty treats. Not only do you see the brand being enjoyed in different scenarios throughout the course of a day, but you can feel an ease and carefree happiness of childhood through the series.

Liz Nemeth, krispy kreme, brand narrative, wonderful machine

While it’s an important aspect of Brand Narrative that the photographs show the actual brand, it’s not necessary that the logo be prominent in every photograph. Scott Van Osdol has various brand narrative projects in which he has the logo, like in his Yeti work below, as well as no logo in his work for the Bastrop Cattle Company

Keep in mind that Brand Narrative doesn't need to be just about consumers enjoying a product. Fans of any product are going to be interested in seeing how a product is made and also the people who make it. Photographer Tadd Myers does a great job of showing the community of workers behind the production of a brand in his Lucchese Boots series below.

tadd myers, wonderful machine, brand narrative photography, Lucchese Boots

Now that we’ve added this specialty to our search menu, we’ll continue to be keeping an eye out for these types of photographers amongst our member photographers. We’ll also be promoting the new specialty listing to clients and agencies already working with Brand Narrative.

If you have any questions about Brand Narrative or any of our other specialties, please give Liz a shout! And, if you'd like to have help with an edit, or to learn more about how you can capitalize on this new trend, feel free to get in touch with our senior photo editor Stacy.

Tags: brand narrative photography liz nemeth scott van osdol stacy swiderski stephen holm tadd myers