Visual content such as photographs play a vital role in the overall impact of your design. Humans are naturally visual beings, so using eye-catching and engaging brand imagery is an important factor for a successful campaign.
The Importance of Photography and Imagery to Your Brand
High-quality photos and imagery are powerful marketing tools:
- They help convey your marketing message: Several scientific studies have proved that people are hard-wired to understand visual content much easier than content without visuals. In fact, 90% of the information transmitted to the human brain is visual, which is why marketing messages that use photos, videos, and graphics are more easily digested and recalled by audiences.
- They boost brand recognition and engagement: As a related point, colored visuals are found to effectively increase people’s desire to read and engage. When this happens, audiences are more likely to recognize your brand better.
- They reflect your brand: Imagery and other visual content also reflect the “quality” of your brand. If you post high-quality photos, your audience will most likely associate you with professionalism, and in this way, they are also more likely to trust your brand.
However, without the necessary skills and the proper equipment, your brand images may not be as outstanding as you would like. Fortunately, with digital photography, you can effectively improve and enhance your photos using photo editing software.
5+ Digital Image Processing Tips to Enhance Your Brand Photos
Whether you’re taking your own brand photos or sourcing your photos from stock photography sites or elsewhere, here are some post-production tips to improve the quality of your brand photos:
1. Invest in the right tools
Good photo editing software is your ally in making your brand photos even better. Even the best photographers rely on editing software not only to enhance their output but also to make the task of producing content much more efficient.
While it may be a challenge for startups and small businesses to shell out resources for professional photo editing software, it’s an investment worth every penny. Some of the popular options include:
2. Correct exposure level and lighting
Poor lighting is detrimental to the quality of your photos. If there isn’t enough or there’s too much light, this may conceal important details and greatly affect the overall impact. To improve the quality of your photos, correcting the exposure is a good start to allow more light onto the subject.
It must be noted, however, that exposure is different from brightness. When you adjust the brightness, it affects the whole photo equally. Exposure, on the other hand, is biased towards the highlights in the picture — the darker areas are not so much affected when you adjust them.
A few other things you can do to further enhance the lighting:
- Adjust the white balance: White balance refers to how warm or cool the overall photo is. When a photo is taken in bad lighting, the white balance is also affected. Aim to adjust the white balance to make the colors appear more natural.
- Adjust the contrast, highlights, and shadows: Tweaking the contrast is a good way to add depth and dramatic effect to your images. Increasing the contrast will highlight the whites while darkening the blacks — and vice versa. You can also adjust the highlights and shadows to further refine the lighting of your image.
3. Make color adjustments
Color correction goes hand in hand with exposure and lighting adjustments. The key here is to adjust the hues to achieve a photo that strikes a balance between making the right colors pop while also keeping the overall colors natural-looking.
- Adjust the saturation. Saturation is connected to the intensity of the colors of a photo. Increasing the saturation will make the colors more vibrant; whereas decreasing it will soften and wash out the colors.
- Adjust the vibrance: The main difference between saturation and vibrance is that saturation affects all pixels of the photo. Vibrance, on the other hand, affects only the less dominant colors. You can further refine and balance the colors of your photo by adjusting the vibrance, along with the saturation.
- Apply tone mapping to HDR photos: When you take HDR (high dynamic range) photos, a common issue is that the photos come out rather flat and the details look muted. Improve the colors of your HDR photos and emphasize more detail by applying tone mapping. For the best effect, pick a suitable color tinge, then apply the Overlay blend mode.
4. Fine-tune the details
Without a stabilizer or a tripod, or if you’re using a mobile phone, your brand photos may look blurred or obscured. While you can only do so much for really blurry images, there are some ways to correct these imperfections and fine-tune the details:
- Increase sharpness: When trying to make the image look crisper and more focused, keep in mind not to overdo the sharpness too much — make the photo look natural as much as you can. If needed, play with the Radius and Threshold settings or reduce the Opacity of the sharpened layer to achieve a more natural look. You can also adjust Crispness or Clarity as needed.
- Apply noise reduction: Color “noise” refers to the graininess of your photos. This commonly happens in night photos and while shooting with high ISO values or with long exposure — the lower the available light, the more grain. When reducing noise, try to preserve as much detail as possible. Setting the Color Noise too high can make the colors of the image bleed together.
5. Adjust the composition
Composition is crucial in capturing great photos. However, sometimes your photos may come out looking unimpressive, skewed, or other background elements are competing with the intended focal point.
- Crop your image: An easy way to transform the composition is to crop your image. When doing this, follow the Rule of Thirds — the focal point should be placed on one of the intersections of your grid to emphasize it. However, take caution when cropping. Only do this when your image is large enough. When your image is too small already, it may be better to take an entirely new photo altogether — the more you crop, the more you reduce the image quality.
- Correct skewed images: This is especially useful when you’re taking photos that make use of the horizon or when you’re using symmetry and repetitive patterns for composition. Rotate or adjust the angle of your image to make the horizon and shapes straighter.
- Use blurring to your advantage: One way to emphasize your focal point is to blur your background. The key here is to identify your focus, pick the appropriate kind of blur effect to your image, and try to balance the intensity of the blur to make the transition look natural.
- Remove unwanted objects: Extra objects take away the spotlight from the main focus of the image and spoil the overall effect. Use the Clone Stamp tool to remove the unwanted object. Then, copy the texture of the neighboring area of the photo and paste it to the affected area.
Your brand photos hold a lot of power to draw the attention of your target audience and compel them to engage and ultimately do business with you. And in today’s digital-centric world inundated with visual content, it’s important to make your photos stand out.
To learn more about photography tips, content marketing, and digital marketing in general, visit our blog https://www.ilfusion.com/blog.