Leah O'Connell

brands, client tips

How defining brand words can influence your photos

I'm Leah!

I’m obsessed with stories of family, creativity, and simple joys.  A nostalgia nerd, educator, wife, and mom of 3, I believe life’s most fun when you’re dreaming big and having kitchen dance parties. 

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If you had to use five words to describe your business, what would they be?

Those five brand words will set your business apart from others and form a clear vision of your business. They can also equip you better to prepare for your small business photo session and inspire and guide your photographer to create the ideal images you need.

For local wine and beer shop – Bottle House – their five words were:

Warm, friendly, comprehensive, quality, delicious

We ask all our small businesses to define their 5 brand words in their initial questionnaire, so whether you are selling a product, or service, or are creating a personal brand, this exercise can get the gears turning on how you want your clients to feel when they interact with your website, social media, or physical shop.


Here’s how brand words influence brand photos:


Walking into a retail shop, it is important to know that you will be assisted with warmth and eagerness. To capture this word, we took a few photos of the business owners showing a “customer” their product to convey a customer service experience met with warmth.

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What better way to communicate friendliness then to get some great photos of the faces your customers will see when coming to your store?! They didn’t want their store to feel stuffy or unapproachable, so we kept these casual!

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This is where we leaned into the offerings and products this business had to offer. From wine, beer cocktail additions, and more – it was important for us to capture the entirety of their offerings as pieces that made up the whole of the shop.

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Now all of the above might be true, but what is great customer service and variety without quality products that keep people coming back for more? Here, we want photos to capture the standard of excellence in which the business holds itself.

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Am I the only one who shares mouth-watering food and beverage posts to friends on Instagram with the message “Have you seen this place? Let’s go!” 

A few shots of a business’s offerings in action allow the viewers to imagine and even crave the desire to check it out!

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Interested in upgrading your small business photos?

Learn more about brand photography services in Charlottesville and reach out to get the ball rolling. I can’t wait to meet you and help your small business thrive!

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Hi, I'm Leah.
Family photographer, writer, educator.

I’m  one of the first to meet your newborn baby, the one who won't judge your clothes baskets and unmade beds, and the one who can capture the way your husband looks at you with a twinkle in his eye after 12 years of marriage. I believe in honoring people and telling stories.

I believe art has the power to light up the world in dark places, starting at home.