I’m regularly asked for tips by wineries, marketing folks, public relations firms, and wine associations how to create an effective image library. Specific needs include utilizing photos on websites to inspire consumers to visit, in press releases to gain more editorial exposure & in advertising campaigns to increase awareness for the region.
In Cole Danehower’s presentation “Optimizing your Brand’s story”, he moderated a panel of journalists & PR agencies for winery specific marketing tips. Here’s a summary of quotes on the importance of photography: “Those with the best pictures win, if you’re only going to do one thing this year for your marketing, invest in photography & partner with a photographer that understands your brand and their style reflects your story” “Images are the new headline. 90% of info transmitted into our brain are visual, visuals transmit 60,000x faster than text, and photos are so easy to share.”
I’ve spent the past fifteen years creating over 100 image libraries for wineries & tourism associations, where my background as a photojournalist has helped me craft an impactful story through imagery. Magazine editors & designers have given me the following guidelines for many of my assignments, I’ve consolidated these tips to four main points:
#1 request – Sense of place photos. What does this mean? A photo of a vineyard can look like any other vineyard around the world unless care is taken to focus on the land’s unique aspects in the best light. It’s very challenging to tell a compelling, unique story in just one photo, but with reduced editorial space and attention spans this can be the critical deciding factor if you get coverage.
This aerial photo of Penner-Ash winery & estate vineyard has been on two magazine covers, the opening spread in the Wine Spectator Oregon story, and countless other stories and marketing collateral:
#2 request – panoramics or verticals – panoramics for website, newsletter, or email blasts and vertical photos with room for type for magazine covers.
#3 request – “‘environmental lifestyle, portraits, details, or product shots” What does this mean? Photographs that tell a story but aren’t overly manipulated – while fine for your instagram account, publications need consistency of style and certain filters can instantly date your images or make it difficult for those photos to fit into a larger story seamlessly. An environmental portrait can still show you in your best light, and be retouched – but retouching should not be noticeable, and the background should preferably tell a story about your winery. Same specifications for product and detail shots, which make great fillers in small spaces. Another tip – animals are always popular!
#4 request – tell me a compelling story through visuals. When there’s space to tell your story in a series of images, make sure to maximize this opportunity – on your website, in slideshows, and have options ready to provide for special requests. Here’s examples of wineries and wine associations that I’ve worked with that have done a great job of creating strong image libraries, and utilized these on their websites – please click on the below links to view:
Penner-Ash – http://www.pennerash.com
Saffron Fields – http://saffronfields.com
Soter – http://sotervineyards.com
Leonetti Cellars & Figgins Family Wines – http://www.leonetticellar.com
Washington Wine Commission – A multiple year project covering all AVAs with sense of place photos, geological details, and year in the life of the vineyard & winemaking
British Columbia Wine Commissions & Wineries: libraries for Wine Island Visitors association, Okanagan, Blue Mountain, Mission Hill, Quail’s Gate –
New Zealand Sustainable Wine – a project showcasing the countries commitment to sustainability, with 95% certified sustainable, organic, or biodynamic
I also have created image libraries for the USA Hops commission
and Department of Agriculture for Oregon Fruit
If you’re a winery, wine association, or other business interested in maximizing your visual assets, please contact me directly for a custom quote – I’d love to work with you!