Image Library 101: An Overview Of Brand Image Libraries

screenshot of GE image library

An image library can take your business and brand to the next level. If you struggle to find the right images for marketing content or share photos with teammates, consider revamping your strategy. 

Instead of hosting images on different platforms requiring more browsing, multiple logins, and numerous downloads, an image library centralizes your visual assets. 

This post will cover the basic knowledge of image libraries – like a starter course. Continue reading to learn: 

  • What an image library is
  • How to use an image library within your business
  • Why an image library is important for brands
  • How to find images for your brand

What Is A Brand Image Library?

An image library is an online, cloud-based platform that enables you to upload, host, organize, and share digital images for your brand. It’s a secure way for your business to centralize your brand imagery. Most image library software can also be downloaded as a desktop app in addition to the online version. 

Image libraries are often part of a larger brand asset library. These asset libraries store a combination of images, videos, graphics, illustrations, documents, and more. Businesses use a digital asset management (DAM) system, file-sharing service, or other online storage provider to create an image library for their brand.

screenshot of image library 2016 saxenda

How To Use An Image Library Within Your Business

There are two primary ways to use an image library as a business owner or key stakeholder in marketing and branding

  1. To collaborate with your team: Whether you’re the marketing manager or a business owner in charge of brand marketing, digital image libraries make collaboration with other teammates easy and efficient. From capture to upload, storage to sharing, and any other step of the process, teammates can work together on various projects to access the appropriate images. 
  2. To collaborate with other teams or businesses: Outside of your team, image libraries allow you to collaborate with other groups. If the sales department needs a handful of branded visuals for a presentation, they too can easily browse and access image files through a well-organized library. Image libraries also make it easy to collaborate with agencies or consultants that assist in online marketing, advertising, and/or branding.

screenshot of saxenda image library

Why Is An Image Library Important For Brands

An image library is essential for a business to establish and maintain visual branding. Here are a few major benefits of investing in an image library. 

  • Make your images accessible: Give every individual on your team access to an entire library of branded images. No matter where they are, team members can use folders, keywords, and other filters to find images with ease. 
  • Establish structure and organization: Image libraries allow you to take business branding photos and categorize files based on your preferences. If a set of images is to be used for one specific ad campaign, you can label all images appropriately or organize them in a way that’s easy to locate. 
  • Encourage collaboration: An image library enables your brand to create better visual marketing content by working together. 
  • Control access to important images: Just like you have the power to equip your team with an image library, you control who can see what images. If there’s a set of photos that aren’t finalized, restricting access from certain employees avoids posting an unfinished product. 
  • Save time and money: Organized, labeled, searchable images inherently reduce time spent searching for content across various platforms. You’ll be able to create better marketing and branding content faster, saving you time and money. 

How Do You Find Images For Your Brand?

To build your brand and grow a following you need images. There’s no image library without images. There are different options for acquiring images depending on your skillset, bandwidth, intended use, and budget. 

screenshot of individual image in GE image library

Use Stock Image Libraries

Stock photos are images captured by photographers and uploaded to libraries for use by anyone with access. Some stock image libraries are free to access while others require a subscription or make you pay per image. 

While it’s a cost-effective way to get photos for your brand, the images won’t be authentic and you risk losing credibility and authority as a business. Some stock images are of outstanding quality and somewhat unique. The majority, however, are generic photos that can be used for a wide range of applications. 

If you just need a few images for your non-profit website, go for stock pictures. If you want to build an authoritative brand, you’ll want to choose a different option.

Use Your Smartphone

Both Android and iPhone cameras have come a long way. You have access to a professional-grade lens in the palm of your hand. If you’re on a tight budget, you can get away with using your smartphone camera to take images for your business. I even have some tips and tricks you can use to help. 

No matter how high-quality your camera – whether it’s a smartphone, DSLR, or other option – you won’t be able to capture professionally branded images on your own. Unless you’re a trained professional photographer, you don’t have the technical knowledge or field experience. 

So if you’re a low-budget local business who needs basic pictures for your website, social media content, and not much more, you can likely pass with your smartphone. Even so, I’d recommend looking into a professional photographer.

screenshot of image in GE image library with downloadable options

Hire A Professional Business Branding Photographer

One business branding photoshoot with a professional photographer can be enough to create a lasting, diverse library of images. The key to a successful engagement is finding the right photographer

If you’re going to invest, you need to research to make sure it’s the best option and worth your while. Commercial photography pricing varies greatly, so it’s up to you to find the best combination of experience, skill, and price. 

Professional photographers know their equipment like the back of their hands and understand the nuances required to encapsulate a brand through imagery. They work with you to build a detailed shot list to bring your brand’s identity and personality to life through a range of photos.  Once they deliver final images, it’s up to you to properly upload, manage, organize, and store them in your brand image library.

screenshot of novo image library

Work With Casey Templeton Photography To Build Your Image Library 

That covers the absolute basics of image libraries. While there’s much more to learn, like how to create an image library from scratch or better organize your existing library, this gives you the tools to get started. The key to improved collaboration, easier access, and enhanced marketing content is through a digital image library. 

Casey Templeton Photography offers professional business photography services in the greater Nashville, TN area and beyond. Casey understands the relationship between photography and corporate branding. He is equipped with the technical knowledge and years of experience working with brands of various sizes and industries. 

To learn more about image libraries or to get started capturing images for yours, fill out a contact form

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