5 Tips when Planning your Brand Photo Shoot
Guys! This is a topic I get asked about all too often, and something that can help take your business to the next level if done correctly:
Professional brand photography.
To break it down, I’ve compiled a list of what I believe to be the top 5 tips that can hep you when planning your shoot so you don’t wind up paying thousands of dollars for photos that are unusable for one reason or another.
Tip 01: Have a clear vision of your goals for the shoot
Identifying where your brand photos will be used will help you plan out the exact shots you need and ensure you have a wide range of content for different platforms but also different programs you may have. For instance, a few places your photos may be used are:
When thinking about where they’ll be used, also think about how the photos will look best in that context. For instance, vertical and square photos work best on social media, while horizontal photos work best on websites and email marketing. Understanding the different orientations will help you give better direction to your photographer and ensure you have enough options to work with.
Tip 02: Create a mood board
As a first step when I’m preparing a photo mood board for a client, I start by sourcing images in Pinterest. I search for photos and images that I feel best represent the business and the story we want to tell through visual direction. I then synthesize through the pile until I’m able to create a cohesive inspiration board that appropriately captures the aesthetic side of what we’re trying to achieve.
In the example below, you can see how the example images I found on the left largely inspired the lighting, style and mood of the real photos and how they came out.
Tip 03: Create your shot list
For the most part, your photographer will come with ideas of their own and shoot away when they feel inspired by what’s in front of them. However, the more prepared you are before your shoot the better. By going into your shoot with specific ideas for each shot you want to get, you ensure that you walk away with each and every image you need. To do this, look for specific images on free stock photography sites, google and Pinterest in order to compile a good array of photos that help tell your brand story.
Below is an example of a shot list I created as part of a larger photo story for a client.
Tip 04: find the right photographer for your brand
Just like in any creative profession, there are countless professional photographers everywhere. It’s not about signing with the first one you find on google - it’s about finding the right one. If you’re going to invest time and resources into your brand photoshoot, you want to make sure you find the photographer with a style and aesthetic that matches your own. Don’t look for a photographer who only specializes in headshots or company photos - specifically look for photographers who have done other brand and lifestyle work, or those who shoot with natural light and focus on candid, authentic images of people in their natural environments.
Just like how I always recommend my clients to take a look at my portfolio first to make sure they like my aesthetic, do that with your photographer.
Tip 05: Don’t forget about the “filler” images
You know all that footage of the streets of LA that they use in shows on Bravo? That’s called b-roll — which is basically alternative footage intercut with the main shot to help set the scene and add ‘filler’. It plays a huge roll in the storytelling process, and if you think of your website and marketing as a story - a story of your brand - then think of this b-roll as the images between the ‘main’ shots.
You don’t want all the photos in your site to be of you smiling blindly at the camera - you want some nice detail shots, or images that relate to your services and/or products. Sure, you can find plenty of these types of images on free stock photography sites, but if you just add them to your shot list and brand photoshoot then you ensure they’re the same lighting, tone and style as all your other images.
So there you have it - my tips for a successful brand photoshoot. Good luck!