Five Fabulous Tips for Planning a Successful Brand Photography Shoot
Building Your Business, It’s About You
So we’ve made it to June, and how are you feeling about the world reopening? It may be taking a while but I'm feeling so excited to be able to get out and see people as we start seeing promises of summer.
It’s particularly exciting for me, to be back shooting clients properly. As a cautious gal, it’s essential I do everything I can to make sure everyone is safe and sound – it was a huge relief to be double vaccinated (I’d probably be triple vaccinated if I could – just to be sure!)
It’s made me think more about the preparations we make for each shoot I do, it’s so important – not just because, I want to keep you all safe but also because of the investment of time and money for the client – and of course the need to make sure that every shot properly reflects their business and brand.
In order to give you a helping hand, I want to take you through the best ways to plan for a successful personal brand shoot – with my 5 tips for planning a successful photoshoot.
1. Know Your Audience – Be Clear on Your Brand
Who are your clients? And how do you make sure you’re talking to the people you want
It’s important you understand who you want to work with – your ideal client. Create an avatar, or profile, with as much detail as you can – and give them a name; believe in them as a real person.
My ideal client is Sarah, this helps me because - in everything I do – I can ask how this is helping Sarah (Is Sarah looking for tips on planning her brand photography shoot? Of course, she is.) So, as you plan your photoshoot – focus on your avatar and ask yourself – “how would Sarah feel about this?”
Knowing your ideal client is the first step to building your brand. We looked more at branding in my previous blog Brand on Brand with Sharon Davidson, including some useful insights to help you create a brand which stands out and reflects your business effectively.
What is it that makes you different? What do you offer which no-one else does?
How will your images convey this difference in personality and brand?
What emotions do you want to evoke in those who see your photos – inspired, motivated, calm, or happy, for example?
And consider the brands which inspire you – how do their images do that?
2. Know Your Purpose – Reflect This in Your Shot List
It’s really important to know what you want to achieve with your photo-shoot, it’s not unusual for someone to book a photoshoot without thinking carefully about the purpose of their photographs – but this could lead to disappointment.
Maybe you know you’d like some photos for your website, that’s great – but think more purposefully – many website headers, newsletter banners and blog images need to be wide – without proper planning you might find your photos just don’t fit.
Plan where you’re hoping to use your photos to understand what kind of images will be useful to you.
Your website – banner images and content, how many pages do you have?
Social media – banner images as well as standard posts and your profile
What about product launches? Ebooks? Courses?
Whatever you are promoting, ensure you have a plan to get the photos which will attract your dream client.
3. Know Your Style – Use a Mood Board
Your personal brand photos should reflect your style and mood boards are a brilliant visual way to achieve the right look for your brand.
Sharing this with your photographer will ensure they know what you’re looking for and mean that styling your shoot is much easier.
You might want to use magazines or websites to create your mood board, or one of the simplest ways to share is with Pinterest.
Create a board with images which appeal to you and which stand out, images which reflect your personal style
Add colour palettes that reflect you and, most importantly, your brand.
Find objects which communicate your message and look for examples of your dream photo shoot location.
Also, look for examples of the kinds of photos which you’d like in your shoot.
Sharing these insights will make sure your photographer knows exactly what you want.
4. Know What You Want – Create that Shot List
Having thought about your audience, your branding, where you’ll be using these images and how you want them to look, the next step is to create a clear plan.
By brainstorming ideas, you can create a plan which considers your colour palette, style and personality. Think about the location, your outfits and props or people you might like to include – think about the picture you’re creating. How do you want to be seen?
Here are some examples you might want to consider; a detailed plan will mean we get all the photos you need.
A banner image for your homepage – which might need some white space for text so
consider shape or position
Banner image with you pointing for the new launch page
The headshot for your About Me page
Images of your hands on a keyboard or packaging a product
Photos of you laughing with a glass of wine in hand or enjoying a cup of coffee in your initialled mug
Working on your laptop in the garden
Sitting reading a book
Taking a photo with your phone
Meeting up for coffee
5. Know How You Want to be Seen – Thinking About Your Image
This is about your business and how you want people to see you.
Think about the places you’d be and how people are likely to see you every day – do you want to be seen as professional, what does that look like to you?
What you wear can make a big difference to the feel of your photos and says a lot about you and your brand – this is about making a great first impression.
Be yourself - if you have fabulous funky coloured hair, adore wearing vintage dresses and want to show off your tattoos, it’s important to be you.
Coordinate with your brand colours – these images need to work well on your website. You also need colours which suit you so if your brand colours themselves don’t work consider neutrals – if you’re not sure, ask someone you trust.
Wear things you usually wear - you want your audience to recognise you from these shots so wear clothes they might expect to see you in. Clothes which are comfortable will help you feel more confident. And think about how much make up would you normally wear? If it’s not much, then don’t overdo it here.
Solid colours are best – logos, neon colours and busy prints will overpower you.
Make sure your clothes fit – anything too tight or too baggy will just make you look bigger than you are and remember old or damaged clothes – stains, creases and bobbles will show up
Try layers – you can change the look of your outfit without having to change.
Get the right footwear – you’ll be on your feet so comfort is important, and think about your location as heels won’t work in the woods!
Bring lots of choice – having a few changes, particularly a few other tops, means if something isn’t working you can make an easy change.
Avoid polo necks which might make you look like you have a floating head.
Don’t show too much skin – although your favourite LBD may look amazing on a night out, when you’re changing position a lot, we don’t want to risk flashing anything we don’t mean to!
You’re all set
It may look like there’s a lot to think about but these are fairly simple steps which will ensure you get the best out of your photoshoot.
If you are unsure about anything here, contact your photographer and talk things through – they want you to look just as amazing as much as you do!