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  • Writer's pictureLiz Devonshire

Planning Power! How to Get the Most Out of Your Brand Photography Budget

Updated: Jul 1

We’ve talked a lot about the power of brand photography, helping you build brand awareness and establish your online presence. Our last post, 8 Reasons to Invest in Professional Brand Photography, outlined the value of such a photoshoot, including its impact on your confidence, business status, marketing, and sales. 

However, before you book your photoshoot, you must also consider the investment in working with a professional brand photographer.



Planning: the Blueprint for Successful Brand Photography

One significant benefit of a brand photography session, which is often overlooked, is the clarity you’ll gain from spending this time on your business and marketing. 

You see, you’ll gain the most significant value from your photography when you have effectively planned. Many people overlook this, but it is probably the key message I want you to take from this post.


Plan your marketing for the year

To get the most from your photographs, you’ll need to understand what you want to use them for. Think about everything you want to achieve through the year and which images will help.

  • Understanding Your Brand: Have you taken the time to define your brand's core values, target audience, and overall aesthetic? This will form the framework for the types of visuals you need. We looked at this in our previous post, Brand on Brand.

  • Considering Your Platforms: Where are you going to be seen this year? You may want to update the photographs on your website, so you need to think about the structure of the site and the images to include. What about social media? Yes, there will be your profile photograph, but you’ll also want to think about the regular posts you create and how brand photography can help. What about banners at in-person events or email newsletters? Think about how you communicate with your audience; I covered this topic in the blog How can you use your treasure chest of brand photography?

  • Setting Goals: Start with your big goals—what do you want to achieve this year? And how will your brand photography support that? Do you need to update headshots for your team or create a new website, perhaps? Then, look at more specific goals in the year - perhaps there are particular seasons or product launches. Do you need product photos or lifestyle images showcasing your brand in action? Clearly defining these goals will ensure your photos align with your marketing objectives. In January, I wrote about how a marketing plan helps you ensure your personal brand shoot is spot on

Plan your photoshoot

Having considered your marketing plan for the year, you can now plan your actual shoot.

  • Creating Your Shot List: Your photographer should discuss this with you. Essentially, having considered your goals, your photographer can now create a list of specific photos you will need for your marketing. This will also help you determine the scope of your shoot and the time needed. I talk more about this in the blog Five Fabulous Tips for Planning a Successful Brand Photography Shoot

  • Making it Happen: Now you know which shots you’d like, what will you need to make them happen? Locations? People? Props? Will the shoot take place at your office, in an on-location setting, or at a studio? You’ll need to choose a location that reflects your brand personality and complements the types of photos you need. Then think about who else you need in your photos: your team? Clients? You’ll likely need somebody else so think about how you will organise this. There will also be specific props, items, or clothing changes you want to include; by making a list, you can ensure you have everything you need on the day! 

All this planning will help you maximise the value of your shoot; you don’t want to realise after the event that you missed something critical.



Budgeting: Making the Most of Your Investment

Now you have a solid plan, it’s time to think about the budget. Here are some factors to consider:


Your Money

  • Photographer's Rates: Research photographers in your area and understand their pricing structures. Many offer packages that cater to different needs and budgets, but be sure you know what’s included. I help my clients with the planning we’ve talked about above; this may mean the experience costs a little more, but my clients are confident in the session and will have all the images they need.

  • Location Fees: If your shoot requires a specific location, there may be fees involved.

  • Props and Styling: Do you need props or specific styling elements for your photos? Factor in any additional costs associated with these items.

  • Your Time: Below, we’ll examine the time you need to invest in this process, but you should also consider that your time has a monetary value. This is time in which you won’t be earning.


Your Time

  • Preparation time: All this planning we’ve talked about takes time. The amount of time will depend on how much of this work you’ve done before and your confidence in it. Don’t underestimate this or rush it.

  • Shoot Duration: The session itself will take time, not just the half or full day with the photographer but also the time spent getting to the session, setting up, and sorting out afterwards. 

  • Review: Once the shoot is over, you’ll receive a first selection of images from your photographer from which you’ll need to choose your favourites. You may be surprised at how long this takes - and you may need other people’s opinions.


Thinking Creatively: Optimizing Your Budget

Your brand photography is an investment, but there are ways to be creative with your budgeting. Consider:

  • Limited Shoots: Many photographers offer smaller shoots. You can start with one focused on core photos and expand your library over time.

  • Collaboration: Do you have a suitable business contact who shares your target audience and brand aesthetic? You can explore co-sharing the cost of a photoshoot to save both of you money.

  • DIY Styling: If you're comfortable with it, you can handle the styling aspects yourself, which can save on professional styling fees.

  • Location, Location, Location: Do you need to use a chargeable venue? Maybe you can use your own space or ask any contacts with stunning spaces if they’d be happy to do you a deal. You may even be able to find free public spaces available.


Investing in Success

We’ve talked a lot about the value you’ll get from your brand photography; I hope that this post will help you see how you can maximise the return on that investment. 

As you’ll have seen, I believe that planning will help you make the most of a brand photoshoot, which is why I include time and support for this in my service. If your photographer doesn’t provide this, use the blogs I’ve linked to create the plan yourself or get in touch.


There are so many more reasons to have some new branding images, now more than ever. So start planning what you need from your branding shoot - take a breathe and book one!


This September I have something very special coming up - 'Business Besties'. If you want to share a shoot with your best business pal, get in touch as soon as you can to find out more. There are only 4 spaces so first come first served. These shoots will only be happening during the month of September so we need to get planning now - don't delay!


So if you want to chat through your options for professional photography for you and your business bestie, a solo brand shoot for your business or how you might be able to use branding photos effectively in your business, I’d love you to get in touch. 


 

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