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How to prep for a successful brand photoshoot

I think we can all agree that branding is very visual. But aside from all the visual details such as color, typeface and design elements, there is another important factor that can really round off your brand look: on-brand photography. Let’s talk about what that even is, what’s most important and how you can prep for a successful – and fun! – experience.

 

As a branding strategist, it’s very important to me to keep all elements of branding aligned with your personality, values and vision. And what better way to do that than through photography – the most visual medium of all!

Brand photos are representations of your personality, your client experience and your process, so your ideal clients can get an idea about you and your business or service.

Moreover, these photos will also serve as the backdrop for social media posts, ads and marketing materials. Essentially, they will extend your brand personality even further. So when you decide to do a brand photoshoot – meaning: investing – I wanna make sure you get the best experience possible.


Here’s how:

Step 1
FIND THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER

Major! Find a photographer who (ideally) specializes in brand photography or at least has some experience you can see in a portfolio. Then select the one that matches the style you want and/or need. If you find a photographer whose photos are all very washed-out and whimsical, your bold and bright brand personality might be a bad fit. Check out the portfolio and find a style you like – or a photographer who’s more on the versatile side to make your brand personality shine.

 

Step 2
DEFINE THE GOAL

Before you get started on booking or anything, define the end goal of the photoshoot. Make sure you know:
What kinds of photos do you need for which purpose? Web? Social Media? Both?
What format do you need? Horizontal? Vertical? Both?

 

For inspiration, here are the photos I’d recommend:

 

1 – the horizontal portrait

 

2 – the vertical portrait

 

3 – the “at work” shot

 

4 – the prop shot

 

5 – the smiling shot

 

6 – the filler / parallax shot (horizontal)

 

7 – the tool shot

 

Step 3
CREATE YOUR PERSONA(S)

Know what aspect of your brand personality you want to communicate with your photos. I personally love creating “personas” for a shoot, because it can be a big help when you decide on poses, location and props.
For example, that can be:
The happy biz owner
The confident CEO
The friendly helper
The mom
The dog/cat mom
The adventurer
The artist…

…and so on. Try to define these personas before the shoot – the easiest way is to take a look at what you like to talk about on social media or on your blog and go from there.

 

Step 4
SET THE MOOD

Mood boards help translate your branding into the visual space for your photographer. Ideally, they know their stuff so it will be more for you to stay on brand and keep yourself accountable and on track, but I think it’s always easier to get ideas across with a mood board.

This is the place where you really need to start thinking about branding. If your brand personality is bubbly and happy – you’ll need to do a lot of laughing and smiling. If your brand personality is bold and no-BS, your vibe will be more on the cool side of things.

 

Step 5
GATHERING PROPS + STYLING

Finally, onto the practical part! My rule of thumb for colors: Pick your 2 most used brand colors and work with those. The rest should remain very neutral – whites, greys, neutrals – so you avoid color overload. And yes, keeping brand colors in mind is important, but don’t overdo it – or it will look too staged. A neutral backdrop always works!

One special tip for props: Please, only show things you really use in your biz. Laptop, camera, iPad, drawing board, whatever it is – also make sure to show the item the way you really use it.

And as far as décor goes…keep it authentic! If you’re a flower person – go bring flowers! If you’re a minimalist – be a minimalist! Staying true to yourself and your personal style is key to achieving great brand photos.

 

One more thing I want to leave you with:

JUST HAVE FUN.

Photoshoots can be such an amazing experience – and they can do wonders for your brand. So have fun, run wild with it, enjoy it!

And if you ever need help with your photoshoot and tips how to keep it “on-brand”, shoot me an email here.

Talk to you soon!

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