How to make your brand photoshoot and content creation a breeze by building a bank of Instagram-ready photos!
I’m a huge believer in taking the path of least resistance when it comes to running your business. For me personally, having a professional take care of my brand photoshoots is defintely one of those paths.
There once was a time where I would sit on my couch, scrolling through my phone trying to find ONE Instagrammable photo to post but I would always come up short. I needed them to be high quality, on-brand, and edited in a similar way. In my frustration, I would give up and find myself on Pinterest giggling at The Office quotes. Productive? Nope.
That was until I discovered there was an easier way, and that was to do regular brand photoshoots. When you have a bank of beautiful, on-brand, and ready to Instagram photos you become unstoppable. And for a creative person like me, knowing that I don’t have to worry about my “Instagram aesthetic” has given me the confidence to post as often as I like!
When you have a bank of Instagram-ready photos, your job gets 10x easier. I like to book a photoshoot every quarter. The amount of photos you will receive is dependent on your photographer.
Why does imagery with your brand even matter?
Short answer: images tell stories.
Did you know that the human brain can process images about 60,000 times faster than it processes words? Yep, it’s kind of a big deal.
Imagery forms a crucial part of your overall brand. It’s not just about logos and fonts, it’s about the look and feel which is conveyed predominantly through imagery. That’s why having a consistent suite of on-brand photographs for your social media, website and overall marketing will help you to cut through the noise and stand out from the rest.
Remember, the goal with your brand is to be recognised and remembered. Your imagery plays a big part in this!
To help you plan a brand photoshoot for your business, I’ve compiled 4 key steps to make your photoshoot a raving success.
Step 1: Create a moodboard of visual thoughts for your brand photoshoot
Photographers are a visual people (make sense, right?) so when planning your brand photoshoot, you need to give them a visual reference. A moodboard is the perfect way to do this!
I like to keep a folder of inspo pics on file so that I can use them as references for future photoshoots. It’s great to have a clear style in mind that you can refer back to.
Ask yourself: Who do I seek to serve? And how do I want them to perceive me?
Knowing your brand story plays a huge role in this. If you know you want to come across as approachable, fun and relaxed, then set up for a brand photoshoot that represents this. You could be you sipping a cup of coffee on your couch or pulling a silly face.
In the same way, if you want to come across as polished, professional and uber legit, then suit up, put those blue light glasses on and go for gold! You could have photos of you helping a client, putting together a presentation or working on your computer.
Knowing how you want to be perceived will help you to create a clear moodboard and in turn, make your brand photoshoots a huge success.
We’ve got a template that makes it super easy for you to design your moodboard in the lead up to your photoshoot. Check it out here!
Step 2: Know your objective and create a shot list
It’s important for your photographer to know the objective for the shoot. For instance, if I’m just needing social media content, my photographer (Keira Mason) knows I want the photos to be shot portrait/vertical. Why is that? Well, you get more engagement on Instagram when you use the maximum amount of real estate available to you. If you’re shooting for social media, most people are viewing your content on their phone which means that vertical content is best.
Make sure your photographer knows that you want to shoot vertical for social media.
4:5 ratio is the highest you can post on Instagram Feed
9:16 ratio is for Instagram Stories
If you want to access my free Social Media Sizing Guide, you can do so here.
If you need photographs for your website, then you definitely need landscape shots in there too, because website designers need landscape photos to design your site properly. Of course, you can still use some portrait imagery on your website, but if you don’t have some great landscape shots, you’ll be stuck.
When shooting for your website, it’s great to have a hero image in mind before your brand photoshoot. Think about negative space (i.e. blank space within a photo) so that you can overlay text on your website.
Once you know your objective, then you can create a shot list with a list of everything you need to capture. I like to put a time frame and any notes in the shot list so I know I’m on track. You could even list “Outfit #2” in this list to be super organised. It’s your photoshoot, so do what you have to do to feel comfortable.
We’ve got a template for the shot list and the brand photoshoot moodboard that you can check out right here!
Step 3: Choose the right photographer
This is a crucial part of the process. Finding the right photographer is vital if you want to consistently communicate your brand style to the world.
Remember that not all photographers are created equal.
For me, it is really important that my photographer understands my brand, can work from a brief, directs me on what to do with my hands (good ol’ awkward arms over here), and someone who makes it FUN. My goodness, if it’s not fun and you’re forcing fake laughs, people will know and you’ll hate the entire process.
A few tips when working with photographers:
Give them a clear brief. Let them know the objective of your photoshoot.
Give them some context on what your brand is about, who you seek to serve and what your unique value proposition is.
Look at their portfolio and editing style. Don’t choose someone and then ask them to change their style for you. Find someone who’s photos you love and go from there.
Let them know if you need lighting and other props. Never assume that they’ve got it all.
Remember that photographers aren’t necessarily stylists or creative directors. It’s your job to cast the vision and they will show up to get it done.
When you’re starting out, you can always offer a contra deal with photographers who want to build their portfolio. A lot of wedding photographers love to work with brands and businesses as a bit of extra cashflow (without the wedding pressure) so that could be a good place to start if you don’t know where to look.
Note: for my shoots, I use the lovely Keira Mary.
Step 4: Choose your outfits, set your location and gather your props
Hair, makeup, outfits, props; so many things to consider!
Preparation is the key here. You’re paying good money for this photoshoot, so you want to make sure you are prepared.
Have everything ready the day before. Choose your outfits (for a personal brand photoshoot, I recommend 2-3 outfits that you can change into so your content stays fresh) I have to plan my outfits well in advance, otherwise, I stress out the day before and waste precious time with the photographer.
Again, for me personally, I love to get my hair blown out before a brand photoshoot so that I feel good. Remember, this content is likely going to be blasted across your website, social media, and ads, so it’s okay to pull out all the stops to get it right.
Now, you’re ready to go! Don’t forget to have fun with it and be yourself. The camera loves you, baby! When you’ve finished your photoshoot, take a load off, pop a bottle of champagne and celebrate!
Are you looking to plan a brand photoshoot? Plan it using my ‘Photoshoot Template for Brands’