How to Plan Your Brand Photography Session
4 Tips for your Brand Photography Session
As a fellow #girlboss, I understand the need for beautiful brand photography. We live in a visual age where Instagram, Pinterest, and our photo-filled websites sell our brands. I’m thrilled to offer this service to help you grow your business. My mission through Bridging Herstory is to empower girl bosses to create the beauty they are intended to bring the world. In addition to offering business coaching, we are excited to “officially” offer brand photography as you build the visual aesthetic of your brand. Photography. It's my foundation. It's how I began as an entrepreneur 6 years ago and the flagship of my creative empire. The majority of my clients have been in the wedding industry, and to be honest, it just never gets old. I still cry at a majority of weddings I shoot & gasp at the beauty of images afterward. It really is a dream gig. I’m excited to now more intentionally bring this talent to Bridging Herstory. It's like my two worlds are colliding in the most beautiful way. I have been serving women entrepreneurs through photography over the years in lifestyle images as well as product/brand photos. Now it is just official. Check out the new page on my website that just dropped! So let's talk hypothetically. You booked your brand photo shoot. Its an investment and you want to make it worth every penny. I hear you, girl. That’s why I’ve created 4 tips on how to plan for your brand photography session.
Tip 1: What to wear for your brand photo shoot
I see you, babe. Ripping your closest apart trying to figure out what to wear or creating a very real excuse to go shopping. Here’s my advice.
Dress in your brand.
If you have more of a light and airy feel with lots of white and blushes (like ME!) wear outfits that fit in that scheme. You’ll often find me dressed in different shades of pinks or neutrals. You should be showing your face on your website and social platforms. That means your outfit needs to fit the theme of your brand. You probably take up 70% of a photo frame in your Instagram feed. So if you are wearing a black outfit, that image is going to look dark on your feed and stick out amongst your light and airy feel. I mean, shoot, I even paint my nails in my brand, just because! Okay, I think I’ve made my point here.
Bring multiple outfits.
The length of your session will determine how many outfits you can squeeze in, but its really important you have a variety. If you come to your photo shoot with one outfit, then you are going to run out of options to post on your social feeds. Your followers can tell they were all taken on the same day in the same dress. Bring a “dressier” more professional option and then maybe a more casual one. If you are a fitness coach, get some more “official” shots, and then throw on a cute workout outfit. Also, think about things that can change up your "feel" without having to completely change. Throw on a scarf, switch out your cardigan or blazer, pull your hair up, these things will allow you to quickly give you variety without taking the time in your session to completely change.
Tip 2: How to choose your location for your Brand Photography
You need photos, your house is in no state to become your studio and you have no idea where to start.
Ask your Photographer for location suggestions.
I’ve done so many photo sessions I know the options. I know silly walls and fun nooks that you might not think of while choosing a location. I also know how the lighting will play into things and what time of day might be best to use that space. I offer my home as a place for women to come to do their photo session. I don’t mean to brag, but my hubby did a pretty good job renovating the space, and its almost like our home was made for photography. We have tons of natural light, neutral walls. curtains that act as diffusers, and we are getting ready to install a white studio backdrop that will work PERFECTLY for lifestyle images with clean backgrounds. Your photographer also might know venues in town that you can rent or pay a photography fee in order to use for your session.
Consider how the photo background coincides with your brand.
If you have a moody, grunge feel in your fitness brand, a space that is more industrial with brick walls, iron accents, and wooden beams, might be perfect. If you own a boutique that matches your aesthetic, doing it right there will be a win. Going outside and shooting where there is mostly green grass, may not actually be the right style for your jewelry business that mostly focuses on having a white, neutral feel. Just like your outfit, the background will take up a lot of the color and aesthetic of a photo, so that needs to match your brand color and elements.
Be aware of LIGHT.
It probably matters the most. You need to choose a space that has natural light. If you are going to do it outside, the timing of your shoot will matter so you get the best light & not harsh shadows etc.
3. How to create a "shot list" for your Brand Photography Session
You have your outfits. You know where the photo session is going to go down. Now what? You need to make a "shot list" & send it to your photographer prior to your session. Be realistic. If you have a one-hour session, you are not going to be able to have 20 different scenarios photographed. Make your shot list in order of priority, so you can get the most critical images captured.
What your "shot list" should include.
You want to give your photographer enough direction so that she knows the expectations, but not to the extent of being too controlling. No photographer will enjoy that, I’m just going to be real. So here’s a break down of what each “scene” of your shot list should entail:
Scene 1: Lifestyle Headshots in Party Dress Outfit Location: Colorful Wall in City Composition Expectations: -Verticals for Instagram & Pinterest & Mobile site -Horizontal image with white space to the right & left (for website & allowing text on one side) -Sitting & Standing Posing: Photos looking at the camera and some laughing while looking away Props: Some with no props Popping streamers Blowing confetti Scene 2: Ingredients in spa line product Location: White background Composition Expectations: Vertical with white space at the top (Instagram Ad to run in story & feed) Horizontal with no white space Posing: Ingredients in bowls and spilled out on white background Props: Wooden spoon Crystals Bowls Feather
As you can see by the above “scenes” you need to really think through your plan for how you want to use the pictures. What is the end game? Where will this particular photo land? The woman in the second example knew she wanted to have an “ingredients” page on her website and wanted a full picture with a text box over the top that said “ingredients”, for the header of that page. That is why she needed to have a horizontal picture that is filled & has no heavy white space on either side.
Tip 4: Create a prop list for your Photo Session
Props are not the responsibility of your photographer and this is what will really make your photos looked styled and curated. You are going to need to plan ahead on this one along with the previous step of “creating a shot list”. After you have gone through and worked to create each scene you are going to have quite a few props that you will need to shop for, order online or gather from around your house. It won't work to do this last minute, as you have to get your shot list to the photographer before the session & you need to place orders, get balloons filled, order flowers etc. Get a separate prop list created so you can stay organized and be sure you pack everything. If you aren’t sure how to style the photos, head to Pinterest for inspiration and to see how others have styled images that are similar to your brand. There you go, boss babe. Now you will be ready for your brand photo shoot. You are going to get the most out of your investment by thinking through these 4 elements and your photographer will be able to deliver on your exceptions! Convinced a photo shoot will take your business to the next level? Head here to book your session with me!