When you have an online business, photographs are so important in order to convey you, your personality, the “know-like-trust” factor so that people are going to want to purchase from you or use your services.
As your business grows, you will see the need for a lot of different types of pictures – not just of your face but of you sitting and actually showing you working or doing different things. Not just nice photos of your face, but photos that showcase you in your business. That’s why having a brand photo shoot can be very important.
if you’re newer in your business, definitely start where you’re at. Maybe have a friend or maybe you know a photographer that would be willing to take some photos of you. You could take them outside for good lighting, or even in your office doing different things. But as you start to grow in your business, you’re going to see the need for more and more photos – for your website, for social media, for graphics, etc.
I’ve had photo shoots in the past with great photographers who were very good at what they did. But they didn’t really understand what I needed as an online business owner.
For instance, portrait photographers are used to having the subject be in the center of the photograph. The problem is if you’re using this photo for a website, you may need to be to one side – let’s say on the left side so you can put text on the right side. Unless you’re familiar with photographs for websites or social media, you may not understand this fact.
In addition you need to have photographs not just of you sitting and posing but instead of you showing your personality.
I had one photographer tell me that I’m smiling too big. And that when you smile you shouldn’t show your gums!?!? Well I think my smile is one way that I can convey my personality. If you know me, you know I have a big smile and that I like to smile. I know that some people like to have a person who smiles, is optimistic, kind and would want to work with a person like me. So in photographs for your online business, you’re going to want to show your personality – no matter what the photographer thinks.
Now that you understand what a brand photo shoot is, let’s talk about the steps for planning one.
Brand Photo Shoot
So let’s talk about my photo shoot, what my brand photographer did that I thought was really great and different from other photographers that I worked with.
First of all, she had an extensive questionnaire that she sent ahead of time. She really went into detail. For instance, she asked for my website so she could see my current photos and brand as well as my social media profiles so she could see those as well.
Next, she asked for the types of photos I wanted, the colors that I have used before, my brand color and if there are certain things that I wanted to make sure that I had photographs of.
She also asked about the kind of that spirit I wanted to convey, some words that I thought encapsulated my business or myself so that she could really get a feel for what I was looking for.
In addition, I had done my research and looked at her website so I could point to some of the photos that I liked and why I liked them.
This preparation was vital in having a good understanding for what I wanted and have a smooth day.
Here are some things to consider for a brand photo shoot:
I put together a shot list of some poses that I wanted for sure – some of me standing, some at the desk, etc. She also had her own detailed show list – so we put ours together. We had some sitting, standing, at the desk, with a laptop, with a phone, etc. It made for an easy day by going down the list.
I also put together a list of props I wanted to use, such as my laptop, my tablet, my phone, a clock, a calendar, etc. which would helped her create her shot list – with my outfits, props and backgrounds.
She provided several options for a studio to rent. For the location, I wanted to be sure to have a desk area, an area to stand, a more casual area, and lots of light. In the end, we went with one that she had used before – which allowed her to develop a detailed list of possible photos. For this space, she knew the lighting, the furniture there – so that we could set up quickly.
While renting a studio can be an extra expense, the “correct” space can be vital to having photographs you like in the end.
I brought a variety of outfits to show her – and see how they would work in the light. We wanted to have different outfits in difference places through the space. We choose about 4 different outfits to wear. Then we talked through what props we wanted to have with each outfit and what location for each.
We separated the outfits by location in the space…and had the props for each handy.
It was refreshing to work with her because she was really specific. She knew exactly what she wanted. She also understood that I needed photos with me off to the side, at different places in the space, with different props, me working, etc. It was a very relaxing photo shoot. All I really had to do was show up and smile.
This photo shoot produced many more usable photos for my website and social media. In the past I had good photographs. But there were less photos that I could use on all the different platforms because it was just me in the center smiling. Many of the photos didn’t work for my website headers or my social media profiles.
I hope you will take the time to find a brand photographer that has the style that matches yours. Research them, talk with them – try to get a feel for their work. The photo shoot was well worth the work and the cost.
[If you’re in the Washington, DC area, I highly recommend Alice Bruce.
I would love to hear if you’ve ever done a brand photo shoot before. I would love to hear your experience.
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