How to Prepare For a Brand Photoshoot: 5 Pro Tips

When thinking about your brand, it doesn’t start or end with your company’s logo. In fact, your primary logo will be one of the least important elements of your overall visual brand (yup, we said it).

So what else should you consider when thinking about starting or rebranding your business?

A professional brand photoshoot. There should be consistency with all of your visuals across each touch point a customer might have with your brand. From business cards, website images, and your Instagram, a logo alone won’t communicate your brand tone, voice, and personality.

Why You Need a Brand Photoshoot

You’ve heard the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words – and it’s really true. A photo has the ability to capture energy and emotion in a way that words or graphics couldn’t. In fact, it takes only 0.05 seconds for someone to form an opinion about your brand. When you have a complete visual strategy – professional branding, on-point photos, and even video – that captures the essence of your brand, you can use that 0.05 seconds to your advantage.

We’ve partnered with one of our clients and favorite brand photographers, Haley McDevitt from Perennial Photography and Creative Studio, to bring 5 professional tips to help you prepare for your next brand photoshoot.

1. Have a Clear Vision

This is what Haley’s told us: “Know yourself, know your brand, have a clear vision. Your brand photos should be evergreen (to a large extent)! Seasonal needs change, and this likely won’t be your last brand photoshoot, but the more clarity you have in the beginning, the better.”

Haley says, “Aside from your brand purpose, mission and vision, consider things like:

  • Where are the places I’ll be using these photos?
  • What are the daily tasks that I do in my business to support my clients?
  • How have I been showing up, and how do I want to show up differently?
  • What photos inspire my clients and me?

You know your business best! But an experienced brand photographer will have the right questions to help pull some inspiration out of you to be sure you get the most out of your photos.”

2. Consider Emotions

95% of all purchase decisions tie back to emotions. So it’s important to consider the emotion that your photos evoke and the type of message you’re aiming to convey.

Start by thinking of questions such as:

  • What is my WHY? How can I tell my story to the world?
  • How have I been showing up to the world? How do I wish I showed up?
  • How do I want my brand photos to feel when potential customers see them?
  • Who inspires me the most in this space? Why?

By thinking more abstractly, you can let go of the “shoulds” of a brand photoshoot.

Think of the brands that stand out to you the most. I’m sure they have an original, inimitable presence that makes them so lovable. As a brand, you have an obligation to show up authentically. How can you do more of that? Now’s your chance to think about the photos that represent you!

3 . Create a Shotlist

A shot list is handy for you and the photographer to build from and can be used as strictly or loosely as you’d like!

At Daring Creative, we like to come up with a full Creative Direction for photoshoots that we partner with photographers on, such as this one that we worked on for a fitness brand. Haley captured the photos, which you can see here, and we worked with the client on the Creative Direction, shot list, outfit planning, etc.

Here’s another example of a Creative Direction presentation for a sugaring (hair removal) brand in Philadelphia, PA. We worked with Haley on the Creative Direction and planning and then designed the company’s website with the new assets.

A good way to start building your shot list is to first consider all of the potential “props” you could incorporate into your photos. 

  • A real estate agent might include keys, “for sale” signs, paperwork, a laptop, a coffee mug, and a tray of cookies in their photos to symbolize what her clientele might experience with them. The setting would likely be in a bright open space, maybe even a home that they’ve listed or a studio space!
  • A fitness instructor might include some free weights, a yoga mat, a sweat towel, an exercise ball, and a water bottle because that’s what they use most. But behind the scenes, they’re also building custom workouts online and scribbling out their ideas on paper. So they’ll bring those things, too. 

Your shot list doesn’t have to be an exhaustive list (save that for the photographer)! Just start brainstorming the tasks that you do, how you might want your feed or website to look, and the types of photos that could add the most value to your marketing efforts. 

4. Create a Mood Board

Take note of the photos that set your soul on fire. Which colors are jumping out at you? Are you drawn to the bright, soft, feminine tones? Are you seeing poses or settings that fit well with your needs and services? Pin it all.

Depending on your industry, you may want to play around with different location ideas for your shoot. Think, where do you spend most of your time? 

Some locations for brand shoots are as follows:

  • Your brick-and-mortar location (ex: salon, studio, gym)
  • Airbnb or studio rental
  • Your home/office
  • Outdoors in a park or other scenic setting

Think of the elements that you’ll want to incorporate into your shoot. Would a desk serve you well? Or maybe you could hire some models to act as your clients. 

Your photographer will only build upon your mood board and use this as a guide, but it’s never too early to start envisioning! 

Pro tip: If you think that your mood board is becoming a bit too loose and you can’t decide on the styles you like most, don’t panic! Just put all of your ideas into one spot. You might be able to weave all of the inspo together later with the help of your photographer.

5. Pick 2-3 Outfit Choices

Consider who you are at your core, what your business personality is, and what types of clients you want to attract. And since outfits are such a crucial part of how the photos will turn out in the end, be sure to consider these tips while selecting:

  • You’ll want to feel like a million bucks and so confident in your outfits that your photos exude that same energy. If you’re pulling at straps or not feeling like yourself in it, skip it and find something that you love!
  • If you’ve got your brand colors on lock, definitely incorporate them into the photos through full-blown sets or more subtle accessories. 
  • Layering is a great way to shift into different “looks,” especially if you’re going for more neutral tones or photos that aren’t all about your brand colors. For example, you could throw on a denim jacket and a scarf on top of a white T-shirt and play around with the combinations! Get creative!
  • Stick to about 2-3 looks and consider the changing time between looks. You’ll want to prioritize your favorite look. Be sure to do that either first or second so you have plenty of time to capture that style.

How to Prepare For a Brand Photoshoot

So there you have it – our five professional tips for a successful brand photoshoot.

The goal of a brand photoshoot is to create a consistent visual style that builds trust, credibility, and establishes authenticity. These are the most important brand attributes according to consumers. 

Ultimately, you want your target audience to look at your brand photos and immediately think, “Wow – that’s so…I have to know more!” By creating this initial connection through perfectly executed brand photos, you’re essentially extending an invitation to your target audience to get to know you and eventually buy from you.

If you need to rebrand your business or are ready to fully step into your most authentic self and need support with a visual strategy and style, get in touch with us today. We partner with incredible photographers like Haley from Perennial Feels to bring more than just a new logo to the world – we help bring brand YOU to life visuals your ideal customer can’t resist.

About Perennial Photography & Creative Studio

Perennial Photography & Creative Studio, based in Philadelphia, PA,  specializes in helping brands shine in their unique and authentic light through photography and creative support. With clients ranging from beauty salons and creative agencies to fitness professionals and real estate agents – Perennial is ready to help your business stand out, too. Your business needs photos that capture your energy and pride in your work so that you can attract your dream clients and grow your business in the right direction. Check out Perennial’s website (which our team at Daring Creative had the honor of developing!) and book a consultation call with Haley today if you are ready to bring your brand alive with stunning imagery.

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