March 10, 2021
While there’s a few things I recommend to invest in when starting your business, a brand photoshoot has to be #1 on this list.
What’s the image that comes to mind when you hear the word photoshoot? More times than not, people think of getting headshots taken for a new job or having family portraits done. And while some of those elements are present, a brand photoshoot it so much more than that. It is a dedicated time to meet with a photographer to take photos and receive edited images that reflect the vibe of you and your brand.
You’ve put all this work in to create your dream brand. Now it’s time to bring it to life through photography. You could technically use stock images for your website and social media (the two most common places you’ll be posting images!), but having photos specific to you, your job, your quirks, workspace, favorite coffee mug, that cozy cardigan you always wear to session… THAT is what is going to create this know, like, trust factor in your brand and add your human elements into your brand. Your potential clients are already going to feel more at ease with images of you/your space on your website because they’ll know a little more on what to expect than if you used stock images.
One of the most useful things you can do to help translate your brand to your business is invest in a photographer to take branded images. When you find a photographer that you like the style of, the next step is to work out the logistics. How much time will you get to spend together? How many images will you receive from them? What is the cost? Will you be able to bring props? Change outfits? All important things to think through!
When working with a photographer, it is really helpful to bring in exactly what you’re looking for to make sure you are getting images you can actually use. There are three types of branded images:
Headshots are your classic picture of you looking at the camera. They can range from being closer up to full-body. These are used primarily for your “about” page on your website and social media. While it’s great to have a handful of these, there isn’t much need to have 10+ images of you smiling at the camera in the same pose so be mindful of this when you are working with a photographer as most photographers spend most of their time taking pictures of people. I would recommend only having 10% of images be headshots.
Action shots are images that you are in, but you aren’t looking directly at the camera because you are partaking in some “action” related to your business. This could look like you typing on your laptop, scrolling through social media, reading a book, eating a taco, etc. Action shots can include a combination of you at your favorite local coffee shop, walking around your neighborhood, or chilling on the couch with the dogs. The purpose of these is to help feel relatable to your clients and that they have something to identify with within you. These are used primarily for social media and Pinterest as well as background images for any marketing material you create. I would recommend having 60% of images be action shots.
Stock shots are images that don’t have you or your face in them. Examples of this include flatlays, your hand reaching for coffee, a stack of books, etc. These are used as filler images on your website when you’re needing to separate text and can also be used for social media and background images. I would recommend having 30% of images be stock shots.
Working on a budget and can’t invest in a photographer? No worries! The next best thing is to grab a friend, your phone, snap some pictures, and edit them using a consistent preset in the Lightroom app! Two of my favorite presets are Jenna Kutcher and Haylsa Anderson. Using consistent presets ensures that even when you snap a picture on your phone to upload to social media, that the vibrancy and edits on all of your pictures are cohesive. A preset is similar to a filter, but is edited in a way that looks more like it was taken from a digital camera.