A Photographer's Checklist for Planning a Brand Photo Shoot
Hello lovelies! This blog post my checklist that I use personally when I plan a brand photo shoot for a client, so you’re getting a behind the scenes peak at my process!
In case you are wondering, I’m Jess, the brand photographer & videographer at Charuk Studios and an all around creative entrepreneur at heart🤗 You can get to know a bit more about myself & my journey starting Charuk Studios here. If you want more inspiration for your upcoming photo shoot check out my portfolio to see some examples of brand photo shoots I’ve styled & shot for clients!
Before we dive in the first thing I want you to know is a brand photo shoot’s sole purpose isn't to just capture beautiful photos, there is strategy behind the visuals. My goals with a brand photo shoot is to help a business STAND OUT and thrive in their niche, further develop their brand presence & communicate a story. Photographs communicate a lot, and combined with the right words they are a powerful form of marketing.
Whether you are an entrepreneur planning your first brand photo shoot or a photographer learning how to expand into this niche, bookmark or Pin (I’m a big Pinterest fan😍) this blog post so you can reference this checklist before your next brand photo shoot! 😚
1. Incorporate YOUR brand colours
Stick to the colour palette you have chosen for your business and use those 3-5 colours in your brand photos. This will ensure your branding is consistent and cohesive throughout your website, print materials and photography.
For example my client Christina, the web & brand stylist at By Stina Faye, chose mauve, blush and neutrals as her brand’s colour palette. We incorporated those colours throughout the different outfits she wore at her brand photo shoot, in the props, in her office space and a mood board she was designing.
You can see how beautiful her website and Instagram feed look because the repeated colours are pleasing to the eye, it’s not to busy or chaotic. And by repeatedly using the same colour palette her brand and style is becoming more recognizable towards her audience.
Sample of Her Brand Photos
Her Website & Instagram Feed
2. Show YOUR creative process
Capturing photos of what a business does behind the scenes humanizes the company while highlighting their expertise in the field. It can be anything from gathering inspiration, working in a coffee shop, packaging their product, etc. The creative process is different for each business, so this will also set you apart in your niche.
Alex is another web & brand stylist I photographed. The majority of her time is spent on her laptop so we had to get creative with what type of shots we could capture that accurately reflected her creative process. Some shots we captured were of her of styling flatlays to share on Instagram, gathering inspiration and designing mood boards, skyping with clients and designing on her laptop and journaling at a local coffee shop.
3. Include the business owner in the photos
Plan to capture at least a few really nice head shots of YOU, the business owner. Some people don’t love to be photographed and would rather include other things in their brand photos. However beautiful portraits are vital to use for your profile photo on social media, your about page, and if the media wants to feature you and your company! Christina and Alex are great examples of and on-brand head shots. They feel personable versus the typical posed/corporate looking head shot.
If you are feeling a bit unsure having your photo taken, check out my blog post 4 Tips for Looking & Feeling Your Best in Photos. I share my perspective of what it’s like being in front of the camera, and trust me I alwaysssss avoided having my photo taken. Now I’m much more at ease and quite love it! 🤗
4. Showcase Your personality
You want to ensure your unique voice and personality translates through the copy you write and your brand photography.
Are you bubbly, confident and uber feminine?
Or a thoughtful and reserved artist?
These descriptions provoke a different image in your mind, and you can see the difference in personality translated in the brand photos below.
It is important to be clear in confident in your unique personality and translate that through the brand photography to portray an authentic image of you and your business. And trust me you don’t want to try to be someone you’re not. People will be able to tell the difference in how to present your brand online versus how you are in person. Just keep it 100% real all the time, your audience will love you for your transparency!
5. Present their products in the best, most irresistible way possible
Product photographs (you know those photos on a white background that are sharp and high quality, but are boring) are necessary for businesses that sell a product. However these photos don’t present your product as desirable and they aren’t building your brand image.
Therefore when planning your brand photo shoot make sure you style your products in a lifestyle setting, and make them look irresistible! These are the photos that will nudge your audience to purchase from you.
6. Highlight what sets them apart in their industry
Okay this one may be a little tricky if you are the photographer trying to figure this out for a client. My approach is to analyze my client’s responses to my brand questionnaire (You can get your free copy here!) and research who are their competitors and what makes them different. Then make sure to showcase that in the brand photography because that is their competitive advantage!
7. Inspire their audience
If your product or service isn’t solving a problem in a consumers life, then it is designed to make it more beautiful. Maybe your audience doesn’t necessarily need what you offer which is why you must show them how desirable the result is. Inspire your audience to live more beautiful and creative lives through your brand photography!
Looking to hire a brand photographer? Read my blog post 7 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Brand Photographer to help you find the perfect fit. Now you are well on your way to creating perfectly branded visuals for your business!
If you would like to learn my exact process I use with clients when styling and capturing their brand photos check out my signature course The Brand Photography Method ! Or take my FREE Brand Photography Masterclass (it’s a taste of what the course is like and you will learn some valuable tips you can implement right away!)
If you are planning a brand photo shoot download my FREE Brand Questionnaire I use with clients to define their brand direction. Sign up below to have the PDF delivered right to your inbox!