How to Get the Most Value out of Your Brand Shoot

Written by a brand and website designer that wants to see you shine!

If you have any apprehension regarding how your professional photos will be put to use, look no further! I’m here to share 5 tips to take complete advantage of your brand shoot.

1) Define Your Brand Identity First

deally, start the process with a clear understanding of your brand identity; this includes values, mission, target audience, and overall message. This foundation will guide the visual elements of the photoshoot and ensure consistency with the brand’s personality.

2) Provide Example Visuals

Once you have your brand’s core established, start working on a storyboard or moodboard that outlines the desired visual direction for the photoshoot. This could include color palettes, styles, poses, and photo settings. A moodboard helps everyone involved get on the same page and reduces any miscommunications during the shoot.

3) Choose the Right Location(s)

Select a location that aligns with your brand, offers and audience. Whether it’s an outdoor setting, a studio, or a specific interior, the location should complement the brand’s aesthetics and values. If your brand is more dynamic, you’ll want a variety of backgrounds, poses and atmosphere, or if you’re more crisp and professional you can have less of a variety of backgrounds. My heart breaks when I see a creative, lively brand complete a brand shoot that feels corporate and stiff, rather than a lively, dynamic and casual brand.

4) Use Props and Brand Elements

If relevant (hint: make it relevant), incorporate branded props or elements that further highlight the YOUR business. These could be products, tools, or items that symbolize their unique offerings. Properly integrating these elements can reinforce brand recognition.

Examples: Lifestyle coach? Bring a journal, water bottle or Stanley cup, have a gym bag or pair of active shoes. Wedding coordinator? What if you brought some table setting samples, or linen samples and staged a real-life vision board? These details DO NOT go unnoticed, just look at Reichert Creative‘s website, Katie incorporated pantone color cards into her branding shoot, and her dog. You should definitely bring your dog.

Do these still feel out of reach? Go ahead and bring your computer and favorite mug, but let’s also try to think outside the box, maybe a couple of fun pairs of glasses or your favorite snacks. Can you print photos or mock up the types of projects that you work on? Props like sunglasses or hair clips allow you to change your look without having to change clothes.

These are some of my favorite photos from Katie’s brand shoot with Dana Gaydon, who is a wizard behind the camera!

5) Acknowledge Any Nerves or Insecurities

When you have visitors on your website, they’ll be looking at you as an expert of your craft. It may seem challenging but you’re going to be seen that way, so try to embody it on set too. Move around in your photos, get your wiggles out and take breaks if your feet or face start hurting. Let your photographer know if there are specific things that are hard for you to see in photos and they will likely be able to help pose you… or more likely, notice when your smile goes from genuine to obligatory.

Bonus – Bring a Tripod and Take BTS on YOUR Device(s)

The photographer is giving you their full attention, try setting up your camera or phone for a behind the scenes video! This will make great B-roll footage and allow you to tease the shoot before the photos are finalized. Just remember your phone charger so it doesn’t die!

Finally, you’re working with a professional, so trust the process! There are tons of amazing photographers out there, it’s more about finding the right fit for Y O U! If you don’t trust your eye for aesthetics, consider working with a photographer who can steer you in the right direction (hint: Dana is one of those) and/or get really clear on your brand identity first!

Here’s the deal. We all want to get the most out of our brand shoot, and preparation is key. Katie is my favorite example of this because, her shoot with Dana created so much personality for the website’s visuals while staying incredibly on brand.

Web design client: Reichert Creative, Photo credit: Dana Gaydon.

You’re going to look (and FEEL) fantastic, I just know it!

Thanks for being here, you’re an absolute gem.

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