Best Kept Secrets for a Successful Brand Photoshoot

brand photoshoot of woman sitting on white kitchen counter eating berries

Professional brand photos not only elevate your brand, they elevate your confidence! However, there are many things that factor into the success of your shoot. Here are my top tips for having the brand shoot of your dreams!

Find an actual brand photographer!

Your brand is not something you want to trust to a “jack of all trades” photographer. Just because someone can take a beautiful photo, doesn’t mean they can take proper brand photos. A brand photoshoot will be a significant investment into your business. But the results are WELL worth it. Things to look for when booking a photographer:

  • This may be stating the obvious, but quality of photos is incredibly important. Are their clients able to use the photos in many ways for their online marketing? Are they clear images that draw you in? I like to think of brand photos as being “magazine worthy”.
  • Personality! Having a brand photoshoot is an incredibly personal journey. You’ll be working closely with this photographer to capture the very essence of who you are. You want to make sure you are comfortable with them, that they are easy to talk to, and will be able to bring out your best.
  • Posing is KEY! Few things are worse during a photoshoot than standing in front of a camera wondering what in the hell you’re supposed to be doing. It is your photographer’s job to know how to pose you to make you look natural, and be seen in the best light (the wrong pose can easily add 10-20 lbs on you in photos!)
  • What makes them a brand photographer? How deep do they dig into the branding process with you? When I’m working with my clients, I need to have a solid understanding of their brand strategy. I call it the 3 C’s; Personal Clarity, Client Clarity, and Business Clarity. Even my most experienced business owners fill out these questionnaires so I can get to know them and their brand intimately.
Be clear on your 3 C’s.

You need to have a solid brand strategy, so you can capture photos that truly reflect your brand.

  • Personal Clarity: What makes you unique? What is your story? How do people see you, and how do we make your personality shine through in the images?
  • Client Clarity: Who are you serving? What imagery will speak to them? What is their ideal lifestyle?
  • Business Clarity: What are your core brand values? What services do you currently provide, and what do you plan to provide in the future? What is your client experience?

Over the years, I’ve developed in-depth questionnaires that help my clients gain clarity in these areas, and even in their overall life!

Location, Props, and Wardrobe!

It’s true, location IS everything (and I’m not talking about real estate here). Where you have your shoot is one of THE most important elements to plan around. Many of my clients will travel for their shoots, I’ll travel to them, or we will both travel together for the perfect location. One of my favorite questions on my brand questionnaires is “If your brand were a city, which city would it be?” That doesn’t necessarily mean we will be going to that city, but it gives me a clear picture of the vibe of their brand.

When thinking about props, think of things that really speak to who you are as a person. Are you a crazy cat lady and you own it? Bring some funky kitty props to the shoot. Do you love your coffee in the morning in your favorite mug? Bring it! Into journaling? Bring journals and pens in your brand colors. I love incorporating fresh flowers into shoots too! Also keep in mind, what props will speak to your clients and pique their interest.

For your wardrobe, I highly recommend working with a stylist. I have a few I recommend and would be happy to send you their way if you ask! If you are not able to hire a stylist, here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your outfits.

  • You want a MINIMUM of 3 looks for your shoot. Variety is important for a full brand shoot. (If you’re just doing a mini shoot, this won’t be possible).
  • Wear clothes that fit well and that you feel CONFIDENT in. For example…If a shirt is tight in the midsection, you’re going to notice it in your photos. As long as you’re ok with that, great! But if there are parts of your body you feel self-conscious about, make sure you are wearing clothing that is flattering for those parts.
  • Wear clothes that your clients will actually see you in and that match your brand. As a general rule, don’t wear an evening gown for your shoot if you’re always seen in yoga pants and a t-shirt.
Last minute photoshoot prep!

You’ll want to clear your calendar the day before and the day of your shoot. Take time in the days before to get a mani (and pedi if your feet will be showing). Set out and organize all of your outfits, putting accessories and shoes with each one. I recommend taking a quick pic of each ensemble so on the day of your shoot you know which outfit you want to change into next. Make sure clothing is wrinkle/lint free. It’s a great idea to bring a lint roller and mini steamer on location.

Box up and organize all props so they are ready to go for the day of your shoot. Trust me, you want to have this done ahead of time.

Try to avoid tan lines for your photos if possible.

Take shoes to walk in the day of your shoot.

And Lastly….

Stop putting off your shoot. Don’t wait until you lose those 20 lbs. You can have another shoot when you do. A good photographer will help you see the best in yourself, exactly as you are right now. You’ll walk away from your shoot with more confidence and charisma, which will give your business a huge boost in and of itself.

brand photoshoot of woman standing in surf wearing white dress

If you have any questions for Shannon, or want to know how you can work with her, check out her site and reach out to her at at www.shannonconfair.com.

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credits

Created with Sketch.

Michelle Viljoen

(website design) is a graphic designer and brand consultant who specializes in creating and developing brands. Her core focuses are logo development, website design and brand direction.

Jane Reaction

(logo and original branding) is a graphic design and art director who works with with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, creating cohesive and interesting brands and websites.

Carrie Coleman

(photography) is a wedding photographer, whose goal is to capture the visual expression of a couple's love through timeless, organic images. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.