What does it take to have the perfect brand shoot? A LOT, and sometimes you need a few brand shoots to get it right. But lucky you, I’ve already done that. I’m here to prep you so you can have the best brand shoot, find the best photographer and make sure you’ve got all the right props in place so you don’t miss a beat!
This is exactly what I tell my clients prior to their brand shoot so that they have incredible photos for their social brand and their website, remember you want to be cohesive across the board so your style is recognized.
1. Organize your clothes to be on brand
I can’t stress this enough, take the time to organize your clothing selection. Make sure it is on brand with your color palette, nothing sucks more than having a neutral brand vibe and your entire closet is bright orange and pinks. You will hate every minute of being in a color that you know isn’t your brand, trust me I’ve been there. I wore baby pink to a shoot when I knew I wanted my brand to be boho, earth tones. Yep it sucked and I learned.
So make sure you’re trying your pieces on before hand, tops and bottoms can all mix and match and are in style with your vibe and colors!
2. LOTS of Props
You can never have too many props! Go crazy, be the person who overpacks on props you’ll thank me later. When you’re trying to pose for a photo and you’re tired of holding the same damn glass of wine, or be sitting behind your computer thinking you could be holding a bag of popcorn in your left hand because that’s your fav and throwing it up in the air (yes, get creative). Props also help with your photographer creating your own stock imagery, which is on brand for YOU.
My go to Props:
- Wine glasses + Wine (duh)
- Print outs of your mood board that your designer created for you! This is just genius so do it! worth the couple bucks printing out at your local staples.
- Coffee/mugs (switch it up with the wine glass, think morning photo vs your #TGIF photo)
- Food (chips, cookies, charcuterie board, croissants, etc, and don’t be afraid of eating it you can get some good shots stuffing your face #trustme)
- Stickers, glitter, neon signs, road signs, etc
The list can go on but get creative and make sure it matches with your vibe and brand that is the key
3. Location, Location, Location
If you’re like me you probably don’t live in an on-brand AF million dollar mansion or a really nice home that was decorated by an interior designer. You know those homes you see on airbnb that are $500+/night?
Well, guess what? I stalk air bnb and heart all the homes in my area or in driving distance that I love. When looking for homes on air bnb I make sure the colors in the home are going to match well or if I’m lucky they’re on brand, there’s lot of light in the home and it’s staged well. I then take a look at their calendar and message the host. I let them know who I am (small biz owner looking to get a brand shoot done) I love the vibe of their home and was wondering if they’d be willing to rent the house to me for a few hours or a half day on their OFF day. You don’t want to inconvenience anyone, make it work in their favor. They make money on a day that wasn’t filled, win win. I always let them know I don’t touch anything and bring my own stuff and keep the place exactly as I left it.
Some have said no due to the fact they want multiple days booked, but I have found 2 homes that let me rent their space and they just wanted me to tag them on IG or take a few professional shots of their space. Done! I also got to use a gorgeous stage home that was a show home for a builder in town, these homes were stunning. It was epic! You can snoop it here.
I also recommend having an outdoor photoshoot as well, get on the streets, in a coffee shop, in a field, on a mountain, in the water… yes in the water. My favorite photos were at the end of a photoshoot in the lake getting my hair and clothes wet. Just going to drop that image here…
I’m no model but, posing can get awkward and sometimes you have no idea what to do with your hands (insert hand on hip pose). Don’t panic, ask your photographer for some direction, they can see you and direct you. Tell them what you like and what you don’t like, or what your vision is! Share a Pinterest board prior to so they can understand what you’re after.
My number one tip for anyone getting a brand photoshoot is get away from your laptop and phone, hence the props list I provided above. Turn on some music, start dancing, laugh, stuff your face (gracefully) with food, pop bubbly, pour wine, laugh at your own laugh, walk slow motion, throw popcorn in the air (I did this, it turned out amazing). Honestly anything goes and you’ll be surprised at how your personality shines through rather than the same photos of you sitting, standing, or behind your computer. A few of these are good, but you’ll notice that you’ll love the others way more!
5. Different Focal Points
Remember to ask your photographer to take multiple distance shots, super close, close, mid way and far. On top of that you want to make sure they take photos in portrait mode and landscape, this will provide you with photos for social and website #check! You don’t want to be stuck with gorgeous photos only in portrait mode and those do not work well on a website banner.
6. Choosing your Photographer
Do your research!!! A photographer who doesn’t understand your vibe because they don’t take photos the way you’re envisioning is not going to be the right one for you. I made this mistake, I had two photographers that shot light and bright, they also edited that way. They could not capture a boho, dark vibe it wasn’t their style.
I searched through Instagram’s hashtags of photographers in my area, and all the photos that appealed to me I would go through. They had to have a certain edit and vibe, the ones I loved were actually all by the same photographer. I ended up reaching out to her….three photo sessions later we are great friends and she just gets me. Each time we rent a space and take photos I feel empowered, I love myself, we have fun and the photos just get better and better. So do your research!
Get creative and have fun! Here are a few more photos to inspire you from brand shoot. xo, Tina