Six Steps to Pulling Off Your Branding Shoot

Nov 28, 2018

If you’re here, reading this, I’m happy dancing and raising a glass to you. Why? Because you are prepping for your branding shoot! You are taking serious impactful steps for your business. 

Your brand, your website, your whole LOOK and credibility is about to shine and get us closer to those clients who’ve been trying to find you. You understand that engaging + personable images are one of the most powerful ways to connect to your audience! 

What excites me the most about branding photoshoots? Setting the stage for you to stand out online by staying totally true to who you are.

Now go ahead and pat yourself on the shoulder. 

Because you’re here, we have time to prepare and get the absolute most out of your experience and investment. Knocking this out of the park will set your brand up for months of beautiful content and fun ways to strategize all of your online marketing needs.

Okay enough words. Let’s dive in! I’ve compiled six things to keep top of mind as you start to plan for the most epic photoshoot ever!


1) What type of content placement do we hope to use these photos for?

Are these for 80% Instagram content? Fresh images on the website? Do we need specific images for your email newsletter? Jot down all of the platforms you hope to use the images for. This will help you keep in mind what exactly you need to shoot AND give you an idea for what you need to tell your photographer.

If you want to update all of your website images and almost all of those images are vertical, we need to express that to the photographer.

You should start working on a shot list of necessary images you need for website pages, launches coming up – whatever it is! Keep in mind though, a lot of photoshoots flow in an organic way. So, by shot list I do not mean, a list of 100 specific poses. Gear your shot list towards specific themes and looks you want to make sure you get!

2) What do we want our audience to feel when they see these images?

It’s important to remember that your brand photos match up with your brand’s personality + values. So before you start stressing over what you’re going to wear, ask yourself, ‘How do I want people to see my brand?’ ‘What feels authentic?’ ‘What feels like me?’

Presenting a cohesive brand to your audience is key to showing people who you are and exactly what your business does. The goal is to connect with them before they even meet us – to ignite that spark!

Now, start jotting down words that make sense for your brand and your audience. Do we want them to feel… calm when their eyes scroll to your photo, a sense of trust? Or maybe they should feel vibrancy and happiness, like they actually kind of giggle when they see your post! What about, empowered? Maybe it’s a sense of “YES. I CAN!” + encouragement when they think of you.

Relay these words to your photographer. Emotion is one of the BIGGEST pieces of capturing a brand. We want to attract the right kind of emotion to the right people ready to feel it.

3) Locations that make sense!

Now that we’ve laid out some ground work for what we need to execute overall, we can jump in to the visuals! Keeping those words you jotted down in step two in mind, what colors and backgrounds sync up?

Take some time to scout out locations that make you feel connected to your brand and personality (your photographer will be able to share suggestions with you too here!).  Find places that inspire you, make you feel relaxed, and just totally in your element.

If shooting in front of crowds and busy public areas is going to make you nervous, steer towards more private locations.

The other thing I want you to think about here, where are your clients/your ideal customers hanging out? What are some places that they will connect to when they see your brand photos?


4) The ‘I NEED TO GO SHOPPING!’ part.

Okay my friend, put down the credit card for a moment – you don’t need a new closet before your shoot. A few new pieces, yeah maybe! I think it’s just FACT that we women feel untouchable in a new top or new pair of jeans. But, you should wear pieces that make sense to you and I have a feeling that a lot of what’s already in your closet, is just that!

Keep your brand color palette in mind when pulling pieces for your shoot. Not every photo needs to have the same three colors – but you should stay inside the realm of your branding color scheme. If you’re brand is very colorful, happy, and bright – it wouldn’t make sense to wear black in several of your looks now would it? And vice versa, if your brand look has a lot of neutral tones, keep those outfit selections in tune of whites, greys, taupes, and greens!

The most important thing to keep in mind? Choose an outfit that makes you look and feel amazing! Make sure your clothes fit well and are flattering to your body type; the last thing you want to do on the day of your shoot is feel awkward in front of the camera and stiff because your shirt is too short or breathing is hard in that one paid of high waited jeans.

I suggest putting on each outfit you plan to wear and getting your hubby, your girlfriend, or heck..all smart phones have a self timer now, and take a few photos in each outfit at different angles. This will give you a good feel of how it is going to photograph!

5) Choosing a photographer that gets it!

There are two really important things you should take into account when searching for the right person to document these important and personable images for you.

1 ) Does their style match up? 

2 ) Does their vibe match up?

1 – Pay attention to the types of photos they have on their website and social platforms. What you see is what you will get. It’s important you find their editing style matches up with what you are going for! If you are searching for colorful vibrant photos, make sure the photographer edits in that style. If you like darker more contrasted tones, find the photographer that shoots and edits in that style!

2 – Aside from their visual aesthetic, they probably have their own unique “vibe” as well and way they photograph people. This is where you need to make sure your energy matches up and that you guys are going to connect. You probably aren’t in front of the camera all that it’s crucial your photographer makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. 

I advise first to look at their portfolio, are the people in those photos exuding the emotion you are going after? Some photographers are BALLER at getting big belly laughs and genuine smiles out of their subjects. While others are BALLER at stripping down emotion and softness out of their subjects. 

Next, get on the phone or grab a coffee with them to share your vision and personality with them and see what ideas and direction they can also bring to the shoot!

6) Get outside of your head and have fun!

On the day of your branding shoot, get outside of your head. Leave your insecurity and overwhelm at the door. You’ve planned, shopped, made a make-up appointment, and today you are treating yourself.

Most days it isn’t about you at all. You are serving your clients and the world with your gifts and talents – and today you are taking an afternoon to give back to your brand. 

The more fun you have with this – the better the gallery! Be open, be playful, and laugh at yourself. You are on your way to an incredible visual brand that aligns perfectly with the special + fun person you are in real life, too.

Did this article help you? I’d love to know! Tag us in your own branding shoot photos so we can give some love to you! 

With love,

Julia Fay.



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