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How to Prepare for a Brand Photo Shoot

Having a successful brand photo shoot is a vital part of your business. Often it can include everything from your headshots to the pictures you use for your marketing materials. It is intended to tell the story of your business while linking together the visual identity of your brand.  This central role in your marketing means that properly preparing for a brand photo shoot is incredibly important for your brand. Below are six tips on how to prepare for a brand photo shoot. 

Choose the Right Photographer 

Choosing the right photographer is a big part of preparation. First, make sure they are a professional headshot photographer. Don’t seek the help of your family friend just because they have a camera.  Just because someone can take the photo, doesn’t mean you want them for your brand photo shoot. Also make sure they specialize in the correct genre. You don’t want a sports photographer to conduct a brand photo shoot, just like you wouldn’t want a headshot photographer shooting a sports game. Making sure they have the correct speciality will ensure that your professional photo shoot will result in high quality photographs.  

Now that you know that they can do the job well, look for someone you get along with. You and your photographer should be relaxed around one another and be able to communicate with ease. This is someone who is going to be in your personal space, following you around with a camera. It is necessary to genuinely click with the photographer. This connection will result in more natural photos during the photo shoot. The key is to find a photographer can deliver well composed photographs and a positive experience.


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Discuss Your Project with Your Photographer

Now that you’ve found a photographer that you can easily communicate with, discuss your project and what you had in mind for the brand photo shoot. Talk about it your photos are for a website or social media channels. Tell them what your brand colors are and the mood you are trying to convey. Use the following questions to help provide as much information as possible. 

  • What is your personality? Your tone of voice? Are you silly, friendly, serious, intellectual, creative, etc.? 
  • What is the focus on your business identity? Is it down-to-earth, corporate, sophisticated, luxury, etc.?
  • How are you going to share these photos with your clients? Are they going to be on your website? On Instagram? On LinkedIn? Each online space has a different feel and it’s best to match it. 

All of this information will help your photographer better understand your style and character. It’ll also help them plan the right photos that will match your brand. 


Choose the Location of Your Photo Shoot 

Choosing the right location for your brand photo shoot will make a major difference in the end product. The goal is to a find location that reflects your brand. For example: if you blog about organic gardening a great place for a photo shoot would be a community garden.

Photographers will often have suggestions for you, but you’ll want to consider several options before deciding on a location. Consider these common location options:

  • If you are looking for your images to have a serious feel, a studio might be the right place for you. The simple background and professional lighting will help to highlight you individually while maintaining a professional and serious feel.
  • Your working environment is also an option for your professional photo shoot location. The background will reflect your professional surroundings and the imagery will fit your professional image. 
  • Another popular location is outside. These locations incorporate natural sunlight and provide clean, fresh photos appropriate for both professional networks and more casual social media sites. 

Your headshot doesn’t have to fit into one of these categories, but it is a good place to start when considering where your brand photo session should take place. 


Choose Your Outfit and Accessories

Choosing a wardrobe is a large part of preparation for your brand photo shoot. The right outfit will ensure that you achieve the professional results you are hoping for. A few considerations when choosing your outfit and accessories for your professional photo shoot:

Multiple outfits are a great way to get several styles of photos. Pick styles that can be easily swapped without much fuss. If outfit changes aren’t possible, then consider wearing layers so you can quickly change your look. 

Look for outfits that give you shape. While flowing dresses have beautiful movement, they can seem a bit flat in photographs. Outfits that mimic your shape will produce better results. 

Choose “non-fussy” accessories. By this we mean that you should make sure the accessories you choose don’t easily fall out or fall out of place. You don’t want to fuss with your accessories every few minutes. 

Above all, choose something where you feel like yourself. Even if your outfit is amazing, it will show if you don’t feel comfortable in it.

Consider Props

Depending on your location, you may want to include props during your brand photo shoot. Props help to bring your photo shoot to life and provide visual cues about your profession. Props can be anything from coffee mugs, balloons, books, etc. Consider the following options: 

  • Instruments of your trade 
  • General work-related items (laptops, notebooks, books, pens, etc.)
  • Visually appealing items (brightly colored objects, foods, flowers, etc.)
  • Everyday items (coffee cups, candles, etc.)

Start brainstorming now. What props make sense for your brand photo shoot? Remember that the goal of props is to help you show your personality and profession in the photographs.  

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Be Natural! 

We know, we know… that is easier said than done, especially if you are anxious about your brand photo shoot. 

Consider practicing a few poses before your professional photo shoot. Look at Instagram or LinkedIn; both are great places to find different pose ideas. Then practice those poses in the mirror.

Regardless of the pose you practice, remember to stick to the basics: good posture. Keep your shoulders back and your chest up. Proper posture will help convey a professional persona, regardless of the pose. 

Also be sure to keep your facial expression natural. Most people smile as soon as the photographer points the camera and end up holding the smile a bit too long. This results in a frozen smile. One way to combat this is to look away with a straight face until the photographer  is ready. Then turn to look at the photograph and smile. This will produce a more natural, fresh smile. 

If posing is still not your thing, come up with ways to loosen up and kill the nerves. Try playing music, taking action (walking toward the camera, dancing, etc.), or even having a glass of champagne. They will help you have fun during your brand photo shoot.


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I'm Jacinta — branding expert, web designer, and owner behind Social Circle, a full service creative studio dedicated to helping ambitious female entrepreneurs launch the business of their dreams with ease. 


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