There are 5 Parts to a Great Branding Shoot...
Today I wanted to write about these parts of a branding photoshoot and how they affect the overall outcome of your photos!
Branding photography is a lot more than simply taking a business owner, shooting them wherever and revealing some headshots of them. Branding Photography is all about how these 5 components work together to achieve a representation of you and your brand!
So without further ado, let’s go!
Aesthetic by definition is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste, as well as art. Basically, what people feel when they see your brand!
With branding photography it is sooo important to know your aesthetic because THAT is what sets you apart from your competition and that is what really helps me as a branding photographer assist you in making aesthetic-appropriate decisions for your photoshoot to best represent your brand.
To help with this I send out a detailed questionnaire for all my clients to fill out that includes a space to put in their brand colors and a link to a Pinterest board. Some photographers hate this because it limits our own creativity (I admit, as a wedding photographer Pinterest Boards were enemy #1), but now that I’m doing branding I find that it helps so much with me conceptualizing ways to get the most out of our shoot together.
Now, just like any other photographer, I have my own aesthetic which is what I like to call light, fresh and a lil’ moody. When looking for a branding photographer you should search primarily in terms of if their aesthetic and whether it matches yours or not.
The reason why photographers stick with their own aesthetic and are not going to suddenly change to a dark and moody photographer when they’ve only been shooting light and airy for five years is consistency and recognition. If I changed my style to suit every other brand, the alignment in aesthetics just isn’t going to be there- plus, people will never truly know what to expect from me if I keep on changing my style.
The same goes for YOU! Your aesthetic should not change for anyone (photographer included) and by sticking to your brand colors and finding a branding photographer that fits your style you can easily achieve this.
This is THE most important part because it’s going to affect every other part of your branding shoot!
TIPS FOR FINDING YOUR AESTHETIC:
- Read up on color psychology and color theory to determine your brand colors
- Create a Pinterest Board that inspires your brand and your values (here’s mine)
- List out 5-10 adjectives that describe you and your brand
- Is your brand more serious or more laidback? Straight to the point or nurturing? In-your-face or subtle?
Alright, next up we have our location! Once we have our Pinterest board and our aesthetic clearly established, it should be pretty easy to brainstorm some ideas for locations for our shoot!
When I have a client who is all about clean living and creating healthy recipes I automatically think about a simple white kitchen or maybe a picnic table somewhere out in nature.
For a busy web designer who loves iced coffee, a home office or a cute local coffee shop are much more suited to her!
I tend to do the majority of the brainstorming for my clients because I find it so enjoyable (and turns out brainstorming is my #1 skill after taking a strengths test??) but if you have somewhere special in mind PLEASE bring it to the table!!
If you are like my new client Rebecca who just finished remodeling her office space, GUESS WHERE WE’RE GOING?
And depending on what package clients are interested in I usually suggest two or three locations to get the most out of our time together. I love mixing up indoor and outdoor and more business-oriented and casual areas to cover all aspects of your brand!
Now that we know where we’re going, it’s time to figure out what to wear!! Okay maybe some fashionistas love this part but turns out nearly all my clients (myself included when it’s my turn to be in front of the camera) tend to have a hard time figuring out what kind of outfit they’d like to wear for their shoot.
But hark! I am here to enlighten you! Based on your Pinterest board and what I’ve found of your personal style from stalking...I mean following you on all your social media accounts, I brainstorm some killer outfit ideas that are super in-line with your brand’s aesthetic but also still feel YOU (that part is SUPER important, y’all).
I may come up with ideas, but this is usually the part of the Client Call that we spend the most time working out because clients hate shopping/don’t want to get dressed up/are nervous about what to wear/don’t have anything in their closets.
Cause here’s the thing: as much as I want your clothes to be you, your clothes (like everything else) still need to be in-line with your brand's aesthetic. (Or at least on the same planet). If your brand is super bright and colorful and funky and high-end but you only ever wear black sweatpants, how believable and authentic will you be to your potential customers?
I know this sounds harsh and I never want anyone to make them feel like they’re pressured into being someone they’re not, but I do want to emphasize that it is important to look like you and your brand are actually associated with one another.
You ever hear the phrase “wear what you want to attract?” Same thing applies here.
Good news is that we can blend your personal style with what will attract your ideal clients! Maybe we take your all black clothing and add in some fun pops of color like a bright pink vintage jacket or some sunshine yellow shoes.
I have a Style Guide that I send out to my clients on general tips and tricks to flatter any body type and how to incorporate brand colors!
- Jewelry or a colored jacket are great ways to bring in your brand colors to your shoot!
- Take this opportunity to add some new items into your closet if you want to pull off a killer shoot but you don’t yet have any on-brand clothing!
- Make sure you still feel comfortable and kick-ass is whatever you decide to wear for your shoot (even if it’s a little new to you!). This will help you feel more relaxed and confident for photos!
After we’ve got our outfit nailed down then it’s time to work on props!
I organize props into what I call Decorative Props, Standard Props and Business-Specific Props and Personalized Props.
Decorative Props include anything that’ll we’ll be decorating the location with! If you’re a plant-lover and we’re shooting in your living room, make sure to get ALL your plants in there! If you love to travel, maybe we’ll decorate your studio with photos of your travels.
Standard Business Props include items like your laptop, a cup of your favorite drink, pens/pencils, a notebook and your cell phone.
Business-Specific Props are tools that are...yeah, you get it, business-specific. As a photographer I may bring my camera, camera bag, SD cards and lenses. A florist may brings scissors, ribbon, flowers, vases, etc.
Personalized Props are for the fun parts where you get to inject YOUR personality into your shoot! I always make a point of bringing a Harry Potter book to my branding shoots because I’m a huge nerd and that’s an aspect of my brand I love showing off and that people can relate to.
You may bring your favorite food, or book or anything else you love!
- As you go through your day, write down a list of all of the specialized tools you use!
- Depending on where we’re shooting, ask yourself how we may be able to dress up the space?
- Think of incorporating your band colors or any thematic elements like symbols into your props!
5. WHAT TO SHOOT
Well we’ve pretty much a perfect mix at this point but I still always like to establish ahead of time WHAT we’ll be shooting!
What kind of photography or videography does your brand need right now? (Yes, I do both!) Do you need more promotional images for a new launch or product coming out? Do you need headshots to update all of your social media or are you more in need of a teaser trailer for your website?
If you just got headshots done two months ago you may be more lacking in product shots or vice versa!
I want to spend our time according to what your brand needs and not waste any of it. (If you need help evaluating this I am more than happy to do so!)
And there you have it!
The anatomy of a branding photoshoot! I hope this helps give you a much better understanding of what exactly it takes to execute a killer branding shoot and why each and every part is so important!
If you have any other questions or are interested in a shoot of your own (and my photography aesthetic matches your brands), just give me a shout here!
Ta ta for now, friends!