Branded photo shoots seem to be a growing topic across the internet these days and I am a huge advocate for them when it comes to branding your business from top to bottom. I have a lot of clients ask me why they are important to your business and your brand, so let’s talk about it! Why a branded shoot? And what exactly is it?
A Branded Photo Shoot, is a photo shoot in which your brand colors, your themes, images, and business all mingle together in one cohesive photo shoot that represents you and what your business stands for (or at least that’s how I define it). Its a photo shoot that can be used across every aspect for your brand. It can be used on your website, your social media, you name it! It truly represents you and what your business stands for…and it makes your business vision look beautiful in the process! Customized imagery for your brand is SO important when it comes to building the vision and message you are wanting your business to convey. It’s a powerful way to visually attract your audience to your business, as well as give you that extra professional touch. So how exactly do you plan a branded shoot and what does that entail?
The first thing I advise when it comes to organizing your branded photo shoot is to pick a color palette. Selecting your color palette for your brand should be done when you are working on the branding/logo development process. This is where you pick colors for your logo and overall brand. Once you have that vision for your brand in mind, you can pull those colors into your imagery! For example, my business is primarily these 5 colors (with occasional pops of a deep moss green and a grey blue tone).
When it came to planning my branded shoot, it was a no brainer what colors I would base everything around. My style is very minimal, modern and clean, and I knew I needed these images to convey that feeling through my color palette and the overall aesthetic of my brand. I designed myself a mood board on Pinterest and when I arrived the day of my photo shoot, I showed my photographer the ideas I had in mind and we went from there! (The mood board even made its way into my branded shoot too!)
The second piece of advice I have when it comes to a branded shoot is to hire a professional photographer that you click with. Elizabeth Jones Photography (now Elizabeth Jones Co. You can check out her website here.) is a Houston based photographer who I have admired for years. Her work is natural, organic, light, airy, and very warm and welcoming. She photographs people in a way that makes you feel like you could be friends with them, like you know their story just by looking at her images. That’s what I wanted through my images. I wanted people to feel like they could sit down and have a cup of coffee and talk for hours about their life, their business, and their story with me. Elizabeth and I clicked right away, and I ended up designing her rebrand! (Later blog post to come..). You want to book a photographer who gets you! A photographer that can make you laugh and feel comfortable. If you feel rigid and you feel like your vision isn’t being understood, your audience won’t see it either. You want to feel like you’re in your element! Like they’re stepping into your life and seeing who you really are at heart.
The third thing to make sure to do before your brand shoot is to come in with ideas of what you want photographed. When you think of your brand, what do you want people to feel? What do you want your ideal and potential clients to think? What type of personality do you have when people meet you? Are you bubbly and outgoing? Maybe you’re more quiet and reserved? Believe it or not your photographer can capture this through your shot list and concepts you have in mind. When I came to my photo shoot I had a clear idea of what I wanted to photograph. I wanted there to be photos of me working in an office, jotting ideas or sketches down in a notebook, smiling and looking friendly (of course 😉 ) and I also wanted shots of me being relaxed and natural. I didn’t want things to feel stiff or posed, but warm and welcoming instead! It was like Elizabeth saw my brand through my eyes and pulled it out for the world to see and I honestly couldn’t be happier with my photos!
The fourth piece of advice I have when it comes to branded shoots, is to come prepared. What does this mean? As I mentioned above, I wanted shots of me working, sketching, enjoying a cup of coffee, etc. which meant I needed to prep those things ahead of time for my photo shoot! After all, who knows my brand better than I do?? If you want your photo shoot to convey these concepts, you have to be prepared for them, and that means bringing props! I needed to have items that spoke to the image I wanted to convey, the brand I wanted to show off. This meant planning my outfits to coordinate to my colors, having a hair and makeup artist (or doing it yourself if you don’t want to budget for it! Nothing wrong with that), bringing props that coordinated with my brand, etc. All of these things help to bring your brand image to life! You can’t expect your client to interpret your ideas, you have to make your visions come to life and show them who you are!
The final piece of advice I have is this, HAVE FUN WITH IT! I am a strong advocate for being your true, original, authentic self. I fully believe in being who you are and showing that through your brand, after all, it is your business. Maintain your professionalism, but don’t be afraid to have fun! Brand shoots are a treat to your business and you should fully enjoy the experience from start to finish! Brand shoots are so incredibly important to your business and if you’re not enjoying it along the way, what’s the point? Have fun with your photographer! Explore your creativity and be yourself! Being yourself will always shine through your branding and show the world what you have to offer it!