Preparing for a brand photo shoot

Preparing for a brand photoshoot

One of the best investments that you can make for your brand is to invest in photography. There is so much content out there and custom made visuals will make your brand stand out. If you hire a photographer to create a series of photos for your brand you can make sure that those visuals are unique and that they fit your brand voice. Here are 7 steps you can take to make the most of your photography investment:

1. Think about where the photos will be used

Go over all the places where you will want to use the new images. What will they add to the text? What is the story that the photos will tell? Most photo shoots I’ve worked on for creative brands fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Portrait - headshot(s), while you're working and creating
  • Workspace - your workspace / studio, overview and details
  • Product shoot - simple product image or styled images of the product in context to show how it may be used

2. Make a shotlist & a timeline

Make a list of photos that you’ll need. Include an indication of the format - portrait, landscape, cropped landscape - and the main content of the photo. This will give you an idea of how many different images you’ll need. Think: closeups, portraits, overview images. Go over this list with your photographer and see how long this will take. Some photos will take more styling than others and you’ll need time to set things up differently in between shots.

3. Gather reference images

Collect a selection of sample images that have a similar vibe and content as the images you’d like to take. This will give the photographer a good idea of what you’re after. Don’t replicate these photos directly though; play around with the ideas and make your own series.

4. Location & props

Together with the photographer decide upon a location where you’ll have the photo shoot. You may be able to use your studio, or you can hire a daylight studio or do the shoot outside. You may need several locations to get a variety of shots. The benefit of shooting at home is that you don’t have to bring any large props that will make it feel like a place that people actually live in, because it is. Think about the props you’ll need - always gather a few more than you’ll need; they add variety to the shots. Also think about your color palette here. If you’re doing a portrait shoot, the same goes for your outfit.


5. Consider the light

I highly recommend shooting with natural light if you can. It will give a natural feel to your photos that is tricky to replicate in a studio with artificial lightning. This does mean that you’ll need a space - and a time of day - with lots of natural light available. If you’re not sure, ask your photographer to evaluate the light.

6. Prepare and organise

You’ll save lots of time during the day of the shoot if you are prepared and organised. Make sure all your props are at the location of the shoot and that you can easily find the item you’ll need. You may wish to organise them per shot if there are lots of them. Print the shot list and reference images - or sketches - and add a timeline to it. Make sure that you’re on schedule and change the schedule if unexpected changes come up. It can be smart to ask somebody else to art-direct the shoot if you're going to be in most of the photographs, that way you don't have to multitask all the time.

7. Talk about the editing process

Don't forget to talk to your photographer about the editing process as well. How much time will they need for it? Will they show you a rough selection first before editing or show you the final selection once edited? If you have any preference for the editing process - e.g. brighten up the images as much as possible - this is the time to discuss that with your photographer. Also, if you need the images to be cropped in a certain way the photographer might prefer to do that for you. 

Naomi den Besten