Branding is an incredibly important aspect of your marketing. Branding visuals play an enormous role in establishing and maintaining your brand. At Humphrey House Studios we aim to show you that a successful branding shoot has a lot more to do with strategizing and what is going on in front of the camera rather than with who is behind it.
Several factors will go into the preparation for your session to ensure that you are getting exactly what you need out of your session. A successful production begins with a clear vision and well-thought-out goals. Clarifying everything from your core values, style, brand identity, target audience and goals will allow you to communicate your vision and make sure you and your photographer/videographer are both on the same page.
Here are the best ways to prepare for your Session:
"What is my end goal with the visuals?" Do you want to use the images for your website, social media, business cards, marketing campaign, advertisements, etc.? Then think about where those places will be used and how. For example, if you are launching a website, your designer will need photos for the about me, site header, and hero image. If you are planning on doing email marketing, you will need individual photos of each person to use in connection with their bio.
Here are some different places you might need branded photos: Bio headshots for website, newsletter header, newsletter photos, pricing guides, Instagram bio photo, Reels, IGTV video thumbnail, Contributor photos (when you are a guest speaker or guest on a podcast or a guest blog writer) business-related opt-ins/free resources, promotional pamphlets/flyers, business cards, advertising, and blog posts. There are many other uses for photos that tie into your marketing efforts. Once you know what your target audience wants to hear or see, and what emotions they are looking for from your brand you can then start brainstorming how this shoot will help you communicate these things effectively.
Brainstorm & Create a Mood Board
The concept of a mood board is to create an environment that inspires you with a variety of ideas. There are many ways to create one. I prefer to create my mood boards on Pinterest because it is easy for me to pin images/videos, organize collections and send to the client to collaborate and save ideas they may have.
I also check for inspiration on Instagram. I have saved Instagram posts that incorporated visuals that reflect my style or target market. This makes it easy to refer to them later.
Moodboard created for @TheFashionWelder
Create a Shot List
Now that you have some inspiring images pinned and your goals all lined up it's time to create a shot list to share with your photographer. Depending on your business and the goals you have decided on you may want some shots of yourself, some working shots, some product shots, etc.… just have something to share with your photographer. If you have any campaigns in mind, promotions, holidays, or launches that you will be having in the next couple of months that might not be tied to your main goal of the shoot include this on your list.
Props can help to create settings that are more interesting and engaging. Your customers have very short attention spans which means you need to create images that capture their attention. Props can be used to tie together the feel of your website and print design with your logo and branding, e.g.: - a prop could be a spoon for a cooking brand, or a laptop for an online retailer, iPhone/tablet, laptop, your favorite drink, a glass of wine, playful accessories, Camera/Keys/Contracts/Essential Oils/ Utensils/Flowers/Scissors/etc. or anything related to your brand.
This will require some research and thought. Your brand could fall into various categories – fashion, culture, beauty, media, wellness, lifestyle – which means that the perfect location for one brand could be terrible for another. Just like everything in the world, there is no one size fits all approach.
You might say that location does not matter, but actually, it does. The location plays a vital role in the overall success of breathing life into your brand visuals. Your background is just as important as the garments you wear during the session. The location you choose for the shoot changes the way that clients perceive you and your brand, so choose wisely.
What to wear
The style of the photoshoot, the location, and the equipment you use are all key factors. But make no mistake, what you wear is just as important. We all want to look our best in photos, but how should we dress for a branding photoshoot?
Look in your wardrobe and choose a combination of colors that suits you. What colors do you feel confident in? Go with what you are comfortable with. If you are not sure, ask your photographer for recommendations, look to your favorite brands—what colors are they using? Expensive or designer brands tend to use simple palettes: blue, black, grey, white, and the occasional pop of brighter color. Less expensive brands tend to use brighter palettes and more different tones of each color. Companies are often trying to build a brand personality through their colors. Your outfit should resonate with your brand visual.
Preparing for a photoshoot is just as important as the session itself. Planning your clothing, props, and makeup in advance not only ensures you make the most of your time but also helps the photographer choose props and settings to create exactly the vibe you want. Make sure to welcome any feedback from your photographer. Even if you feel confident in your style or image, and familiar with how best to present yourself on camera, they will be seeing things from a fresh perspective and may suggest some tweaks that result in even better photos.
Your branding visuals should be exactly that – your brand. The imagery or videos should reflect your brand’s identity, not your identity. No matter how you look at it, branding photography is a form of advertising. The images that you will have created with your photographer will be the ones that will represent your products or service to the world. By following these tips, you can be more confident in your choices and make sure that they complement your brand strategy. I hope this guide will help you have a more successful preparation for your branding photo shoot session. The HHS Branding Experience includes a brand strategy call to plan your session. During this call, we will discuss your brand identity, your ideal target audience, location, and what to wear during your session. I can also recommend a personal stylist who is an expert at analyzing colors, body shapes and finding the right outfits.