I was sitting in my hotel room, chatting with my firecracker Hair and Makeup Artist, Marci. Makeup, brushes, curling irons, carrots and my shake littered the space.
Even though I’m a professional photographer, and I’ve set up countless photo shoots, I still had butterflies in my stomach.
Because this was MY photo shoot. And, not just any photo shoot! One for my new brand and coaching business. I was feeling the pressure to deliver on my own goals here. And, despite my extensive planning, I had things to learn.
My brand photos came out even better than I expected them to, but I definitely learned some new things during the process.
Here are five things you need to know before your first (or next!) brand photoshoot:
1 – Pick the best “raw” ingredients
In the same way that great chefs say that quality ingredients are the precursor to delicious food, your photographer and team are the precursors to incredible brand images.
I suggest heavily researching your photographer and asking relevant questions. See if they’ve ever done a brand photo shoot before (because it’s different from a normal portrait session). Make sure you peek at their portfolio and love their existing work.
Also, great additions to your team may be a professional hair and makeup artist, stylist and photo shoot assistant.
2 – Don’t Overstuff Your Shoot
So, even me, a professional photographer, was guilty of this one. I was way overzealous with my pose and location desires, and we ended up not getting to everything.
To combat the itch to try to put all of your brand photo shoot goals into one shoot, make a list of the most important shots/setups/outfits and go from there. If you have time to get to the “like to have” after you’re done with your “must haves”, you’re golden.
3 – Source Locations Ahead of Time
Your photographer can be a big help with this one. They often know where you’re able to shoot, and what times are best to do so. The last thing you want is to not really have any idea where you want to shoot and to waste time driving around.
4 – Build in a Buffer
Build a healthy buffer of time before the shoot, so that you can get ready without stress. Your prep time is a great opportunity to connect with your goals and step into the right mindset for your shoot.
Things will come up, and you often underestimate how much time is needed to get everything in the car, or finish up your hair and makeup, or make breakfast. So, I highly recommend giving yourself more time than you think you need.
5 – Lay it Out
My last tip is sort of a no-brainer, and I’m not sure why I didn’t do this! I had all of my wardrobe pieces organized and in one spot, but I wasn’t sure what outfits were going to go with what location.
It turned out to be a huge stressor for me during the shoot, because I was trying to make that decision on the fly. It felt much heavier than it should have, even though I love fashion and know what works!
All that being said, it’s wise to get super clear on exactly what needs to be on your body and when. The less you have to think about during the shoot, the more you can embody what you need to for your brand.
I’d love to hear from you! Have you ever had a brand photo shoot, and what was your experience like? What was the biggest thing you took away from this post?