How to hold a branded photo shoot in two hours
Whether you’re a small business in need of a content refresh, or a solopreneur looking to update your headshots – a well branded photo shoot can make a world of difference when it comes to professionally positioning your brand, not to mention overall audience engagement and marketing performance across your platforms.
So, how do you host a branded photo shoot? Well, it’s safe to say that there’s no straight answer to your questions. Variables such as time and budget will differ for everyone, which might leave you feeling a little unsettled, or perhaps overwhelmed at the thought.
The good news is: it’s easier than you think to run a photo shoot for your brand. In fact, our Nook tenants Young Folks Digital held a branded content photo shoot with fellow Nooker Janis House Photography in just two hours. Yup, two hours.
WHY DO I NEED TO HOLD A BRANDED PHOTO SHOOT?
Here’s the thing, your brand is so much more than your logo and your website. It’s an experience, which is why your visuals should help communicate just that. Imagery is an essential part of telling your brand’s ‘story’, it allows your audience to immerse themselves within the guidelines and visual narrative of your brand.
A branded photo shoot is essential for having a cohesive message across your platforms. Whether it be for your social media channels or your website: it’s all about consistency in how you want your brand to look and feel for viewers, not to mention potential customers or clients. The best part? Holding one photo shoot can provide you with up to half a year (if not more) of fresh content for your website and social media.
Whether you’re starting out or in need of a refresh, a branded photo shoot will help you create awareness around your brand’s unique offering, and tell your story.
HOW TO HOLD A BRANDED PHOTO SHOOT
Firstly, don’t panic. A branded photo shoot is a great way to hit refresh on how you’d like your brand to be visually represented, as well as remind yourself of why you started your business in the first place – realign those brand values and guidelines, and get ready for a visual narrative!
It’s no secret that there’s a seriously creative community here in The Nook. We’re HQ for photographers, graphic designers, editors, landscape architects, and a marketing team, just to name a few.
We often see these guys holding branded photo shoots here in our gallery space, like the Young Folks Digital team did not long ago. They were in need of a content refresh for their new website and social channels. They recreated their office, co-ordinated their outfits, used props that aligned with their values, and in case you missed our Instagram stories, they documented the whole thing over the two hour photo shoot.
How’d they do it? Well, here’s the breakdown on how to run a successful branded photo shoot.
PREPARATION IS KEY
If you’re planning to hold any kind of photo shoot, whether you have all day or two hours, preparation is key. By this, we mean knowing your brand’s guidelines and how you want your brand to be conveyed.
The best way to do this is with a mood board (bonus, photographers love being able to see exactly what it is that you’re after, making for a smoother process from start to finish).
Whether you include previous imagery, or you take to Pinterest for some inspiration, a mood board is essential when it comes to preparing a branded photo shoot.
Additionally, talk to your team and let them know well in advance about the shoot. Discuss how they think the brand should be represented through imagery, and talk about how the day should run. And, if there are headshots or lifestyle content involved, don’t forget to discuss outfits.
For the Young Folks Digital team, they considered how their imagery would look within their Instagram feeds, and on their website, leading them to decide on a mostly ‘neutral’ photo shoot.
FINDING THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER FOR YOU
Finding the right photographer is crucial to the success of your photo shoot. Before you go on the hunt, it’s important to really consider the imagery you want to achieve in the end.
Consider style, mood and overall feel when browsing for photographers. But, most importantly, ensure that your photographer can shoot what you need. If you need headshots, we recommend a photographer who has an eye for portraits and lifestyle photography. If you’re looking to hold a product shoot a photographer who understands the requirements for not just your brand, but also your website, is essential.
The Young Folks Digital team chose to work with a photographer who does a little bit of everything, and produces some killer lifestyle shots – meet Janis House, fellow Nook resident and all-star wedding, commercial and creative photographer.
Like most photographers, she takes the time to understand the client’s needs, their brand, and the message they’re trying to convey... No wonder Janis’ shots always hit the mark.
Photographer and photo shoot directors would agree: there’s nothing better than a neatly organised and precise runsheet.
Whether you’re holding a product shoot or a few headshots, a run sheet is an absolute must-have. Your runsheet should include all the little details that will bring the day together. Here’s how Young Folks Digital set out their run sheet:
A list of talent, including names of team members, photographers (and doggos) who will be present on the day.
Props. Every single prop that’s included on the day is written down in the run sheet. This is a life-saving photo shoot step, as it makes you and your entire team accountable. If something’s missing, whether it be a computer or a pen, you’ll know.
What your photographer needs to know. This comes down to knowing your brand, because even if you have a master photographer like the oh-so talented Janis House, it helps to offer a bit of direction in terms of what message you’d like to convey through your imagery.
Photo shoot timeline. If you’re working within a time constraint, this is essential for ensuring you squeeze everything you need into your photo shoot. Break it down into who or what will be included in the shot, how you’d like it to be styled, and roughly how long you expect it to take. This will help your team and your photographer ensure that no photo is overlooked or missed.
Don’t forget to send it to your team and photographer, that way everyone has an idea of how the day should run.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!
If you’re a small business, or a solopreneur, you may not have an office space that’s suitable for a photo shoot. When choosing a space or a location, make sure that it aligns with you and your brand.
A minimalist space with plenty of natural light is your best option, especially once you start to add in multiple props or people. Keep it neat and clean. Here at The Nook, you can hire a studio or the gallery space for your product or brand photo shoot. Our white walls and polished concrete floors are the perfect blank canvas for your photo shoot. Bring your own props and make the space your own, everything from flowers to live snakes – yep, that happened once.
If hiring a space isn’t within your budget, try and look for a spot that acts as a ‘blank canvas’. The Young Folks Digital team used The Nook’s gallery space for their ‘office shots’, and they jumped next door to use a concrete car pack for some additional content shots of the team.
GO FORTH AND PHOTOGRAPH
There you have it, a branded photo shoot isn’t nearly as scary as you thought.
Have some fun, go crazy with the props, but most importantly – choose what’s best for you and your brand.