You have Booked the Branding Shoot...Now What?

September 14, 2021

Congratulations!  You are now committed!

There is still a lot to do, but now you are in the correct headspace to plan.
To start with, you'll need to book your photographer, but that is a separate blog post.

This is a list of some of the things you need to take into account :

a)  How your ideal client is expecting to see you? If you're an attorney, for example, having all your pics in your wetsuit may not sell you effectively. The wetsuit may be nice to include in one photograph for a blog post or to add to the 'about me' section of a website, but it cannot be the main shoot. This is also a good time to think about whether you would prefer a studio set-up or a location shoot. A studio setup is advantageous in situations where you want clean lines, and for everything to match exactly across all your platforms. A more lifestyle-orientated approach is beneficial if you are more 'people-facing. In this case, it is nice to include a lifestyle aspect to your shoot where people can get a feel for how relaxed you are and the type of environment that they can expect to find you in.

b)  Will muted tones work better than loud, bright florals? As much as this relies on your field of speciality, it also includes your personality. If you are uncomfortable in the colour red, don't wear it just because you feel like it's a good colour for the shoot. If you don't feel comfortable, you won't look comfortable in your photographs, either. You may also be limited by the way your profession is viewed. One generally expects to see an artist dressed in something a little more 'out-there' than a director or a doctor. While there are exceptions to every rule, this really comes down to how well you know your audience and is an area where I as the photographer would have to be guided by you.

c) What aspects of your business would you like to showcase? This is important. A clear, well thought out strategy is imperative. We all have multiple facets to our businesses, and it is important to highlight our strengths and business features. It is with this in mind that I often ask my clients to give me a list of two or three blog posts that we can shoot for as well, as it gives the shoot direction. This can be the starting point, or an extra pic to include. Do you work at a computer? Or do you perhaps want to stand in front of your warehouse to give your clients context? Are you wishing to introduce public speaking as a new product offering?

d) Do you require more close-up portraits, or general, wider shots? Most photographers will do a good mix, but if you have a preference regarding the split, then let your photographer know. While close-ups are excellent for profile pictures, you may need more all-inclusive shots for your newsletters if you are planning a launch. As an example, an events coordinator may require close-ups of her staff, but with the main aspect of the shoot being a styled shoot that she and her staff have set up, where they are part of the scene. This gives the viewer an idea of how they look while setting up a function, which may tell more of a story than simply putting their faces on the website.

e) Consider what you are using the photographs for. Do you require more landscape shots than portrait format, for example, due to the layout of your website? 

f) Do you need some space in your pics that allow for an area to write a quote or add in your logo?

g) What colour palette would you like to use? using colours that complement your branding and logo are a great start, but it is also a good idea to have other outfits available. If you are unsure, incorporate a stylist into your shoot and ask for their advice. If necessary, book a colour consultation before your shoot. Find out what colours look best on you, and what clothing styles would flatter your figure the best. 

h) What props will be required?  Will you need fresh flowers on the day? If so, who is going to collect them? If you are going to have branded coffee cups or masks, ensure that you order them with enough time to have them delivered before the big day.

i) Book to get your hair cut and coloured, Schedule this for a few days before the shoot

j) Book your hairstylist for the day of the shoot (this can be your usual hairstylist or someone the photographer recommends

k) Book your nail appointment!  Details matter! There is no point in having a whole team working on you, and your hands let you down. My advice would be to go for a neutral shade (unless bright is part of your overall look). Bright and dark colours show chips more easily, so if you're going for bright, get your nails done as close to your shoot as possible. Natural shades are a little more forgiving and more accommodating to a variety of outfit changes.

l) Make-up. Everyone is going to see these pics. Take the pressure off yourself and let someone else put on your eyeliner etc. The make-up will probably be a bit more than you are used to, but that is because you are being photographed and need to wear a bit more for the camera. 

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