How to Plan for a Successful Brand Shoot

Chloe Thomas

WE ARE SO EXCITED over here because we are planning for our next brand shoot and this time, it’ll be with a team of three! Normally, I invest into portrait photography for my business twice a year. These type of photoshoots are for very high-end professional shots; think new headshots, dressy outfits, more structured poses. Once a quarter, I invest into more lifestyle shots; think t-shirt, jeans, sneaks and fun easy-going everyday poses! Both types of photography are necessary for my business (in my opinion at least) because I want to showcase my business’ professionalism with portrait photos, but more personality with lifestyle shots. In this post particularly, I want to walk you through what to do to plan for your upcoming brand shoot and how doing these things will make it successful:

  1. Pick a photographer that you love. This is essential to a successful brand shoot – there are so many photographers out there and all have different editing styles (like designers.) With that said, do your research to find a photographer who you are literally obsessed with – their images, editing style, and overall style of photos. Take it a little further and look at what feeling you get when looking at their photos. They’ll be the ones capturing your brand, so you want it to be aligned correctly!
  2. Reach out to your photographer 6+ months in advance. If your photographer is like mine, they most likely book out super far in advance. In my case, it’s never too early to reach out to your photographer and let them know you are planning for a brand shoot. They’ll most likely tell you next steps, whether that be to pay a deposit to secure a spot on their calendar, or they may tell you to reach out to them closer to your date. You’ll also want to make sure that your photographer doesn’t already have something booked for your day!
  3. Schedule/coordinate a hair + makeup team. This isn’t a requirement, but something I always want to invest in during brand photoshoots. Hair and makeup can add so much glam to your photos – it’s also just a fun way to get dolled up for the day! It’s truly an exciting time!
  4. Create a Pinterest board with pose inspiration. If you’re like me, you are AWFUL at posing in front of the camera. I’m not terrible, but sometimes I do like to have ideas in my head before going into photoshoot day. Create a Pinterest board and pin your life away – look for pose ideas and once again, those feelings you’d want to have through each photo you take!
  5. Establish outfits! This is the hardest part – I am always so indecisive when picking outfits for photoshoots because trendiness is always a factor. Because of that, I always choose to go classic and neutral. I would also speak with your photographer to see how many outfits you get. For our shoot, we get two outfits; so we are planning a dressier option as well as a more casual/lifestyle option as well!
  6. Have a shot list. This step is not required, but if you are taking photos for a website, it’s a great thing to have! As a designer, I always tell my clients to get wide shots, portrait shots, detail shots, action shots (like cutting into veggies if you are a dietitian!) and wide shots of yourself with space on the side (think header images with text on the side). Other ideas for shot lists might be: your team around a computer, walking towards the camera, etc.

These 6 steps have carried me a long way with brand photoshoots. This will be my first team photoshoot, but my fourth professional brand shoot! I like to think I’m a professional at planning for them by now, but always have room to learn. If you have any tips to share, DM me on my Instagram @chloecreativestudio. I’d love to chat!

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