Branding Photoshoot with Damon Bowe Photography
A branding and lifestyle photoshoot is a session for business owners to capture photographs of themselves and business-related content for use on your website, social media, wall art or in print
Branding and lifestyle photoshoots are important in the Washington, DC market because our sophisticated customers are looking for a face behind the brand. What sets your brand apart from another brand and what makes you unique is what will grab your client's attention. In today's marketplace customers and clients want to know the person or persons behind a brand, so this can be important to include in planning your photoshoot.
Branding photoshoots should incorporate everything about you and your brand including your personality and unique characteristics that represent the product and vision behind the brand.
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Intent is critical to a branding photoshoot
When planning a branding photoshoot it is important to approach each shot with intent. Each element of the photos should be carefully considered to meet your branding goals.
It is easy to believe that endearing candid photographs are the product of unplanned shoots, but that would be unusual. Although in some instances photographs may look candid, they must be approached with intent for representation of you and your brand. The subjects might be wearing the appropriate clothing, sitting in a spot designed to produce the interaction, and prompted with encouragement to create the photo the way it turned out. In most cases, professional photographs that show candid interactions are planned.
FIVE STEPS TO PLANNING YOUR BUSINESS BRANDING PHOTOSHOOT
1. Reach out to your photographer
Find a photographer who can deliver the photographs you need with the appropriate style that you want. Style is a critical part of this interaction as you must agree on a style of photographs with your photographer. You may also want to include a graphic designer to help if you are re-designing your website or have a long term cohesive branding solution that you are looking for. If you lean heavily on your photographer, you may need to compensate them for their time in helping to design your creative vision.
Some items to consider for your photographer choice:
- Availability and turnaround time: be up front about what you need and expect.
- Style: create an inspiration board on Pinterest and share it with your photographer
2. Make a shot list
Use your inspiration board to create an organized shot list.
Include the various scenes you hope to shoot (as an example, your shot list could include: a coffee shop, at a desk in your office, in front of a white wall, and crossing a street). Think about what your job entails, what transformation or results you are selling, and how you can tie those scenes and vibes into your shot list.
- Plan what orientation you need for your photographs? Portrait is best for Instagram and other social media news feeds, while portrait or landscape photographs might be suitable for your website.
- Design locations that meet your needs and prepare your props.
- Consider where you might need white space. This can help with adding titles to your photographs for use on print media or websites.
3. Plan your wardrobe
For each scene on your vision board, plan what you'll be wearing and how you will change your hair and makeup to keep things looking fresh. Keep your branding and your brand color palette in mind when selecting your wardrobe to create cohesiveness in all of your photographs.
It's easy to throw on a jacket or add a scarf to an outfit, so keep accessories handy and you can get more unique photographs out of each scene. In the time it takes to remove a jacket or scarf you have doubled the amount of photographs you get from a single location.
4. Schedule Hair and Makeup (HMU or HMUA)
It's tempting to forego HMU but it is not worth it. With so many aspects of a branding photosession to execute, skipping HMU puts too much pressure on everyone. A great HMU does not just add makeup. A great HMU is an extra set of eyes watching for hair fly aways, adjusting clothing, and assisting the shoot in any way, and is thus an essential part of a professional photoshoot.
5. Create a Call Sheet
Your shot list should be accompanied by a call sheet that includes the phone numbers of everyone on the shoot and your meeting locations, the date and times of the shoot flow throughout the day, pertinent wardrobe and any other details that will keep the team aligned and the day streamlined.
Everything on a photoshoot will take longer than expected, so plan to arrive early and leave plenty of buffer time for each part of the shoot. Something often forgotten is leaving ample time for hair and makeup, so make sure to give your HMU enough time to get their work done for you.
The day before your shoot, make sure to be early and spend time reviewing your shot list and poses. It is important to be ready and relaxed, and having gotten all the planning done early you should be able to handle anything that comes up on the day of the photoshoot.