If you are preparing to invest in commercial or branding photography for your business, this post is for you. I’m breaking down the steps I take with my small business brand photography clients to help them get the most mileage from their sessions!
My top tip for getting the most out of your photos is to think about how you plan to use them.
Your website is one of the marketing channels that will benefit the most from custom brand photography. Assess the layout of your site. Will you need a full-width homepage hero image? Headshots of all of your team members? Also, consider the colors in the site design. Choose outfits and backdrops that complement the design and fit in naturally with the overall look.
Another place you’re likely to use your images is on social media. I’ll ask you to share the ten topics you talk about or write about most on social. With those themes in mind, we’ll brainstorm specific shots to capture, always leaving room to be flexible on the day.
We’ll also take into account how you’ll need to crop the images for various platforms. I try to get portrait and landscape orientations, plus wide shots and closeups, of the same setup to give you plenty of options for everything from IG posts and stories to email headers.
Brand photography is a highly personal way to tell the story behind your brand.
Prepare to tell me all about your business, especially things like . . .
The more I understand what inspires you, the easier it will be for me to find the shots that make you shine!
Reflect on your mission, vision, and values and how you hope to use images to reinforce these aspects of your brand’s identity.
You’ll create a Pinterest Board and pin at least a few dozen brand photos you like from other businesses. The stylistic themes we find in these images, plus the info about your brand, will help us plan your shot list, select the right outfits, and find the perfect locations to meet your needs.
When you have a brick-and-mortar location, location planning is easy. But when you don’t, you still have plenty of options!
If you have a photogenic home office that well-represents your brand, we can take your photos at home. If not, you could borrow a friend’s house or office or search on sites like peerspace.com or homestudiolist.com for rental locations.
Or, you may decide that a park, cityscape, café, or hotel lobby fits your vibe best. I love to work in locations that offer a lot of built-in variety. If we can get some brick exterior shots and then some inside a bright and airy office, you’ll get even more mileage from your photos.
Brand photography is so compelling because it shows off the real people behind a business.
The people you’ll need for the shoot will depend on the size of your team and the type of work you do. Here are some examples from commercial shoots I have done:
It’s crucial to communicate in advance and have a backup plan so you have the people you need ready to go on the day of your photo session.
Selecting what to wear can feel overwhelming, but remember: the goal is authenticity! I suggest dressing as if you are really on the job, but the nicest version of it. So, if you are a yoga instructor, don’t show up in a blazer and slacks, but dress in your best yoga attire.
Choose a base outfit or two in hues that complement your brand colors. From there, think about how many ways you can easily transform your outfit with accessories so that it looks like the images came from multiple days. Consider things like jackets, shawls, hats, scarves, and jewelry to change your looks quickly. Avoid anything with a busy pattern, lots of shimmer, or neon colors. And don’t forget about footwear!
For hair and makeup, keep things as natural as possible. If you have long hair, it usually looks more flattering to wear it down. Consider booking a professional stylist or makeup artist if you aren’t confident about doing your own hair and makeup, but this is not the time to try anything new or bold.
Items can help give your photographs variety and interest. I suggest having several items available, understanding that we may not use every single one.
If your business offers an intangible product or service, props can help to represent what you do more clearly. For instance, we incorporated maps, suitcases, and travel books in a commercial photo shoot with a travel agent.
These props will help us get natural, lifestyle images of you in your element doing the work that you want people to see. For example, a hairdresser would have her styling tools, while a graphic designer might bring some Pantone color cards and a laptop.
You may have a favorite coffee mug that you’d like on your desk, a penchant for fresh-cut flowers, or a collection of expert-level Lego creations that live on a shelf above your desk. As long as these items align with your professional brand, they will help make your images all the more YOU!
Once you’ve done all this planning, it’s time for the fun part. Get a good night’s rest, relax, and be yourself on shoot day. Let’s do this!
"To say that I love each one would be cliche and a total understatement, but seriously... She nailed it. Being a photographer myself, I am very picky and searched dozens of photographers before coming back to lyndsay and booking her and I am so glad I did. I can't even remember the last time I hired a photographer and was this in love with the images and unable to pick just a few favorites. Thank you, lyndsay, for making the photo session easy (with 3 kids), fun and providing this mama memories for a lifetime.”
"Our images are so special and really captured our joy and the sweet personality of our little girl. Lyndsay did a great job going beyond the typical posed shots and making our photos feel authentic. We will treasure them forever."
- amanda, northborough
"We have done multiple sessions (family and newborn) and we’re so happy with the results. Lyndsay makes you feel comfortable and is able to truly capture the moment. We will have her prints hung in our house for years to come."
- beth - framingham
"We've done it all - newborn, maternity, cake smash, family photos - and every single time we are amazed by the quality of the end product. Lyndsay captures beautiful moments that we will treasure forever!"
- nicole - framingham
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