Showing off your brand is a huge undertaking, and it take a ton of preparation and effort, but great photos of you, your product, your process, and most importantly your passion for what you do can go a long way to telling your story. It can definitely feel overwhelming trying to keep up with the constant need for new photos that speak to your customers and really represent you. Between updated headshots, refreshed website photos, social media posts, marketing materials, newsletters, emails and so much more! It can be intense, stressful and a huge time suck!
The upside is that it doesn't have to be stressful! It can be a huge boost to your business without the overwhelm. A little bit of preparation and the right conversation with your photographer can get you the exact right images you need and the right images can elevate your website, promotional materials, and social media and can make your life so much less stressful.
So to keep the stress down here are some tips on how to make sure your branding photography is truly a helpful tool in your business!
1. Identify your brand!
First, I have to say something! Something very important so take note!
Your brand is not just your logo!
Your brand is so much more than that. It's your businesses identity. It's the colors you choose, the feeling you want people to have when they see anything associated with your business, how you speak, what your mission and vision are, the style of your website and social media, what your business (and you) stands for, your values, your passion, and anything else that represents your business and your story.
Before you can share that with the world you need to be able to nail it down yourself. So you'll want to take some time and really identify what your business story really is.
2. Who is your ideal client? Who are you speaking to?
Once you have your story and your brand, you need to zero in who your ideal client is. Who is the person that wants what you're offering? Everything you do after this step will be to speak to this person directly.
Does that mean that you don't care about people that don't perfectly match this profile? Absolutely not. If they hear you and they love you, that's fantastic. But to have a direction for your photos, your website, your communication, your social media; you need to know who you're speaking to and how they want to hear you.
3. Plan with your photographer!
Before a single session is set-up or a photo taken, it's important to plan out what will have the most impact for your business. Focus on what story or stories you want to tell, what platforms you plan to tell it on (your website, your social media, print ads, digital ads, etc.), and how long you want to spend telling it. What will really speak to that ideal client and help you share your story with them?
For some businesses they already have a solid marketing and communication strategy and just need a set of photos to supplement that. For others they are just starting their website and need a set to make sure that the website is consistent and on brand. For most they probably need to set up several sessions throughout the year that will provide consistent content for their website, blog, and social media in order to consistently have content ready that can speak to their customers in the best way possible.
Your photographer can help you plan out the story, and plan for the photos and the strategy for scheduling your sessions to make sure you have all the photo content you need to achieve the goals you've set forth.
So what will you want to plan with your photographer?
Your locations - You want to pick several spots that can help communicate different aspects of your business.
Your shot list - Do you need headshots? On location portraits? Candids of you working? Detail photos of your services and products? Staged product photography in studio? Unique stock photos?
Plan your outfit - Get some advice on what to wear, how it will fit with your website, your branding colors, and the stories you want to tell. As photographers we can also advise you on colors and patterns to avoid, and what can help accentuate the activities and details you want to show off.
Props - Chat about what props you'll want to include in your session for it to feel real. If you spend time working on your laptop or listening to podcasts on your phone, include the technology in your session. If you're a real estate agent bring some signage or get photos preparing flowers to stage a home. Have a planner you can't live without? Sounds like a perfect prop.
4. Schedule your session/sessions!
Set up your dates and times for your session. Whether you need one session or a subscription with sessions throughout the year get everything planned out and on the calendar. Remember to include time for editing when you're planning. You don't want to expect images on the date of the photoshoot, so don't let yourself get caught off guard.
5. Plan for hair and makeup!
Whether you're doing it all yourself to get ready, or hiring professionals, plan out what you plan to do. If you need to make appointments for haircuts, hair styling, nail appointments, or make-up appointments plan those out and get these set up right away so you don't have to stress or worry closer to your session date.
Located in Columbia, Missouri? Check out my Branding Sessions to see if they'd be a good fit for your business! If you haven't figured out your brand or story yet, that's ok, as part of my service, I'll work through a branding business plan to help you get set up for success!