A picture is worth a thousand words, and when it comes to marketing your professional business, that couldn’t be more true. Using original branding photos instead of stock images for your marketing can help you better connect with your target audience and communicate your brand’s unique value. When potential clients see authentic images associated with your brand, they’re more likely to trust you and be interested in doing business with you. Also, custom brand photos are a great way to differentiate yourself from competitors who may still be using stock images.
Ready to take your business’s image up a notch? Here are 24 tips to help you get stellar professional brand images for your marketing needs.
How to Get the Perfect Branding Photos
1. Define goals for Marketing Photos
Before contacting a photographer, spend some time thinking about what you want to achieve. What are your goals for the photos? What do you want them to convey about your business? How do you plan to use them? What type of photos do you need?
Some examples are headshots, group shots, product or service delivery shots, office environment, and lifestyle images. Gifs and short videos are also popular options. You may want to use them for your website, social media, newsletters, blogs, advertisements, brochures, etc.
2. Know your audience
Before planning your brand photo session, it’s essential to consider your target audience. What kind of message do you want to send with your photos? What kind of image do you want to project? Answering these questions will help you determine your shoot’s overall tone and style.
3. Create an inspiration board
After you have a clear idea of the goals and planned use of your new marketing photos, create an inspiration board. Collect ideas from other websites, social media, and magazines to show your photographer and guide your session.
Try using Canva to create a free collage and add your must-have looks.
4. Plan your Branding Photos budget
Photo shoots can be pricey depending on your location, so plan your budget accordingly. Make sure you know how much you’re willing to spend on the session before you contact photographers. Also, consider the number of new photos you want to add to your marketing files and if you want to accomplish this in a single session or over several during the upcoming year. This will help you find a photographer who fits your branding goals and marketing budget.
5. Choose the right photographer
While getting good marketing and branding photos with an amateur photographer is possible, hiring a professional is usually best. An experienced brand photographer can usually accomplish more in a shorter time and better understands the composition and lighting needed for business purposes.
Find someone whose personality and style mesh well with you. Look at photographers’ websites and social media portfolios to determine if they have a design style that reflects your vision.
Reviews and referrals are also critical when selecting the right branding photographer. Ask around and choose someone highly recommended, then schedule a call to discuss your goals and share your inspiration board.
6. Interview and hire a photographer
Once you have narrowed down your choices, interview each photographer. Ask about their portfolio, experience working with businesses in the same industry as yours, and availability. It’s also a good idea to ask for references from past clients.
After selecting the right marketing and branding photographer for your needs, discuss pricing and sign a contract. This document should include all the agreed-upon terms and conditions, such as the number of photos taken, delivery time frames, payment methods, etc.
7. Pick the right location
The location of your shoot plays a significant role in the overall feel of the photos. Consider the image you want to project and choose a site that will help convey that.
If you have an office, use it as your photography location. You may also choose to add some additional locations for more casual or more formal images.
An outdoor setting or coffee shop may be best if you’re going for a natural, casual look. An indoor studio or office building would be better if you want something more polished and professional.
If you’re not sure what kind of location you want, talk to your photographer. An experienced photographer can suggest local options to fit your goals for the shoot.
8. Pick the right time of day
The time of day can also affect your photos’ overall look and feel. For example, shooting during the golden hour (just before sunset) can give your photos that special glow if you’re going for a warm and inviting feel.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more energetic feel, shooting during the midday sun can help. Be aware that shooting in the middle of the day can result in harsh shadows.
9. Consider the weather
The weather also plays a role in your photo session if you are not using an indoor studio. For example, if you’re planning on shooting outdoors, even at your office, you’ll need to consider the weather. Shooting on a cloudy day can give your photos a softer look while shooting on a sunny day can create some interesting shadows and contrast.
If you’re flexible with your shoot date, it’s always a good idea to check the forecast beforehand and plan accordingly.
10. Dress for success
Your clothing choices significantly affect your photos’ overall look and feel, so plan ahead. What you wear in your marketing photos should match the overall tone and style of the shoot. If you’re going for a casual look, make sure your clothes are relaxed and comfortable. However, if you’re going for a more formal look, dress accordingly. It’s also essential to make sure your clothes and hairstyle reflect your brand positively.
It’s also vital to avoid clothes with fashion brand logos, as this can take away from the overall message of your photos. If you’re unsure what to wear, ask your photographer or consider hiring a stylist to help you create the perfect outfit (or outfits) for the shoot.
11. Decide on Branding Photo props
Props can add a lot to your photos, so choose them carefully. Think about what kind of message you want to send with your photos, and select props that will help convey that.
Props may include your cell phone, planner, computer, pens, office furniture, photos, bookcases, coffee mugs, binders, keys, signs, plans, etc. If unsure what props to use, talk to your photographer. They will be able to suggest the best options for the overall goal and style of the shoot.
12. Make sure everyone is on the same page
Before the photo shoot, touch base with your photographer and anyone else involved. This includes wardrobe stylists, makeup artists, and anyone else helping. Make sure everyone understands your goals for the shoot and knows what to expect. This will help ensure everyone is on the same page and that the session goes smoothly.
13. Create a Branding Photos shot list
When it comes to marketing and branding photos, it’s essential to have a clear idea of the types of shots you want to get. A good way is to finalize your shot list ahead of time with your photographer. This will help ensure you get the exact photos you need to market your business effectively.
14. Plan for contingencies
No matter how well you plan, there’s always a chance something will go wrong on the day of the shoot. So, it’s vital to have a few contingency plans in place. For example, what will you do if you’re shooting outdoors if it rains?
15. Make sure your branding is on point
Your original photos are an excellent opportunity to show your brand identity. So, make sure your branding is on point before the shoot. This includes ensuring your logo is visible where needed and using consistent colors throughout the shoot.
16. Set aside enough time
Photo shoots can sometimes take longer than expected. If possible, schedule it when you won’t be rushed or under any time constraints. This will help ensure that everything goes smoothly and you can get the needed shots. You may even get bonus shots if your photographer has extra time too.
17. Do a trial run
Testing everything before any brand photo session is always a good idea. Visit the location, if possible, to confirm it is the right fit for your vision. Also, this will ensure you do not get lost on the day of the shoot.
Before your shoot, try on your chosen outfits and accessories to ensure everything fits and works perfectly. Also, it might be helpful to do hair and makeup tests so that you can be prepared when the day finally comes around. A trial run will help you work out any kinks and ensure everything goes smoothly on the day of the shoot.
18. Be prepared on the day of the shoot
On the day of the shoot, make sure you’re well-prepared. Create a checklist of everything you need to bring. Include items such as your props, wardrobe, accessories, and hair and makeup tools. If possible, schedule your shoot for later in the day, so you have the entire morning to prepare.
19. Be prepared to take direction
Even if you have a clear vision for your marketing photo shoot, be open to direction from your photographer. They’ll know what kinds of shots will work best and how to get them, so trust their expertise and be willing to take their suggestions.
Remember, they are experienced professionals trained to see things from the view of your clients.
20. Relax and have fun
One of the most important things to remember when getting your photos taken is to relax and have fun. If you’re tense or uptight, it will show in the pictures. So, take a deep breath, let go of any nerves, and enjoy the experience.
Consider having a music playlist that gets you energized and confident. Then, take a deep breath, put a smile on your face, and enjoy the shoot! This will help ensure that you end up with natural-looking shots that reflect you and your brand in a positive light.
21. Review the proofs and choose your favorites
Once the photo shoot is over, you’ll need to review the proofs and choose your favorites. Your package will likely include a set number of images. The photographer will typically filter through all the images and send you the best ones to review. It can still be challenging to narrow them down as there are many great shots to choose from. But try to narrow it down to the images that best represent your brand and what you’re trying to achieve with your marketing and branding photos.
22. Make sure you’re happy with the final product
After you’ve chosen your favorite shots and the photographer has edited and formatted them, look at the final product to ensure you’re happy with it. If any changes you’d like to see made, communicate them to the photographer so they can make the necessary adjustments now, as there is usually a time limit for them to edit and store your photos.
Once you’ve received your final photos, store them safely so you can use them for years. The best way to do this is to create a backup on an external hard drive or in the cloud. This will help ensure that you always have a copy of your photos, even if something happens to your computer. Plus, it will make it easy for you to access your photos whenever you need them.
24. Share your marketing photos
Finally, it’s time to shine!! Share your new marketing photos! Use them to update your website and marketing materials. Use them to uplevel your social media page and new posts. Also, share your files with anyone who helps you with marketing to ensure your brand is showcased consistently, professionally, and visually appealing.
Using original brand photography for your website and marketing materials is a great way to stand out from the competition and create a cohesive brand identity. Now that you know how to prepare for a brand photo shoot, it’s time to start!
By following these tips, you can ensure that your photo session runs smoothly and produces stunning images that reflect your brand and help you gain credibility and trust with potential customers. So, get creative, have fun with it, and share your photos with the world!
ABOUT DREAMTIME MARKETING
Dreamtime Marketing is a Baton Rouge-based marketing consultancy that works with service-based professionals and non-profit organizations to develop and strengthen in-house marketing programs. We offer a range of services to ignite your marketing program, from single strategy sessions to VIP Marketing Intensives, team training, and mentoring support. Discover the best options for you when you schedule a free consultation.
If you are not ready to talk but are interested in learning more about organic marketing strategies that work, click the link to download a complimentary copy of “10 Powerful Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business.”