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Christine McShane Photography LLC  D.B.A. Christine McShane Creative

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3 Steps for a Standout Branding Photoshoot

Branding photoshoots are hot these days! That’s because digital marketing is one of the best ways to get your name out there and reinforce your brand. Your target market is out there on social media because they want to connect, be entertained, learn something new, and solve problems. It’s a popular way to pass time for a reason.


Are you ready to schedule a branding photoshoot for social media, but are unsure what’s involved? Here’s how to get the biggest bang for your buck when planning a branding photoshoot.


STEP 1: BRAINSTORM YOUR MESSAGE


This step is so important. It’s worth it to take some time and write down some key messages you’d like to share with your posts. If you are selling a service, you have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share little nuggets of information with your current and prospective clients. Not every post can be about your service “in general.” What will also be most helpful (and most engaging) will be to break them down into small, helpful details.


For example, if you are a life coach, some upcoming posts may be about:


- Tips for scheduling time for self care

- Time management skills

- Benefits of working with a life coach


Another example, if you are an organizer offer a decluttering service, some posts may be:


- Fresh advice for decluttering a clothing closet

- Creating a decluttering calendar for ongoing maintenance

- How to handle paperwork clutter


If you offer products instead of services, you still need some good planning! Which products would you like to feature? Are they seasonal -- something for the holidays, for back to school, for the winter months, for summer vacation? New products that you’d like to roll out and share within the next 6 months?


STEP 2: CONNECT WITH A GOOD BRANDING PHOTOGRAPHER


Once you’ve connected with a good photographer who is experienced with branding photoshoots, share your brainstorming plan with them! Your plan will become a guide for your images. Once you have decided the value that you wish to share with your followers, it’s easy to make a plan for related, impactful images to go with your written content.


For example, the business coach might take the following photos:


- Coach in a cozy chair with a mug of tea and a good book, or a walk outside in the fresh air

- Coach with a planning calendar

- Coach talking to a client either in person or on the phone


In our organizer/decluttering service example, we might think about the following photos:


- Organizer with a calendar or planner

- Organizer in front of neat closet of clothes

- Organizer at a desk with a stack of papers


If you sell products, think about how you want to present them. Some products may be best displayed in the classic white background, similar to a catalog. Or would it be better to showcase the object in action? Think about how you might really want to share the value of each item.


For example, if you sell handbags, maybe you would want the following photos:


- Cross body bag displayed with other “on the go” items or in a park, show how convenient it is

- Evening clutch displayed with pretty shoes or makeup to display it’s elegance

- Makeup bag displayed with makeup and other items to show its size and how much it holds


Be sure to share your website and branding information with the photographer as well, so they can see what your brand and your style looks like. Is it Funky? Classic professional? Trendy? Whimsical? Elegant? You and your photographer may want to match the color schemes and style of your brand in the photos.


If you are just starting out and don’t have a website yet, no problem! Take some time to write down your branding elements so that the photographer keep the photos inline with your vision.


Not everything needs to be mapped out. You can also make it a more free flowing session and collaborate with the photographer as you go. Sometimes the best images are created on the fly. But it does help to go into a photoshoot where both you and the photographer fully understand your brand, your message, and the purpose of these images.


STEP 3: PLAN YOUR OUTFIT, HAIR & MAKEUP, AND LOCATION


Now that you have a clearer idea of who and what you want to photograph, work with your photographer to find the right setting. It should always reinforce your message and brand. If you are whimsical and laid back, you may not want a formal white background. If your service or product is outdoorsy, then your background should reflect that. Be sure that the background will enhance your photos -- and not detract from them. Whatever location you choose, make sure that it’s not too busy with other people, cars, animals or clutter. Background activity and clutter can be distracting from the subject - it’s best to have clean backgrounds that make your subject “pop”.


Consider hiring a personal stylist and a hair & makeup professional, depending on your skill set in that area. A professional who focuses on personal style may have fresh suggestions on how to look your best and stay on brand. Be sure to also share with them your brand colors and your brand style, so they can make it all match. Sometimes even just getting hair and makeup done at a local salon can take the anxiety out of making yourself look “perfect” and camera-ready. It’s also a great way to boost your confidence in front of the camera if you are normally camera shy. Being as relaxed and upbeat as possible during your photoshoot will shine through in your images.


You’re ready to go! With a little simple planning, you can turn a regular branding photoshoot into a great one, where your photos match your brand and are completely aligned with your message. Plus, you’ll have instant content ready for posting over the next few weeks or even months. When you pair your beautiful images with valuable written content, you’ll have a compelling message to share with both your prospects and your clients.