How to Plan the Perfect Brand Shoot - D'ARCY BENINCOSA

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How to Plan the Perfect Brand Shoot

by D'Arcy Benincosa

Your Best Advice From a Brand Photographer

plan the perfect brand shoot

Photos to market your business–you know you need them. But long gone are the days of stiff, suit-and-tie–or business attire, you know what I mean–headshots that come to mind when people here the words “business photo”. Today’s branding shoots are personal, an extension of your business, and a valuable method of storytelling. 

That’s the good news. The bad news? Taking the time to plan the perfect brand shoot can be a challenge. 

But you’re in luck because I have been photographing brand shoots, as well as designing my own shoots, for years and I have just the step-by-step guide to walk you through how to plan the perfect brand shoot. 

All About Branding 

The first step in planning a brand shoot is to understand exactly what branding is, why it is important, and how that relates to your photographs. 

What Is Branding? 

Branding is more than a logo or the colors you choose to represent yourself. If you are limiting yoruself to obsessing over a logo design or font choices you are missing the entire point about what is important. 

The point behind branding is understanding and communicating what the true purpose behind your business is. 

If your answer is taking pictures or designing a website, just know that is what you do but it isn’t what your brand is all about. 

To dive a little deeper, ask yourself, what do you want to be known for? What do you want people to say about your business when you aren’t in the room?  

More than what you sell is why you are selling it. When you are clear on that, you will find that your customers will find you so much easier.

This is a brand. 

Why Is Branding Important? 

Branding is important because branding is what makes you stand apart from other businesses. There are thousands of photographers, florists, planners, etc out there and many of you have similar styles, shoot with the same equipment, or source florals from the same warehouse. Fundamentally, what sets you apart will be your brand. 

A brand is absolute magic for your busines. Especially if you understand at the core what it can do for you. 

You can read more about the 5 Key Elements to Branding Your Business by following this link

Why You Need Branded Images

So now that you understand what a brand actually is and why it is important, we can more clearly dive into the importance of a well-crafted brand shoot.  

Why are images of you so important in relation to your business?  

Because ultimately it is your goals, your mission, your values that will bring clients in the door. This means you need to get in front of the camera and take ownership of what people are feeling when they think about your business. You do this by crafting the stories you pair with your images on your website, social media, and even YouTube.  

You must craft a clear and defined purpose with your brand shoot that interweaves the stories you wish to share of your business and your life.

So often, we post spontaneously and thoughtlessly on social media with no real thought to how it plays out with our brand. But having a strategy and purpose behind posting is one of the best things you can do for your marketing. And having an arsenal of well-crafted, purposeful images at you ready is one of the easiest ways to ensure you are posting regularly and with intention. 

In the same breath, having well-thought out brand images are one of the easiest ways to communicate what your brand stands for–what are the things that, when you take your service or product away, you want to be known for.  When people see you website or social media feed, what do they see?  Do they see calm, ambition, creativity?  How do they feel? 

Bottom line, emotions are the driving forces behind people buying. You need to make your audience feel something with every post and every photo. 

How to Plan the Perfect Brand Shoot

Someone has to be the face of your business. And it’s probably you. 

It’s time to stop hiding. 

Becoming the face of your brand is about stepping up and brining in more brand trust, more transparency, and more passion about what you are doing.

It’s time to step in front of the camera and be the face of your business. 

It is my belief that everyone should do at leaste two brand shoots each year. Having fresh, updated images allows your audience to trust your brand and feel more connected to you and why you are creating the art you are creating. 

plan the perfect brand shoot

Plan Your Shoot

Planning the perfect brand shoot is more than just hiring a photographer, picking a pretty outfit, and showing up. There is some planning that goes into planning a brand shoot.

Step 1: Figure Out Your Objectives

The first step of your shoot is to figure out the objectives of your photos.  Ask  yourself these questions:

What story do I want to tell?

What emotions do I want to evoke? 

Who are my ideal clients and what type of images are they drawn to? 

What is my current brand and how can I stay true to that during the shoot? 

What parts of my personality can I infuse into the shoot?  

Alll of these are important questions to ask yourself as you plan your shoot. 

Step 2: Create a Mood Board

After you have decided what story you want to tell with your shoot, start working on that mood board. Stay true to the visual aspect of your brand and start pulling in images that evoke the emotion you want to tell with your shoot. 

And make sure you share this mood board with your collaborators so everyone can have an understanding of what you are looking for. 

Step 3: Find Your Dream Team of Vendors

Your next step is to find your dream team of vendors to work with. 

When looking at hiring a photographer, make a list of photographer’s who have work that aligns with your aesethic and your brand. Do you want digital or film images? Should your images be edited darker or in a more lighter way? Really think through who you are hiring so your images match your brand. 

Obviously, your photographer is a very important part of this process but there are other vendors to consider as well. Think about hiring a creative director, a videographer to capture some stunning behind-the-scenes footage or a florist to add some inspired details to your shoot. And definitely hire a hair and makeup artist to make sure you feel the most beautiful and confident. 

Step 4: Scout Locations 

The next step is to make a list of locations for your shoot that are on brand and don’t have too many distractions.  Find out about any location fees that you must pay, permits, or other requirements. 

And, most importantly, think about your story. What locations add to the story you are trying to tell? 

Step 5: Props and Clothing

As you refer back to the stories you wish to tell with your brand shoot, think about what details should be included to elevate that story. What subtle, or not so subtle, touches could you include to tie your story together?  

In terms of clothing, what textures fit the aseathtic and help tell your story? What clothing represents the level of clientele you’re trying to attract.  Remember, dress to impress. 

D'Arcy in Paris

Begin to Plan the Perfect Brand Shoot Today

It is time to tell your story. 

As we enter this new world of marketing where the influencer model greatly outperforms the older models of marketing, you must be willing to be transparent and show yourself to the world. 

People want to know they can trust you. 

This doesn’t mean you can’t have strong boundaries about what (and who) you put on social media, but it does mean you must consider, at minimum, putting your face out there in relation to your art. 

It is a fact that photos with faces get 38% more interaction than those without. 

In today’s world, people are looking for connection, emotion, and trust.  And the best way you can do this is through showing your face with perfect branding photos. 

Get your FREE Better Brand Photo guide here!

*Photography By Heather Nan

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to publications?

Don’t let your images gather dust on a hard drive – GET THEM SEEN (and gain street cred too).

free training

Not booking $10k+ weddings?

binge-listen

Play

It Brave

podcast

A few of my favorite business tools:

CREATIVE LAW SHOP

Contracts, Privacy Policies, and more. Use code DARCYB10 for 10% off!

goodlight presets

Struggle to match your digital to your film? You've met your match. Use code PLAYITBRAVE to get $50 off!

pic-time

Say au revoir to lazy galleries! Use code DARCY to get your first month free.

tonic site shop

Crappy website? Say no more. Get 20% off a template with code PLAYITBRAVE. You're welcome.

Have no time to submit to publications?

Don’t let your images gather dust on a hard drive – GET THEM SEEN (and gain street cred too).

free guide

Learn my simple tweaks you can make that will have you attracting your dream clients with the portfolio you have TODAY.

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