how to plan a successful brand photoshoot

How to Plan a Brand Photoshoot


No matter what stage of business you’re in, the importance of having great photos to represent your business is crucial. The best way to do this is with a professional brand photoshoot. Brand photographers are trained to capture the unique personality of your business and turn it into fantastic images that will help you grow and earn you trust. Before you can get started on booking your photographer, here’s what you need to know about how to plan a professional photoshoot for your brand.

The importance of having a custom brand photoshoot.

If you are running a business, odds are you need photos. From ads to social media graphics, your best advertising is the images that represent your brand. While any photo can be called a “brand photo,” there is really no comparison to professional photography. Professional photographers understand lighting, composition, and how to position subjects in front of the camera in order to create powerful images for brands. A photographer specializes in this type of work so their photos will always stand out from the average snap someone might take on their phone.

Plus, stock photography will only get you so far … before you start to look like everyone else.

A fabulous resource for planning the look and feel of your brand photoshoot is Brand Brilliance by Fiona Humberstone.

Create your photoshoot art direction.

One of the first things you should do when preparing for a brand photoshoot is to create an art direction deck. I curate an art direction document for all of my strategy clients. However, an art direction document specifically for a photoshoot is far more detailed. It is a list of all the images that will be shot and what they will look like. The more detail you give, the better your photographer can prepare.

The key is to find the best way to utilize your brand photos for your specific business. Think about where you want people to see the photos and what they are used for. Think about how the photo will be used and make sure the photographer captures what you want people to see.

Some things to include in your art direction deck are:

  • The desired mood or atmosphere of the photos
  • Important branding elements such as colors
  • The context of each photo – for example, if it’s a family portrait or an office building
  • Special requests like hands being shown or a specific outfit/accessory

Not sure what an art direction deck should even look like? It could be as simple or complex as you like. There are beautifully designed templates on Creative Market. I personally love the one below.

Loading Preview…
Powered by Creative Market

Hire your team

Professional photoshoots require a professional team. Most importantly, you will need to hire a photographer that can make your vision come to life. Thankfully, this is an easy task these days as photography jobs are abundant on sites like LinkedIn. You can search for photographers in your area by specializing in “brand photography” or using keywords that describe your brand. Once you’ve found potential candidates, ask them about their experience shooting brands and look for reviews from previous clients.

Once you’ve booked a photographer, be sure to also book models and stylists if needed. It’s important to have the right people on set during the shoot to help make your brand come alive. For example, if you are selling women’s clothing then you’ll need female models wearing your clothes. It’s also important to accessorize the model appropriately to fit your brand.

To keep everyone organized, it’s a great idea to have a call sheet.

Loading Preview…
Powered by Creative Market

The big day!

Take a deep breath. It’s going to be great! Pack up any items you will be bringing with you the night before to ease any day-of anxiety. Also, prepare a printout of the call sheet or art direction to the set.

I suggest leaving early to get to the location in case of traffic or any other unexpected delays. Once, I got a flat tire on the freeway while heading to a photoshoot. I was 45 minutes late to set and insanely stressed out. It was a nightmare!

After the brand photoshoot. Now what?

It might take the photographer a few days to a few weeks to edit the gallery. It’ll be worth the wait! Once you get them back, take a moment to celebrate.

Now that you have photos to use on your website, on social media, or for print marketing materials, it’s time to put them to good use.

Final thoughts

A professional photoshoot is important to any business trying to grow. The most important things you need for a brand photoshoot are clarity and a great photographer. A good photographer will be able to take the pictures in a way that captures your business’s unique personality. Custom imagery shows your business off in an authentic yet polished way. Lastly, it’s important to plan ahead! Give yourself plenty of time to book everything in advance and get all of your ducks in a row. Now, go ahead and book your photoshoot!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I see too many wellness businesses struggle to create professional and genuinely beautiful brand experiences that communicate their value.

So, I traded in a decade-long career in corporate design and marketing in order to craft remarkable brands and websites for these inspiring small businesses.

Hi, I'm Hannah.

Which brand personality will win you loyal clients?

take the quiz

Discover your unique archetype and get insights on how to use these key characteristics to create a more compelling message and make meaningful connections with your audience.

Get ready to attract them like moths to a flame.

Which brand personality will attract your ideal clients?