BRANDING SHOT TIPS
This month’s blog has been inspired by all the lovely comments and kind support that my friends, family, clients, and lovely strangers who are engaging with my photos on my social media. I thought I would take the time to go through how these photos were created and my top tips if you are considering planning your own shoot.
For me, I have always struggled to bring what I do to life as it’s not a "thing". You can't see it, hold or wear it. I mean my IP and what I sell is pretty much all in my head. I offer my experience as a marketing manager.
I was preaching to my clients how social media is very important and it is key to bring your story and messaging to life - but my own social, shamefully, was uninspiring and didn't reflect me, my brand, or how I live and work.
Like most great things I decided I wanted a shoot and I wanted one now, But with my wedding only being a matter of weeks away the NOW wasn't possible. So, in reality, it actually took some time to plan and also get the shoot off the ground. Instead of summer shoot, it ended up in November – on a much colder, wetter, and gloomier day than how I originally imagined.
My experience of having a professional shoot, rather than having a nonphotographer boyfriend, friend, or family member take some pics, is obviously the quality but the intention. A professional photo shoot is one of those investments that will keep giving for years and years to come.
THE PHOTOGRAPHY IS THE MAGIC
This is the first and most important step – you can have hundreds of ideas and a beautiful Pinterest board but without a talented photographer, you will be left disappointed. I worked with the amazing Jody Sutton and I can’t sing her praises enough.
Jody literally crawled into my head and brought everything I wanted to life. Jody taught me so much about timing, lighting, angles, and how props can make things pop. Jody provided a shopping list as long as my arm with the most random objects. Cakes, Footballs, Lemons, Cushions, Gold Chocolate coins – at the time I was concerned she had sent me her Christmas shopping list. But from the photos, I am sure you can see there was a method in her madness.
Time management was also down to Jody – she made sure we got the photos we needed and the images edited in time for Evie’s birthday. Project complete in under three weeks.
So, if you have something to sell then give it the best opportunity to sell. Photos are so versatile in how they can be used. Social, website, literature, graphics, I believe photography can run as a foundation for your marketing strategy.
LET’S TALK WARDROBE
Now I am very self-conscious and pretty much hate all photos of me. Especially if the outfit I have got on doesn’t do anything for me. Hiding that Mummy "gunt" is always key to me. Planning what you are going to wear and what you feel comfortable in I think is crucial. You have to feel like you.
For me, it was all about colour I wanted anyone to land on a photo and go oh yeh that's Amicitia Marketing, that's Kelly the marketing mummy who loves a bit of yellow. With a decided colour scheme it then allows clothes choices to become so much easier and you can start creating outfits.
The next step was the locations and the stories I was trying to tell. The office a far more formal look, working from home more relaxed, with Evie in sweats and outside I was embracing the winter with the fake faux and snowflake jumper. There are a couple of outfits that really didn't work so make sure you have a couple of extras up your sleeve. Also if you are outside be prepared for the weather - I mean it snowed on the day we did my shoot.
I bought pretty much everything new, on my credit card, and kept the labels in so I could return everything. I did keep a couple of keep brand pieces with the yellow hat and coat. I mean they are practical as well. But by not keeping all the clothes meant I did have to spend a small fortune to create my wardrobe.
I’m a big fan of having professional hair and makeup. If I am being honest, and if I could afford it, I would have a pro team ready to glam me up every morning. It makes me feel relaxed that I know my face is in the capable hands of the professionals.
If you have never had your makeup and hair done before I would recommend booking a trial. There is still a balance and looks need to be discussed with your hair and makeup artist. It’s very similar to a wedding, you want to look like an elevated version of yourself. Not like the makeup has been put on with a trowel and your hairs got more volume than an Amy Winehouse Hive.
Make sure you give yourself 1.5 – 2 Hours for hair and makeup in your call sheet for the day. If you also have the budget I would recommend having your makeup artist throughout the day for touch-ups and changes to your look.
I had lots of fun playing with bold coloured lipsticks – next shoot I would like to trial with some more yellow eyeshadows and boldface paint. what do you think?
I worked with Kamila Roberts for this shoot who was fab,. I can also say I have been glammed up by Lisa Ellis for my wedding, and Holly Anderson for my hen. I can recommend all of these lovely ladies if you need them for your brand shoot.
GATHER PHOTO INSPIRATION
Photos speak a thousand words so instead of explaining to your photographer what you want to achieve in your shoot, show them visual examples. I sent Jody lots of pictures of images I loved and brands I aspired to be like and Jody created a board based on these images. It meant that we were both on the same page with the look we were going for.
Even if your photographer doesn’t go through a Pinterest board or a mood board workshop take your own action to gather examples to show them.
My favorite place to gather inspiration is Pinterest (of course) so feel free to create some boards to collaborate with your photographer. When you are gathering inspiration keep in mind locations, poses, hair, makeup, editing style, and overall vibes of these photo examples.
Most importantly, have fun with this!
You and your photographer should go through your vision for your shoot. Be sure to think through what kind of shots you need. Would you like some shots with lots of blank, negative space so you can put writing over them? Do you need mostly landscape or portrait photos for your blog, website banners, or social media posts?
Think through some ideas of what types of shots you need. This should be logistical (landscape or portrait) but also conceptional (you working on your laptop). Think about the story you want to tell with your photos. It’s important that your photos flow together in a cohesive story.
If you aren’t sure exactly what you need, be sure to communicate that with your photographer so you can both work together to come up with a plan. From this, you can also decided what locations are important and the all-important props list.
I hope this helps and the best of luck planning your branded shoot. If you would like to meet up and go for a coffee I would love to hear about what you have planned.
My next shoot is being planned as we speak for March/ April. Would be great to hear your thoughts on what you would like to see on my feed. I am keen to use live and my social story more effectively.