Have you ever left a website or social profile after seeing poor-quality, blurry, or pixelated images? If so, you already understand the importance of high-quality imagery for brands.
Good photos can help increase your engagement on social channels, websites, marketing materials, and more. As a small-business owner or a content creator, you may not have the budget to hire a photographer, but you can still capture professional-grade pictures. Here are six tips for planning a photo shoot that will elevate your brand.
1. Find inspiration
If you don’t know what type of images will best suit your brand, it’s helpful to search for inspiration.
Browse Instagram and Pinterest, and visit the websites of brands that are similar to yours. Save images that you like, and think about ways you can put your own spin on their ideas. Consider things like composition, lighting, content, and colors — all key elements of a strong image.
2. Come up with a theme
To keep your images cohesive, it’s best to start your photo shoot with a theme or concept already in mind. This will help you capture relevant images that accurately represent your brand.
For instance, you may want to have a seasonal or holiday-themed photo shoot. If you sell specific products, display them alongside seasonal decor or show them being used at a staged holiday party. There are many themes and opportunities for organizing a shoot, like introducing your team members or going behind the scenes of your product creation.
3. Identify an appropriate location
Once you’ve decided on a theme, it’s time to scout out locations for your shoot.
Lighting is one of the most important elements of good photography, so you’ll want to avoid poorly lit areas. Natural light is often the easiest to work with, but pick an overcast day or shoot at dusk to minimize harsh shadows. If you do need to shoot indoors, choose a room with plenty of windows and bring extra lights to illuminate dark spots.
As you look for a background for your shoot, be sure to take your brand’s color palette into consideration. For instance, if you want a light, trendy Instagram feel, search your neighborhood for a white brick wall to use as a backdrop.
4. Gather props
Depending on what type of photo shoot you’re doing, you may need a lot of props or none at all.
If you do need props, make a list of necessary items and gather them before the photo shoot. This will save you from having to run around in search of things like a baseball cap or chekcered napkin while you’re trying to take pictures.
5. Make a list of must-have shots
When planning a photo shoot, it’s beneficial to make a list of specific images you want. This will provide direction and help you use your time efficiently.
For example, you may want the following shots for your pottery business:
New products against a plain background
Mug on a breakfast table
Stack of plates in a cupboard
Full table setting with coordinating plates, bowls, and mugs
The more detail you can include about each image, the easier it will be to set up and the quicker your photo shoot will be.
6. Think about where the content will live
Finally, don’t forget to consider where you’ll be posting your content. If the images will predominantly be used on Instagram, you’ll want to ensure they’ll fit into the square frame. If you’re shooting a custom header for your website, it needs to be a landscape image with a high resolution. Make sure that your content can be displayed to its fullest potential, wherever it may live.