How to Plan a Branding Photo Shoot

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

Savannah, Georgia is a place for dreamers. Truly, it's the perfect place for entrepreneurs, bloggers and influencers. Having graduated from Savannah College of Art & Design with a double minor in Fashion Photography and Advertising Photography I love working with all the dreamers and goal-getters in Savannah. I work with small business and influencers in order to create consistent images that speak to their ideal clients. How do we do that? I'm so glad you asked. Between my education and experience I have a workflow that allows us to get the most out of the photo shoot when the shoot day arrives. With branding photography, the pre-production is crucial. So, here's how to plan a branding photo shoot and how you can make the most of out the images for your brand.

As social media gets bigger and bigger, new photography is needed more consistently. Regularly changing your website also helps with your SEO. Whether it be consistent images of your products, outfits or business - MDB Photography is here! We create imagery specifically for you and your brand.

When planning a photo shoot for your company you should consider your brand, aesthetic, style, color scheme and ideal client in order to create your ideal images. I know, it seems like a lot but, together we got this! Here's some tools to help you plan!

Goals - What's the purpose of this shoot? Are you rebranding? Launching a new product? Once you decide what you want the images to achieve you can start planning your shoot! YAY!

Deliverables - Just a fancy term used to say where and how are the images going to be used. Are they going to just be used on Instagram or your website? Are they for your cover photo on Facebook? Maybe an advertisement in a local magazine? Knowing this prior to shooting is important because maybe you need a 820 pixels by 360 pixels image for Facebook. Or, maybe you need a vertical image for your website. If you spend the money on a photo shoot and all your images are vertical and you need horizontal. . . It's probably going to be frustrating. So, thinking about this prior to shooting is KEY.

Here's some ideas on where your images might be used:

- Website

- Blog

- Instagram - post, story, profile

- Facebook - post, story, profile, cover photo, advertisement

- Pinterest

- Newsletter

- Online courses

- Advertisement

- Magazine

- Business Cards

Mood Boards - If you didn't go to art school like most people, you are probably like "a mood board?!" It's not hard, I promise. Start with your brand colors. Are they baby blue and gray like MDB Photography? Are they red and yellow like McDonald's? Think about what color your logo is or what colors are used on your website or advertisements. Or, if this specific shoot is for a specific event or idea, think about what colors you want to stand out. If it's a fall shoot you'll most likely want shades of red, orange and yellow. If it's a winter shoot maybe it's shades of blue or Christmas colors. A super easy tool to create your color scheme is

MDB Photography Color Scheme

Then find some inspiration photos. You could use a magazine, Google, Pinterest, Instagram or all of the above! Whatever is easiest for you! Once you've collected your color scheme and inspiration put it all together using InDesign, Pages, Word or Google Docs. Again, which ever way is easiest for you. Below is an example mood board from a mock up Ad Campaign for Batiste.

Here is one of the final images from that shoot. Looking at the right side of the mood board, you can see the image was planned out prior to the shoot.

Shot List - A shot list is the perfect way to make sure your branding shoot meets your expectations. It's as easy as typing each dream shot up on a Word or Pages document. The more detailed the better. Here's an example from the branding shoot with Made in the Shade Company for their launch!

Shot description: "Joy" napkin featured with wooden cutting board in a beverage scene

Framing: High angled shot

Background or location: Marble countertop

Props and styling: "Joy" cocktail napkin, fancy glass with beverage inside, wooden cutting board, cut oranges and limes

Notes: Keep napkin in focus, other props out of focus

This allows for everyone involved in the shoot to know exactly what the dream image should look like.

Prop list - Anything that will make the image come to life while also keeping it fun and interesting. Here's an image from a collaboration branding shoot with both Genteel & Bard and Salt & Shore Company. Now, look at all the props used. Notice, they all add to tell the story without being distracting.

The prop list for this image was winter hats, cozy pajamas, Hidden History of Savannah books, fall floral arrangement, pillows, blankets and glasses.

Location - You may already have your ideal location in mind or maybe ask your professional photographer for suggestions. . . If you are a luxury lifestyle and tour company, you probably don't want to be in a skatepark. You will want to be somewhere luxurious that features a location in your city. For example, here's T.C. & Brenna - owners and curators of Genteel & Bard. We decided the Isle of Hope Marina was the perfect location. Isle of Hope is absolutely gorgeous! This allowed us to feature the two creative minds behind this successful business while also showcasing one of the stunning secret locations of Savannah, Georgia.

Timing - For indoor shoots, timing is not as crucial but, for outdoor shoots it's KEY. Harsh lighting is not flattering and can make for a difficult and unsuccessful photo shoot. If possible, go to the location prior to the shoot day and figure out what time the best lighting would be. My favorite time to shoot is golden hour, right before the sun goes down. The warm light makes for perfect lighting to create those dream images.

So there you have it - my tips for planning a brand photoshoot. The ultimate goal here is to create a visual style that tells a story, represents your brand and attracts those dream clients and customers.

Interested in growing your brand to reach even more of your ideal clients and customers? I would love to help you create images that represent you and your brand. Contact me and we can start making those dream images!

Based in Savannah, Georgia

Booking worldwide

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© 2020 By MDB Photography LLC