Brand Photography: How To Prepare For It and What To Get

November 25, 2022

brand photography picture of a person looking down slightly while lifting their hair up on either side with their hands

Getting brand photography for your business is a super exciting step and can help you and your business level up. However, there is more that goes into a brand shoot than just showing up and getting your picture taken! (Though I know that’s the fun part.) 

When you are thinking about getting brand photography done, there are a few things that are super important to share with your photographer in order to get the best photos possible. And while you have total freedom over what pictures you take, there are some key photos that are a must have for your website. 

Let’s break down how to prepare for your shoot and what photos you need for your website! 

How To Prepare For Your Brand Shoot

Each brand photographer will have their own process for how they get ready for your shoot, but here are my top prep tips to have the best shoot!

Give your photographer your brand colors 

This is one of the most important things you should do to prepare for your brand shoot, especially if you are going to be shooting in a studio. Your brand colors are a huge part of your business, and you want those to be highlighted in your photos. 

While you may not think this is too big of a deal, your brand colors can dictate a lot when it comes to your photos. For example, if you are doing your shoot in an indoor studio, your colors can be used as backdrops, or your photographer may have some props that match your colors. 

If you’re doing something outdoors, there may be some locations around where you are shooting that have colors that match your brand colors or at least complimentary to your brand colors. The last thing you want to do is invest in brand photos only to have them clash with the colors you use throughout your website and social media! 

Make a Pinterest board of pose ideas 

So this is the part that is most likely going to be a lot of fun for you! There are an infinite number of poses and ideas you can do for your shoot. A great way to collect all of these ideas (and find inspiration for your shoot) is on Pinterest!

While you don’t have to use ALL of the ideas or poses that you find online, these can be a great starting point for you and your photographer to work with. When you are looking for some inspiration to share with your photographer, some things you can look for are specific poses you want to do, props that you can use, outfits that match your brand personality (which we will talk about next), or certain elements that you can use (like prisms, smoke, lights, etc). 

Once you have this inspiration board created, it’s important you send it to your photographer as soon as possible (not the day before or the morning of your shoot). This will ensure that your photographer has time to get any props together and make sure they have everything needed to give you the perfect brand photos. 

Bonus: If you’re feeling up to it, try to come up with some different concepts for your brand shoot, and have different props, poses, and outfits for each concepts.

Send your photographer information on your brand identity and personality

Now, if you had your branding professionally done, this is something that your brand designer may have included in your package. If this is the case, you can send that over to your photographer so that they can get an idea of your overall brand!

If you didn’t get your branding professionally done, there are a couple of things that you can put together to share your brand identity and personality with your photographer. When you’re thinking about this, it’s important to share things like what your brand stands for and what vibe you want your brand to give off. 

For example, if your brand personality is a little more serious and put together, you’re probably not going to want photos of you dressed super casually or playing games. However, if your brand is more laid back, conversational, and relaxed, that would fit perfectly. 

Source props that make sense for your brand

Let’s be honest… we all probably feel a little awkward behind the camera! When you think about it, that’s probably because all other times you’ve been behind a camera, it’s just been you. My solution? Use props that will make you feel more comfortable, and try to find ones that make sense for your brand.

For instance, if you’re a hairstylist, then use props like your scissors, your toolkit, or even hair products. You can hold these or even have them sitting next to you so you don’t feel as awkward, and you’ll feel more in your element.

Find apparel in your brand colors

Lastly, be sure to source clothing that matches your brand’s aesthetic and colors. If your brand is mostly neutrals, it wouldn’t make sense to wear neon tie dye outfits for your brand photography shoot, because that will lead to miscommunication within your brand. Instead, find outfits that help to bring your branding to life.

Another option is also to try to tie in your job with your colors. If you work as a consultant and often wear suits, then try to find a cool power suit in one of your brand colors. This will help your brand photography feel more connected and authentic to your business.

What Brand Photos You Need For Your Website

Whether you are getting brand photography to prepare for a new website or are just looking to refresh your current site with some new pictures, there are a couple of key photos that are super important to get for your website. 

Flatlay detail photos 

Okay, these are probably the pictures that you wouldn’t think about getting during your branding session, but they can play a big part in your overall brand and website asthetic! Flatlay detail pictures can be of anything that you want and are super useful to have, especially for your website and use in social media graphics. 

When you’re thinking about what you can use from these details shots, you can think about things that you use every day in your business or that represent what you do in your business (like paint materials for an art therapist). Or, they can also be things that just represent the vibe and personality of your brand (like candy for a colorful website designer). 

Once you have them, these photos are perfect for when you want to use an image as a background somewhere on your site but don’t want it to be the center of attention in that spot. For instance, these make great backgrounds for things like newsletter signups or short calls to action!

Think of these detail photos as stock photos, but for your brand. We all know when we see stock photos because they all look the same, and by having branded detail shots, you’ll easily stand out from the crowd, because ordinary is so last year.

Headshots and Individual Photos (if you have multiple people in your photos)

Regardless of what type of business you have, odds are you are going to have an about page or at least a section on your site that is about you/your team. It is super important that you have headshots or individual photos of everyone on your team to use on that page. 

Clients and customers are much more likely to trust a brand and invest in it if they know the face behind the business. People want to be able to see who it is that is making their product or providing them the service. 

Now, these photos don’t have to be the generic smiling in front of a blank wall photo that you would see on corporate ID cards. You can absolutely have fun with these photos, wear interesting outfits, use props, etc! But it is important that each person that is going to be featured on your website does have a solo picture that you can use. 

If you do have a team working with you, you can also do some group shots to use throughout the site to highlight everyone too! 

Pictures that have a little movement and show your personality 

Movement is key when it comes to your website photography. While there are definitely photos that need to be taken where you are more stationary, if every photo on your website is just you standing (or sitting) in one spot smiling, it is going to get pretty repetitive and boring. 

When you are planning out your photos with your photographer, be sure you think about what you can do to add some movement to your pictures. This doesn’t have to be super complicated and can be as simple as walking, dancing, painting, giving a treatment, or anything that feels comfortable for you and your brand. 

Horizontal and vertical photos 

This is more of a logistical thing, but it is super important that you get both horizontal and vertical photos during your brand photography shoot. After all, the pictures on your site are not all horizontal or all vertical!

You also want to make sure you get a good variety of horizontal and vertical photos for your different poses/ideas. This will ensure that you’re not stuck with all your vertical pictures being headshots or all your horizontal photos being detail shots.

Odds are your photographer will do this anyway, but if you do know you want certain images for certain spots on your website, be sure to let your photographer know so they can make sure they get those shots! 

Photos of you doing your thing!

You’ll also want to have some photos of you doing what you do best, and what you’re getting your photos for. An agency owner may want to get some cool shots of them working with clients, a brand designer may want pictures of them creating a mood board on the wall, and an artist may want photos of them creating art.

Be sure to get photos of you actually doing the action and not just you staring into the camera, as this will help showcase your business in a fun way.

Bonus: get photo bursts

This one is a complete bonus, but you can also try to get some fun photo bursts (or photos taken one after the other) to showcase movement in a different way. These can be really playful to use on your website or even in social media images!

A good example of this is the photo bursts that I shot for an art therapist client, which the web designer was able to use to place one after another for a unique section on the client’s site. It’s definitely a scroll-stopper!

Brand photography is an important investment to make in your business and one that you don’t want to waste. These tips will help ensure you get the most out of your shoot and get the best pictures for you and your brand. 

Now that you know how to prepare for your shoot and what pictures you need, you’re ready to book your branding session. Click here to get in touch and book your next branding session!