where do you want to shoot?
Locations have a huge impact when it comes to elevating your brand imagery. It's ok to have no idea where you want to go at first, but once you pull up your shot list, mood board, and google maps, the locations start to find themselves!
+ Where do you feel called to shoot?
+ What emotions and energy do you want to evoke in your images? Don't worry - I'll help you out with this step on our planning call!
Most people stick close to where they live and work in order to capture things that represent where in the world they are, but that's not a requirement! Want to hit the beaches of Bali or the waters of Washington? I'm totally down to travel with you!
Whatever you choose needs to be in tune with your brand. We don't want to confuse your clients with a gallery full of forest photos if you're a real estate agent. And even if you're a mostly outdoorsy brand, scroll down to see why I recommend at least starting at a location indoors.
Are you all about that nature? Let’s head to the forest.
Want to chat about the benefits of cold water immersion? Let's pick a beach.
Do you frequently work out and about? Let's find a cute cafe.
Want to convey a bold statement? Graffiti walls here we come!
complement your brand + make you feel good + tell your story
why we need an indoor location & what to consider when shooting inside:
Waking up in a bright Airbnb is the ultimate way to kickstart your shoot day. It allows us to maximize our time together and make sure the weather and crowds won't hold us back. A tidy, well-lit indoor space is beneficial for loads of reasons. First of all, it gives you a place to have your make-up artist and/or hair stylist to meet you, change outfits, and freshen up. We have way more control in our own space than out and about, so whether your own house is Instagram-able, or we find one for you to rent, this will cover loads of lifestyle shots throughout the different spaces and give us a wonderful start to the shoot.
Weather can be an unpredictable pain no matter where in the world you are, so if there's a sudden downpour or we're faced with the harsh mid-day sun, a cute Airbnb gives us the luxury of continuing to shoot rather than waiting around for the weather to pass.
WHAT we want inside:
+ SPACE - I need to be able to back my booty up to capture wide shots for your banner images and to provide you with lots of negative space
+ LIGHT - natural light is the most flattering so multiple big, beautiful windows are a must! But we also need to know which direction they face in order to soak up that ambient lighting that fills the room with softness, rather than harsh rays of sun paired with dark shadows, so shut off those lights and throw open the curtains!
+ MINIMAL STYLING - we want to inject your mark on the space so that it complements your brand. Search for a minimalistic, blank canvas to start so you can add pops of your brand colors through pillows, journals, mugs, etc.
+ WHITE WALLS & LIGHT FLOORING - to bounce that beautiful light!
WHAT we DON'T want inside:
+ SKYLIGHTS - not all skylights are bad, but they create uneven light that can be unpredictable and cause awful shadows when the weather changes so overall it's best to choose more windows on the sides of buildings than the tops
+ REFLECTIVE SURFACES - there's a unique trend toward shiny kitchen cupboards, and even sideboards and as great as they may look to the eyes, they are no fun for cameras as they pick up everything on the opposite side of the lens, so best to look for spaces that won't reflect
+ YELLOW/ORANGE WOODEN FLOORING AND CABINETS - these can make your skin look orange and add a tint to all the photos
+ CRAMPED, DARK, OFF BRAND SPACES - just a reminder that we can't photoshop our way out of spaces that are too small, too dark, or completely off brand
renting a space
Renting an overnight space has HUGE benefits! You'll have:
the morning to get ready (your makeup and hair stylists can come to you)
a clean, dry, relaxing start to the shoot
time to settle into the space and get in the zone
a private place to change wardrobe
separation between you and the daily chores and tasks of work/home
plenty of vignettes throughout the space for lifestyle shots (kitchen, sofa, bed, desk)
a mini work-holiday to look forward to!
Plus, anything you spend money on during your branding shoot can be expensed so keep that in mind as you search for your dream shoot locations!
When booking a hotel* or airbnb, best practice is to go for 2 nights to avoid getting kicked out in the morning.
There's also the option of booking space in a coworking building or even a studio by the hour if you're on a budget but keep in mind that everything takes longer than expected so we'll want to book for more hours than we think we need.
When searching for a rental for your shoot, keep in mind all of the points above (bright and airy, spacious, minimally decorated, proximity to other shoot locations, ways you can inject you and your brand) and know that I'm here to help you decide so please reach out so we can choose one together that both suits your brand, and works well on the photographic side.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ensure you've booked a refundable place that allows you to cancel or change dates should anything come up!
*hotels are by no means a bad idea but they can be a bit obvious in photos from the basic decor and furnishings, to the mounted headboard lights. If going for a hotel, find a big room with big windows.
shoot rental websites
There are so many incredible rental locations to choose from. Have a little browse to see which inspires you and feel free to reach out with questions!
shooting in your home
Shooting in your space is a great way to capture your personality, surrounded by the tidbits of your life, however we need to make sure it reflects you in the best way, AND looks good on camera.
Firstly, run through the indoor shooting needs I've compiled above to make sure your home has plenty of light walls, windows, and extra space. We'll also want to make sure you're comfortable with people seeing your home online - it's a-okay if you want to keep that part of you separate from your business.
Think about the following before settling on your own space for the shoot:
Are there multiple windows to cast beautiful light on you?
Does it suit your vision, moodboard, and shot list?
Can you have it tidied and fully ready before shoot day?
Does your decor work with your brand colors, themes, and values?
Is there enough space for us both to move freely to capture lots of angles?
If we're all groovy shooting in your house, make sure your space is prepped before I arrive:
De-clutter the areas we will be shooting (these will be the rooms we agreed have the best light) - if you don't want it in the picture, stow it away
Pick up some fresh flowers in your brand colors to create accents and brighten your rooms
Hide sockets and unmoveable distractions with houseplants or other props in your brand colors
Turn off lights and open shades
Gather the items from throughout your house you'd like to incorporate
Oh, and count on me moving furniture and perhaps climbing on (approved) things so we can get shots with the best light and angles!
shooting at cafes
Cafes are an amazing way to showcase your hybrid, location-free work habits; or share how you prefer to meet up in person with clients.
Finding the right cafe for shooting isn't all that different from finding the right rental space - keep an eye out for big windows, light or white walls, and plenty of space.
Ideally we would be near the window (that's not in direct sunlight) or outside on a nice day with a few props that tell the story of cafe working - laptop, phone, notepad and pen to name a few. Maybe you even want a friend to come to demonstrate how you relax or even how you interact with clients.
Some places may not be too keen on having a brand shoot take place at their establishment so it's best to go with the flow and downplay it a bit if you ask ahead of time, saying that the shots are just for social media. Sometimes photoshoots make people think of a huge production team and loads of gear when in reality it'll just be us enjoying lunch and/or a drink while capturing a few images as we wait.
If you've got a favorite place in mind, let me look into it to make sure it will give you the best, most flattering light and angles! And let's plan our visit outside of typical cafe rush times.
Shooting outside, while wonderful and fun, is completely unpredictable! From the weather, to the lighting, to the crowds, we are at the mercy of the universe so it's always best to approach our outdoor shot list with ease and adaptability.
Search for places that are:
fairly close to each other to avoid long car rides
on-brand so the photos tie together
not too crowded or touristy
airy and bright but not in direct sunlight
We'll get creative together and wander to find on-brand backgrounds, and plain walls to capture you against (these are great for overlaying messages).
If you want wild nature to be a prominent part of your shoot, making time to visit untamed locations will be much more appealing than trying to pass off the manicured gardens of a city park for something deep in the mountains. Most nature locations will need to happen at golden hour to give us the best results (especially beaches), so keep that in mind when it comes to timing.
final note on locations...
We'll do all that we can to capture your dream shots in your dream locations! That said, it's best to be wise with our priorities as well as time and energy limitations. We'll invite creativity and improvisation if we stumble upon something that sparks excitement and if a location isn't quite coming together as we planned, we'll flow with ease into the next idea! So just like the shot list, we'll want to organize your locations in priority order in case we can't make it to all of them in one day.