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Mastering Brand Photography: Essential Tips & Common Mistakes to Avoid

Brand photography tips that help you create aligned galleries for your clients!

Whether you are a seasoned brand photographer or just starting in the industry, mastering brand photography is essential for capturing aligned images that truly represent a client's brand and get them sending all their friends your way.

In this post, we're exploring common mistakes to avoid and brand photography tips to enhance your shoots and client journey. From effective communication to proper composition and styling, we will cover everything you need to know to elevate your brand photography game.

The Importance of Offering Variety in Outfits and Looks

One of the most prevalent mistakes beginning brand photographers make is not providing enough variety in outfits and looks for the client. This lack of diversity can limit the usage of the images across different platforms as it's a dead giveaway that all images were shot in one go and clients don't really want that (or they don't know that they don't want it.).

Give your clients an idea of how many outfits to include in their shoot and even try setting a timer that will alert you when they may want to do a quick wardrobe swap. Encourage them to bring a few easy outfit additions as well such as cardigans, scarves, blazers, glasses frames, etc. so you can switch up the look quickly.

Overshooting is another common mistake that is worth avoiding. A hard one to break the habit of doing as well!

Taking an excessive number of photos of the same outfit or pose can flood the client with too many choices and make the selection process overwhelming. And we want EASE for our clients!

Do your best to strike a balance between capturing enough images for variety and not overwhelming the client with too many similar shots. In other words, if you've got the shot and they're happy with it, move on to the next thing - there's no need to keep snapping.

Strategizing Photo Shoots: Communication, Composition, and Crop

Strategizing your brand photo shoots involves effective communication with the client to understand their brand identity and the purpose of the images. Discussing where the images will be used, whether it's for social media posts, website banners, or other promotional materials, is crucial in capturing the right angles and compositions.

Your brand shoot planning questionnaire should address their needs but also chat with them about it during your planning discussions as they may want to expand their answers once they hear ideas from you.

When it comes to composition, it's important to consider the type of shots that will best showcase the client's brand. Horizontal shots work well for website banners and marketing materials, while vertical shots are popular for social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.

Proper cropping is another key aspect of brand photography. Avoid getting too close to the client in your shots, as clients often need full-body or three-quarter shots for social media and websites. Leaving negative space in the images can also enhance their versatility, allowing for text overlays or other graphic elements to be added later.

When in doubt, leave some space. In my gallery delivery email I have a line that says I don't crop too close so that you can adjust the image or add overlays as needed - that way they know I didn't forget and can be inspired to customize it in a way that suits their marketing.

Choosing the Perfect Location and Styling for Your Brand Images

Selecting the right location(s) with your clients for their brand shoots can breathe so much life into their brand and can massively increase the impact of those images.

Educate your clients on choosing well-styled locations that align with their brand aesthetic. When they book with you, there should be a section of your onboarding guides that walks them through this decision-making process and highlights the benefits of high quality locations and sometimes that's coaching them through choosing a shoot rental house.

Wherever you end up shooting together, make it a priority to clear out background distractions to help the focus to remain on your client.

In addition to location, styling plays a crucial role in brand photography. Pay attention to details such as hair, wardrobe, and poses to ensure that the client looks their best in the images.

Aligning your shotlist with the client's brand vision and values, which you should be doing with them on a call and sending over a shoot vision brief/plan/map (whatever you want to call it) for their approval prior to the shoot, will completely elevate your final galleries by delivering images that do loads of the marketing heavy lifting in their content. Plus it will give you a poppin' portfolio!

Attention to Detail: Styling the Client and Minimizing Distractions

While we're busy watching light, adjusting settings, and managing the technical aspects of handling a camera, we cannot ignore the importance of styling. Styling the client and the shot while paying attention to detail are essential elements of capturing images that really wow your clients. It can be the little details that take an images from average to ending up on all the pinterest inspiration boards!

Always ensure that the client looks their best by focusing on aspects like hair, wardrobe, and poses. If it's too difficult for you to manage while also shooting, bring along an assistant or encourage your client to bring a friend who can help watch for food in teeth, stray baby hairs, or wonky collars.

Not only will these details enhance your portfolio images, but your clients will feel so well looked after and taken care of. And it's those feelings that encourage positive reviews and recommendations.

Add Motion to Marketing: Capture BTS and B-roll

To be honest I don't really believe in hybrid shooting. I think it's best to put all your energy into either shooting photography or video (on a shoot by shoot basis). This is coming from a photographer who's partner went to media production school and is a videographer. I just don't foresee quality work coming from a place where you have to shift back and forth between motion and stills throughout a shoot.

That said, I love pausing the shoot (when it makes sense) and capturing some b-roll and BTS footage on my phone (best when you have a high quality phone camera). This isn't something I promise in the shoot package because it can be hard to remember if you're in the photography flow all day, but it is a lovely bonus way to overdeliver. If you're able to take some with a tripod as well to make sure you and the client both get BTS videos, they're wonderful for sharing on social media AND can be used way before the final gallery is ready. You can even ask when sharing to IG if you can 'collab' the post so it goes to both feeds for max exposure!

Remember the Aim - Tell your Clients' Stories

Another mistake I see a lot of beginning brand photographers make (aside from lighting that's not the most flattering) is defaulting to laptop and mug shots.

Yes those can be great images and they work for a variety of scenarios, but how else can you tell their story? How can you help set them apart? Think of ways to add in different elements and angles to the frame so they're not just another solopreneur in front of a laptop.

Elevate your Skills to help Yours and Your Clients' Businesses Grow

By following these brand photography tips you can enhance the quality of your work, attract higher paying clients clients, and achieve greater success in your photography business - how exciting!

So remember to embrace creativity, pay attention to detail, and always prioritize your client's goals to deliver exceptional brand photos that help them stand out in the online space!

If you need help with any of the above points, reach out to discuss a 1:1 mentoring session where we can dive deeper into any of the concepts above and you can pick my brain.


Are you looking to improve your brand photography?

I know it's overwhelming to know where to turn for advice on how to grow your brand photography. That's why I've created the ABCs of Brand Photography Mini-Course. It's bitesized and packed with useful information that will help you elevate your confidence in delivering an incredible client experience!


Mistakes to avoid as a brand photographer.




Hi I'm Kayleigh - colorful brand photographer & lover of green tea, travel, & all things plant-based

I live in NW England but I grew up in Seattle and traveled for YEARS, shooting everything I saw in the 100+ countries I visited - deserts, icebergs, cliffs, fjords, you name it! 


Then I strarted photographing people, which quickly turned into a passion. I used to feel super nervous and timid in front of the camera but have worked through it and now I get an absolute kick out of helping other compassionate entrepreneurs around the world show up boldly, authentically, and CONFIDENTLY in order to connect with their people and grow their businesses.

I can’t wait to help you feel good, save time, and capture photos you can't wait to share!


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