The Must-Have Brand Photography Shotlist
Your brand photography shotlist needs are diverse, whether you know it or not!
Especially with the insane amount of social media platforms we all have at our fingertips. You not only need photos for all the different platforms AND your website AND your freebies AND your marketing material, but you also need images that are timeless AND stand out and attract.
Boring corporate headshots are OUT and personality-driven photos that tell your story are the way forward.
In order to get the most out of your personal brand photoshoot, include these types of images in your shotlist so your gallery comes back absolutely BURSTING with useful images to grow your business and celebrate your brand. You may even want to include some of the unique bonus ideas!
Take note of the types of shots you want to include in your brand photography session and make sure to tell your photographer during your planning meeting!
fun & relaxed headshots
First of all, show them who you are. I’m not just talking about a smile-at-the-camera headshot, oh nonono my friends! We’re anti-stuffy over here! Ok…maybe one, but the rest will be FUN! Of course, a traditional headshot shows your face but it tells no story about who you are and what you do! We want you to be trustworthy and relatable by sharing the real YOU, whether we're shooting your work, hobbies, or hangouts! Laugh and build trust with photos of you looking at the camera. Remember, brand photography is about your brand, and ultimately...you are your brand!
If getting your photo taken makes you anxious, you're not alone.
Have a read through my tips on how to quell pre-shoot anxiety.
behind the scenes
Peel back that curtain, create intrigue, and gain trust with photos showcasing what happens in the background of your successful business! People LOVE this stuff. They'll eat it up. Capturing images of you hard at work not only gives your followers a peek into your process, but it also shows your dedication to making a kick-ass product or service. A lot of consumers have no idea what the day-to-day life is like for a busy solopreneur. Even if you think your daily routines are not photo-worthy, I’m sure a ton of people will relate to them!
with a client
Invite a friend to your shoot to play the role of your client so people can see what it could be like to work with you. This works especially well for professionals in the coaching and therapy industries. Do you take clients primarily over zoom? Set up a call with your friend to add realism to your shoot. Bring along documents or tools you'd use throughout the meeting to give people an idea of how you run your sessions.
Show your fans what your downtime looks like. Whether it's you getting ready for the day with your morning routine, a look at how you spend your Sundays, or even just how you take a quick break between clients throughout your workday. These types of images are great for seeing what you have in common with your audience.
your playful side
Laughing and being playful is a really useful way to show how approachable and human you are. Images like the one on the left are great to share when talking about feeling a little crazy, busy, or if you made a silly error. And laughing photos accompany fun captions and help remind your fans not to take work and life so seriously all the time. How will you show off your playful side?
What do you like to do when you're not working? What brings you joy and gives you that necessary dose of escapism? Your brand is not just about the work you do, but it's also about you as a person. Share what feeds your soul, whether that's jewelry making, painting, paddle boarding, yoga, you get the idea. This is an incredible way to connect with people and maybe even find new buddies to hobby with!
Show your fans the space where you get it done! Use these photos to speak about your services, location, productivity hacks, hours of operation, how to contact you, and more! This is a great way to tie into another brand if you decorate your space with products from other small businesses. Give them a shoutout to spread the love!
tools of the trade
Maybe all you need is your phone and a laptop to get through your daily to-do list, or perhaps you need something more. Whatever it is you use to deliver your service or create your products, share these types of images. Pair it with a caption that explains how you use the item, where others can purchase it if they'd like, or to explain the benefits of one tool vs. the other.
Remember to capture the ambience! You don't need to be in every photo throughout your brand photography shoot. Well-styled detail shots make for great photos to fill out your website and social media. Don't underestimate their power to tell a story! Throw text over a simple photo that encompasses the essence of your brand and there you have your next post. These can be photos of the fresh flowers in the corner of your office, the steam coming off a hot cuppa in your favorite mug, samples you’ve ordered from manufacturers, your deskscape – so many ways to tell the story of your brand.
zoomed in details
Get up close and personal so you can tell different stories. For instance, a yoga pose zoomed out can explain the benefits of the pose overall, but a zoomed in version allows you to go deeper and explain the exact benefits of specific body placement. Same pose -> different conversation.
on-the-nose attention grabbers
I ask my clients a lot of questions in prep for their personal branding shoot and from their answers we can pull out specific phrases that can be easily translated into an attention-grabbing image. For instance, on the left, a psychologist wanted to allude to overwhelm and the balancing of work, study, and motherhood; and on the right a hypnotherapist mentioned wanting to help women who feel like they've lost their spark. Have a think about some of the things you want to share and who your ideal client is. Transforming those thoughts into literal images may be "on-the-nose," or even feel a tad cheesy when styling them but who cares if they capture the attention of people you can help?
with your team
You may have a team, or maybe your coworker is your doggo - either way, make sure to include the essential players that help your business thrive.
Bring something from your house - a frame, an ipad, or even just cardstock - to show the camera and use as a way to share a message about an upcoming offer or launch, your summer availability, or a quote that inspires you.
Add some negative space to your brand photography shot list whether that's in nature or against a plain wall. They make for wonderful opportunities to add text and grab attention.
In addition to plenty of shots showing us your face and personality, you'll need zoomed out horizontal shots as well. These are great for website banners!
a celebration moment
Think of what you would want to post when you have something fun and exciting to announce - launch, client win, special feature, holiday, etc. Is it popping bubbles? Tossing confetti? Popping balloons? Jumping? Throwing paint powder? These shots are super fun!
brand photography bonus shots:
The following shotlist ideas may not suit your brand on the surface, but have a think as to whether some shots like these would have a positive impact on your marketing.
Are you a product based business? Obviously you need photos to sell your products, but there's not just one way to photograph them.
First, as a consumer I want to see the product in its packaging. This is particularly important if you pride yourself on the value of reducing waste or being plastic-free. It shows your branding and helps give your customers an idea of what to look out for, especially if you’re stocked in a store. Their eyes will know exactly where to go!
I also want to see a product in use. If it’s food, show it plated beautifully for your fans to picture themselves enjoying it. You may even inspire them to try something new with the way you plate it. They’ll remember you as the person who introduced them to insert whatever unique plating or food pairing idea you inspired them to try.
For accessories and clothing, I want to see how it hangs on another person. I don’t want to buy a beautiful piece that gives me no context as to how it sits on the body. Get a model or two (or jump into the role yourself) and let’s share some gorgeous context!
Pretty shots of your images against a styled background - I think these are actually the most used, but in a way the least useful. Of course, they’re gorgeous and I totally support them in the mix with the rest of your content, but if they're standalone images, as a consumer, they leave me very little to go off. They are great for traffic in platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, but you'll definitely want to include a variety of options for conversion.
events and retreats
Whether you’re an attendee or a host, sharing these photos are great for your marketing. What a fun way to connect and encourage wellness!
If you’re participating in a retreat, share that with your fans. They’ll be so interested, and it can help your retreat hosts as well – win-win for everyone!
If you’re hosting an event or retreat, you’ll have a much larger shot-list (photos of the team, participants, activities, gift bags, downtime mingling, etc.)! These incredible images, plastered across your site and social media, will have your fans and followers feeling the FOMO, visualizing themselves there, and lining up to get a spot at the next one!
wild & free
Shots that invoke feelings may not work for every brand but if you're in fields that involve emotions and healing, introducing movement, a little blur, or even light flares, create really unique, one-of-a-kind images. They're also ridiculously fun to shoot! Especially as the sun starts to dip into that juicy golden hour goodness.
show some skin
Are you on a body acceptance journey for yourself? Are you leading others through one? If you or your brand are going through a rebirth of any kind, you may find that shedding the layers speaks well to your story and captures the eyes people who need to see your message and offer. You don't have to truly take it all off - you can easily elude to being nude with clever angles (however, you may find it an important part of your journey to go all out with it).
Are you looking to elevate your confidence & boost your brand?
I'm here to guide compassionate entrepreneurs like you through fun and relaxed personal branding photoshoots that boost your confidence and save you time with loads of gorgeous content. Together we plan your shoot around your story and passions in order to build trust and connect you to other beautiful souls by showcasing the authentic you.
Check out what's involved in Personal Brand Photoshoots and reach out when you're ready to learn more!
It's ok (and very common) to feel nervous on camera - I'm here to support you through the whole journey!
Read all about the steps to planning your brand shoot in my FREE brand photography intro kit!