5 Things I Learned From My Own Brand Photo Shoot | Brand Photographer
Last week, I took part in my own personal brand photography shoot.
It had been two years since my last photo shoot, and with 2020 around the corner and a new product launch on the horizon, I felt it was time to invest in some new photos.
I practice what I preach, so I realized that fresh visuals are a necessary part of boosting my brand and getting attention on my business. I hired expert photographer Lauren Listor of Laurel Creative to capture the energy and story of my brand. I was drawn to her lifestyle aesthetic and was impressed by the way she captures various moods in her photography.
As a brand photographer myself, I knew generally what to expect and how the day would progress. Still, if I can be completely honest, I woke up on shoot day feeling nervous and unsure! I started to doubt the stories I wanted to share and the looks I wanted have. I felt anxiety about being in front of the camera.
That morning I experienced how my own clients feel before their photo shoots. I gained a clearer understanding of what goes on in their minds and realized I’d be walking in their shoes throughout the day — feeling all the emotions that come with being on the other side of the lens.
After an internal pep talk, I pushed those last-minute nerves aside and jumped into the day. Do you know what happened? I actually ended up having fun and enjoying the photo session. I also gleaned a new understanding of the brand photography process as I walked through it from a different perspective. Today I’m sharing the five important lessons I learned from this experience.
5 Important Lessons I Learned From My Own Brand Photo Shoot:
1) Hire a photographer you like and who’s talented. Of course you want to work with someone who’s a strong photographer with a good eye, but you also need to partner with someone you actually vibe with. A photo shoot is filled with ALL THE EMOTIONS, so you must be able to trust and enjoy the person who’s capturing you. The day can be a long and exhausting, so spending it with someone you can hang with is key. If you’re able to have fun and laugh with your photographer, your photos will turn out looking natural instead of forced.
2) Trust the experts. It's tough to give up control and allow a team to guide you throughout the day of the shoot. This is why you need to hire the right people ahead of time. If you’ve invested in experts who are skilled at what they do and understand your vision, it’s time to let go. On photo shoot day, sit back and let them lead. This means letting the photographer direct you, find locations, and help you express yourself. This also means trusting hair and makeup to transform your everyday look to something with more polish and glamour. It means leaning on your stylist to pull together your outfits from head to toe — maybe even wearing something that feels like a bigger version of you. Letting go allows you to focus on revealing your story.
My own team of experts absolutely killed it on my photo shoot day! Hair by Reel Style Beauty, makeup by Sarah Jeanne, and styling by Style Remixx were all essential players in my day and made me feel confident and photo-ready.*
*For my brand photography clients, I provide this team of experts as part of my comprehensive experience. Hair, makeup and styling are all covered in my photography package, so my clients are able to enjoy an all-inclusive photo session. They don’t have to worry about setting up those details — I make sure they are in capable hands!
3) Prep ahead of time. A lot goes on during shoot day, so it's essential to take the time to organize all the things ahead of time. Make a list of all the props you need, gather your branded materials, try on every single outfit, and research beauty looks.
I put all my stuff in a big rollable suitcase, and that really helped transport everything from one shooting location to another.
4) Make your shot list. This is SO important. You must head into your photo shoot knowing the stories you want to tell. Have the conversation early with your photographer about the goals you have for the images. Brainstorm stories you want to capture — ones that showcase your individuality and align with your brand. Write out the list and bring it with you! Shoot day can get hectic and busy, so the last thing you want is to forget to capture a certain story that was important to you.
For my clients, we set up a strategy call pre-shoot. This is my way of really diving deep into my client's business, their goals, their marketing plan and the essence of their brand.
I need all of this information in order to develop their photo stories, write up a creative brief, and successfully direct the shoot.
5) Remember the BIG vision. As I mentioned, I got nervous. I started to doubt myself and listen to all the negative talk in my head. I had to make a conscious decision to flip that mindset off. I reminded myself of my passion for my work and my clients. I focused on my big brand vision (and had to kick perfectionism to the curb).
The photos weren't glamour pics or meant for vanity use. The purpose of these images was to connect with women entrepreneurs and encourage them to become brand leaders. I had to go back to my mission to get over the hump.
Photo shoot days are exhausting, but they are also exhilarating. Putting yourself out there as the FACE of your brand is a huge step in becoming a real leader, a boss, and a woman to watch. The confidence and excitement I feel as a result of making the investment in myself and my business is amazing. I now feel super pumped to work even harder for my brand!
I always knew brand photography was worth the time, money and energy, but now being on the other side as a client, it's confirmed. I'm so excited to have a new set of photos for my marketing channels, and to have updated options for my website, sales pages, newsletters and social media posts. This experience has made me be a better photographer and mentor to my own clients.
Have you been thinking about brand photography for your business? I'd love to help you build your business through visual storytelling! I have four open brand photo sessions left for 2019, so the time to book is now. Let's have a chat to see if it's the right time for your business, and if we're the right fit : bit.ly/bookwithmiki.