Before You Book Your Brand Photo Shoot, Ask These 5 Questions | Brand Photographer

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Are you ready to take the leap and become the face of your brand?

Are you ready to create a visual story for your audience?

If this describes YOU, congratulations!  You’ve reached an exciting stage for any business owner: you’re ready to invest in a Brand Photographer.

But before you put a deposit down and say cheese, it’s super important to invest a little time into finding the right brand photographer. After all, not all photographers are created equal. It’s necessary to do some research and groundwork before hiring someone. If you live in a smaller city or town, you may not have a specialist in your area. You may only have portrait, wedding and event photographers to choose from. Take the time to review portfolios and determine if their style and aesthetic matches yours. Read reviews and ask for referrals in your networks. Set up discovery calls. Ask lots of questions. Here are 5 questions to get you started:

1. Do you have experience working and photographing entrepreneurs and small business owners? A branding photo shoot is different than a portrait or wedding session. It requires strategy and a strong understanding of business and branding basics like messaging and target markets. The photographer should have experience with creating images for online, for websites and for social media. You want to hire someone who understands visual strategy and shares ideas on how you can use your photos to meet your branding and marketing goals.

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2. What process will you take me through to understand my business? Strong, storytelling images are the result of detailed discussions. This may include a questionnaire, a Pinterest board, brainstorming worksheets, video consultation—every photographer has their own way of pulling out the elements of your story. Be sure to ask about the “how” and make sure there is a process. This photo shoot isn’t just a “show up and shoot” kind of a session.

 

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3. How much do you charge and what is included? Price can be a big factor in your decision making. As you look at different photographers, you will find there is no set formula and pricing can fluctuate depending on where you live, how many years of experience the photographer has in business and what is included in the package. Ask about the fees. Ask about the specifics of what is included in the package. Some photographers offer all inclusive packages covering everything from the session fee to makeup and hair to the full edited digital files; while others offer their services and products more in an a la carte format. Some photographers offer unedited, proof-type images while others only sell the finished, fully-edited files. Some photographers have a team while others work solo. Make sure you are clear on what exactly is included.

4. How many outfits can I wear? Figuring out what to wear at your photo shoot can sometimes be the most stressful part. You want options so that you can communicate different looks and stories with your style. You want to make sure you have enough variety in your images. Every photographer is different in terms of how many outfits they will capture. Make sure to ask so that you are prepared.

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5. How many locations will we shoot in? Who secures the locations? Like the number of outfits, it’s important to ask the number of locations that you will shoot at during your session. Some photographers only allow one general neighborhood for the shoot while others will drive all over town. You may want to shoot at a boutique, a home office, a movie theatre or an urban street. Think about the stories that you want to tell with your images and then determine the right locations. Think about how you will get around from place to place. Also make sure to discuss who is responsible for getting permission to shoot at these locations. It may be the photographer who gets clearance or the client who has to do the work. Just be clear on who will take the lead on locations. There is nothing worse than arriving at your dream spot and being asked to leave.

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There many questions to consider when booking a branding photoshoot and selecting your photographer. These are just a small sampling to get you started. The more information you have, the more informed you will be in your decision. When you hire a brand photographer, you are hiring not only a person with a fancy camera, but a confidant, a cheerleader, a business coach, a creative director and storyteller. You are hiring someone who will partner with you to create images that establish a powerful brand and a captivating online presence. Remember: Your best photos and your clearest message will be a result of a well-planned shoot!

Before you throw down a HUGE chunk of change for a branded photo shoot, grab my FREE Guide to Hiring a Brand Photographer here:  bit.ly/brandphotographerguide Inside, you’ll find my insider tips on what to look out for, what to expect, and what questions to ask to find the right match and create your dream photo shoot.