Importance of Brand Strategy for your Photo Shoot | NJ Brand Photographer
The strongest images are those rooted in story and strategy.
Over the past several years, I’ve partnered with hundreds of entrepreneurs to communicate their brand story through photos. Brand photo shoots are a HUGE investment for an entrepreneur, and approaching one without a well-thought-out plan can produce some underwhelming results. Launching into a brand photo shoot with a casual, “show up and shoot” attitude will not lead to images that truly capture the depth of your story. It takes careful planning and collaboration with your photographer to produce the attention-grabbing images you’re dreaming of.
Before your photographer snaps ONE photo, you must be able to communicate to her a solid Brand Strategy.
Meet with your photographer to deliberately discuss your message. Does she understand the essence you want to capture in your photos? Are the principles and values of your brand clearly understood? Does she grasp who your audience is and what impression you are trying to make?
Having this brand-strategy “heart-to-heart” before the photo shoot will give your photographer the insight she needs to create images with substance that will build a connection with your audience. This kind of brand clarity will help you position yourself differently from your competitors. It will help determine the locations, the props and the stories.
But what if I haven’t really defined my brand yet?
Branding is all about figuring out exactly who you are and how you are different than others in the marketplace. If you have yet to lay this foundation in your business, you may consider hiring a branding coach or investing in a branding course. If these options are not possible, this brief brand template I’ve created will not only help you create the perfect brand photos, but it will bring clarity and flow to everything in your business from your sales pitch to your social media.
Ask yourself the following critical questions and take the time to answer them:
Product / Service: What are you selling?
Purpose: Why do you do this work?
Values: What do you believe in?
Client: Who is your ideal customer?
Problem: What are they your clients struggling with?
End Result: What problem are you solving?
Personality: What are you and your brand like?
Mood: How do you want your client to feel?
Style: What is the look/feel of your brand?
Message: What is your one key story that you want your client to know/learn?
Expertise: What do you specialize in and want your brand to be known for?
Process: How do you work with your clients?
Differentiator: What is your point of difference and how do you stand out?
Vision: What is your future goal for your business?
Key words: What are 3-5 words that describe the tone of your brand?
Key props: What 3-5 objects / things represent your brand?’
Color: What are your brand colors?
Photo Use: Where do you plan on using these photos?
Intention: What do you want the brand photos to do for you?
*These questions often take time and effort to define, so take it slow! It's not always easy to go through this process on your own. If you get stuck, try to seek out others who you can bounce ideas off of. If you feel frustrated with the process, take a step back and give yourself a mental break before you continue.
Once you’ve thought through and answered these questions, you will be on the right track to developing a distinctive, clear message for your brand. And hopefully, you will feel more confident and invested in your story, too!
If you are looking for help to develop your brand story, I would love for you to join me at my Brand Confidential workshop on March 23rd in Short Hills, NJ. I am leading an in-person, intimate workshop (only 6 people) answering many of these brand questions and more. Plus, I will be doing head shots for the group as well. www.mikifoto.com/brandconfidentialworkshop