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Brand Identity

How to Plan Your Next Brand Photoshoot

The cameras are coming out here at Maker & Moxie! We are gearing up for our annual brand photoshoot and now that the picture-perfect planning is complete, we want to share with you why we’re doing this and what exactly that planning process looks like, so that you have all the tools in hand to plan your own brand photoshoot when the time comes. 

There are a number of reasons to plan a brand photoshoot - to top up your photos, freshen up your look, or to make sure your photos align with where you’re at and where you’re going. Once you know the ‘why’, we’ll show you the ‘how’. 

Whether a brand photoshoot is on your horizon or not, if you want to get all the behind-the-scenes goss on how we're doing ours, then you are in the right place!

Why Plan a Brand Photoshoot? 

As you probably know, Maker & Moxie recently rebranded from Black & White Studios. The positioning of what we do has also changed to focus a lot more on us as a team and on celebrating our community of creators - i.e. you! As a result, we need some fresh photos to represent exactly that (as well as just plain old running out of photos we can use...). It’s also a great opportunity to keep elevating, trying new things and being creative!

Those are our reasons, but there are a few different reasons why you might plan a brand photoshoot. 

1. You’ve never had a photoshoot before

One great reason to get some new brand photos is because, well, you’ve never had them before! You might have been using selfies, stock photography, or getting a friend to take a quick photo of you. If that’s the case, then you might be ready to take that next step to invest in a photographer and do a full brand photoshoot so that you have a whole suite of photos you can use. 

2. You need to reposition your business 

If you’re switching from a freelancer to a studio, or switching industries or niches, then you might want to have a brand photoshoot that represents that shift and shows your new focus. 

Similarly, if you’re launching something new, such as a new course, podcast, blog, website or anything like that, then a photoshoot will give you some amazing promo photos to show off in your launch. 

3. You’ve run out of photos and need new ones

If you’re similar to us, then you’re down to your last photos and starting to reuse the same ones over and over! When that happens, it’s time to top up your stock so that it doesn’t stop you from creating content. 

The need for new photos can also come up when you feel like your current photos don’t reflect you or your brand any more. Our style and brand strategies can evolve over time as we gain clarity on what we do and who our audience is, and your photos should reflect that. 

The Process of Planning a Brand Photoshoot

1. Set Your Goals

We decided on 2 goals for our photoshoot: 

  1. Reposition our brand to focus more on our team and our community of creators. 
  2. Stand out and do something different that will capture the attention of creators. 

To choose your goals, make sure you’re clear on why you are taking these photos and what their purpose is. By doing that, you’ll know exactly what photos you need, where you’re going to use them, and what you need them to do, and will also help your photographer know what the end result needs to be. 

2. Decide Your Focus

The focus of the Maker & Moxie photoshoot is collaboration and celebration. We want to celebrate and showcase creators so that they can see themselves in our photography. 

By setting a focus, you’re making sure that you don't get distracted and are making the most of the time and effort that you’ve put into these photos. 

We’ve also set out that our photos should be bright, bold, fun, energetic, collaborative, creative, a little bit edgy and very unique. This helps with finding inspiration and also so that your photographer knows what the overall vibe of the photos should be. 

3. List Your Technical and Practical Needs

  • The timeframe:
    When do I need these photos? 
    When am I free and available to take these photos?
  • The formats you need:
    What orientations do I need? 
    Where are they going to be used? 
  • Your budget
  • The length of the photoshoot

Having a list of answers to these questions is going to be really helpful for planning your photoshoot. If you aren’t sure of anything, just ask your photographer for help. 

4. Find Your Inspo

Pinterest is a great tool for collating all the photo inspo you want to draw on for your photoshoot. 

We’ve made a list of specific brands and what we like about the photos they use, as well as noting specifically what it is about certain photos that’s helpful and relevant to our photoshoot - for example, the style of the photo, poses, outfits, lighting or location. 

Gather a range of inspiration and think about why it inspires you. By being specific about how it relates to your photoshoot, you’ll help your photographer understand what you want to achieve in your photos. 

5. List Any Specific Shots

Last time I did a brand photoshoot, I needed some very specific shots of me with the microphone for the podcast, me with my computer to promote our courses, and things like that. 

Make a list of any specific shots that you need so that your photographer can see what they are and how best to set them up.

6. Location, Location, Location

Think about the locations you might want to use and write a list of those ideas - it could be coworking spaces, alleyways or cafes. Make a note of any information about the locations, such as the address, opening hours, and peak times so that you and your photographer can work together on the best locations and times to book your photoshoot. 

This is another great step of the process to collaborate with your photographer, as they will likely have some great ideas to help you. 

7. Plan Your Outfits & Props

What outfits are you going to wear? 
Will it be just one or are you going to switch? 
What are those outfits going to be? 

It can be really helpful to put this into the brief for your photoshoot so that your photographer knows about any outfit changes you’re planning and can plan the lighting and contrast to suit the colour of the outfit. 

You should also make a list of any props you need, which will help you prepare for what to bring and let your photographer see what’s available to use in the photoshoot. 

8. Who Else Is Involved? 

If anyone else needs to be involved, then you’ll need to plan this advance and book it in. This could be a friend to help out or hiring models and other professionals. 

You can also reach out to other artists and creators to collaborate. For example, we’ll be reaching out to a local fashion brand to see if we can collaborate by borrowing or buying their clothes so that they can then use our photos as promotional material for their brand. 

9. Find a Photographer

Now that you've done your planning, it's time to find a photographer to help make the magic happen! 

Make sure you have some thoughts, ideas and inspiration gathered before you go into that first meeting with a photographer, so that they know what you’re looking for, how to quote you, and can book you in for a date that’s going to work for both of you. 

If you’ve never done a brand photoshoot before, then hopefully this has given you some handy insight into the process - and if you have, then maybe you’ve gained a few extra tools for your planning process next time! I can’t wait to see your creative planning in action and the beautiful photos you get as a result.

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Hollie stands resting her hands on the white desk behind her, wearing a black t-shirt tucked into orange pants and clear glasses, and smiling into the camera.

by hollie arnett

The brand coach for creatives, hand-lettering artist for herself, and cup of tea lover forever.

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