How to Optimize Your Brand Photoshoots

Photo by  Danielle Riley.

One of the most popular questions I get all the time, from everyone who views or follows me on Instagram- is WHO is taking these photos of you?!

My friends all have their own conspiracies- they think I have a tripod I set-up in my room every single day to take a million of my own (not a bad idea), they think I have a friend in my apartment building who I have come down and use my camera to take these photos of me (also, not a bad idea).

Strangers thing I have a photographer husband who is constantly following me around with a camera. (Ok… also… not… a… bad… idea…)

And I know how stressful it is to want a professional, beautiful, curated Instagram feed. It’s important! Social media is part of your overall branding and keeping it consistent and beautiful is part of it. And I see people in Facebook groups all the time asking for advice from others:

“How do you all have ALL these beautiful photos?”

“How often do you take photos to constantly have new content for your feed?”

“Do you guys have photographers on retainer? Do they come take photos of you weekly?”

We are all small business owners with limited budgets, but I will take it to the grave with me: getting professional head shots and photography done was one of the best things I ever did for my business.

Let me say it again.

Getting professional head shots and photography done was one of the best things I ever did for my business.

People want to connect with YOU, the person behind the screen, behind the logos and the quotes and the client-work. The person.

So, here I’m going to tell you how I manage to post a new professional photo of myself weekly without running out of content, and how you can do it, too.

Photo by  Susan Jordan.

Photo by Susan Jordan.

1.I hire a photographer every six months.

That’s right. Not every day, not every week, not on retainer, every six months. I find a photographer I’d love to work with and I hire them to come on for an entire day of photographs. We batch work, pick a super central location, and spend 3-5 hours taking photos.

Photo by  Susan Jordan.

Photo by Susan Jordan.

2. I use a location central to a ton of other locations.

Luckily, my house now is downtown so when I last had a photographer come out, we were able to walk around to 5-10 locations easily. I tried to pick out areas that matched my overall aesthetic- for example, a lot of my feed is plants, patterns. So I chose a wine bar across the street that had a super cool background that happened to incorporate some of my brand colors, used the greenery from street shots, and used some in corners of my home with plants and great lighting.

3. I don’t underestimate any corners or room in my home.

You will be surprised on how good a photographer can make what you feel like a boring area of your home look. Mine had me sit on the counter, stand in corners, sit on my bed- and they all turned out incredible! It is about utilizing the space you have.

4. I get photographs of things that aren’t just me.

While you should be in a lot of your photos, it is totally fine (and recommended) to get photographs of other things that you talk about or interact with on a day-to-day basis. My photographer got shots of my favorite journal I always rave about. These help to switch things on my feed up while still keeping everything completely branded and cohesive.

Photo by  Susan Jordan.

Photo by Susan Jordan.

5. I change as many times as I can, and only get a few photographs in each outfit.

I know we love the idea of finding two outfits we feel totally confident in and putting those on and wearing them the entire shoot. But then, we’re left with 300 images that look the exact same (and no one wants that). Even if you go to one location- pack 3-5 outfits in your bag. You would be amazed at how many different corners/ angles in a public location look like a totally different place overall, and how much you can utilize and optimize that space just by changing and going in different corners. This helps double, if not triple, the amount of content you have (and for how long you have it.) I know one woman rented an Airbnb just for a photoshoot that day, and was able to use each room/ patio/ etc. along with her own room to really have a TON of content.

And that’s it, folks. Those are my super top-secrets behind the question I get asked all the time: WHO is behind the camera?

And a special thanks to both of my photographers who I absolutely love and praise dearly:

Susan in Louisville, KY- www.love-hunters.com

Danielle in Raleigh, NC- www.daniellerileyphoto.com/