The Types of Photos to Ask Your Branding Photographer For
Photography is a HUGE component of the brand and web design process and something so, so important. I’m sure you’ve heard it so I don’t need to remind you, buttt just incase:
People want to connect with you first, then your business. That is why it is so ESSENTIAL to have professional photos of yourself.
Seriously-- they do. They want to know what your life looks like behind-the-scenes. They want to like you first, then they’ll trust you, then they’ll buy from you. People are interested in people. (Trust me, I used to think “Little ol’ me? No one cares about what I do. And I was proven SO wrong!)
SO, when you decide to take the step to hire a photographer, make sure you ask them for these shots to make sure you will have the perfect materials for both your marketing pieces and your website. (And make sure you remember the tips from my other blog on How to Optimize Your Photo Sessions!)
+ Horizontal photos where you are not in the center.
These work really well for hero and banner images on your site- this way you can write on the image without writing directly across your face! Also, try to get a light, solid background so you can write with text on your image without it getting lost in a busy background. I’ve seen people stand in front of their walls, garages, streets, backyards, etc.
Tip: Stand on the right side, so you can have your text to the left. That’s the way people naturally read, so it will help your content stand out.
+ Lifestyle shots of you with your animals, family, etc.
All humans crave connection- especially when it’s people we are trying to convince to work with! What can make you different than everyone else in your market? The answer is this… YOU! I have had people reach out to me and inquire about my services because they fell in love with my dog when I posted photos of her on Instagram, or because they wanted to know tips on keeping my house plants alive, etc. These things aren’t directly related to business at all- but still creating those relationships with people who may have never reached out to me otherwise. It’s not about selling- it’s about relationship building, so figure out what things you can show to really create those points of connection with your audience.
Tip: While you should stay super authentic with this, also keep your ideal client in mind and the things you have in common. For example, if you love going to the farmers market, and you know your clients love going to the farmers market, make sure you get some photos of you going to the farmers market! It makes your content so unique and memorable, because it is not just your typical place for a photoshoot.
+ Photos of you working
What do you do for work? If you’re a coach, get photos taken on the phone or taking notes. If you’re an interior designer, get photos taken of you looking through color and texture swatches. If you run an online business, get plenty of photos taken of you working on your laptop. Do you work out of coffee shops? Get photos working there! Did you get into entrepreneurship for location freedom and being able to work from wherever? Show us your favorite places to work then outside of just your home! Do you work in yoga pants? Then don’t get dressed up just because you have a photoshoot- be authentic!
Tip: When showing us your favorite places to work, find the corners/ areas of the coffee shop or workspace that match your branding. For example, my branding isn’t super light/bright/airy/feminine, so it wouldn’t make sense for me to go to a coffee shop with pink and white walls to get all my photos taken, and it would make your feed and website not look so cohesive.
+ Images of you smiling + looking at the camera.
Seems like a no-brainer, but I am actually guilty of forgetting to get some of these! I was so busy trying to get cool lifestyle shots that I totally forgot to take some professional headshots-- these are super important for things like media kits, guest blog posts, etc.
Tip: Real smiles and laughter absolutely show and the energy in them is infectious! (Duh, you should look so happy, because you love what you do.) My tip to making myself laugh during photoshoots is to literally say “hahahahahaha” outloud until the photographer and myself start just cracking up- then they get the best images. (PS: I warn my photographers I am going to start saying “ha” over and over again before just making them think I’m a little crazy!)
+ Close-ups of your things without you in them.
This gives you your own stock image library essentially. Take photos of your animals, coffee cups, planner, work space, your home, your favorite things, so your photos on your website and social media can still be totally yours, totally unique, and not all of just you.
Tip: Not all of these need to be business related, just think of your favorite things. I promise you, you will be able to find a way to incorporate them into your branding! Try to make sure you get your hands/ home/ etc. in the background so people know that these are uniquely your images- you will stand out so much from the sea of stock images!
+ Photos of you doing day-to-day things.
Do you like wine? Take photos of you drinking it! Do you drink coffee every morning? Show us. Do you garden? Put on the gloves! Be personable and let us in to your life, so when you tell your audience things like “You can usually find me on my couch sipping on a margarita, with my laptop on my lap and a pup by my side,” people can seriously visualize it. It makes your connection with your ideal clients SO. MUCH. STRONGER.
Tip: Read your bio, your last instagram captions, and the things that make you, you. Find the common themes amongst them (If you are saying things like “Cheers to the weekend” or “There’s not enough coffee to get me through this Monday” or “Looking for a new book to dig into” then you should make sure you get photos that can represent those things! Bye-bye overused stock photos!
+ Both close up images and further away images.
You should definitely be the focal point in a lot of images, but furthur away gives you the opportunity to utilize the space you are not in in SO many other ways design wise. And make sure you are getting a really good mix of both horizontal shots and vertical shots!
Tip: If your photographer seems to be taking all shots one way too long, just remind them! They get in their zone just like us and sometimes forget. Ask them to get a variety of both from different angles. Having the close-ups is perfect for social media avatars, about me pages, etc., and the further away ones make incredible content for your grids, as well as being able to be used all over your website and collateral materials!
There you have it! This is a list I SO wish I had when I had my first photoshoot ever (because uhm, nothing about my brand says white dress in a field, whoops!)
Make sure you checkout my blog on how to make the most of your photo sessions, too, because I’ll tell you all the best tips on how I get six months of content out of one photoshoot!
Side note: Gotta brag on my photographer, Danielle Riley. Go give her a follow on instagram. She is literally incredible and if you are around Raleigh she is your branding photoshoot go to GAL.