Whether you’re in the business of software or sandwich-making (or both!), making sure your team has a great set of photos in their arsenal for branding and marketing can make a colossal difference for your company’s image. You’ve heard it before: a picture says a thousand words! Figuring out how to pull off a professional-looking collection of photos on a budget can be difficult – especially if it’s not your area of expertise – but there are a few simple steps you can take in order to make sure you have lots of great, usable shots for whatever your next project is. Today on the blog, we’re bringing you tried-and-true tips from our recent Platterz shoot for a successful photoshoot that will rival the pros’!
(Special thanks to our friends at Breather for supplying the beautiful space!)
1. Align on a vision and set goals
Before you do anything else, figure out what your specific objectives and goals are for the campaign. Do you want to have evergreen branded stock photos that you can reuse for everything from blog posts to greeting cards? Or, do you have a product in mind that you want to highlight through a marketing campaign? Start with an idea of the setting and ambiance you’re going for. Then, use this (and maybe some inspiration from stock photo sites like Unsplash or AdobeStock) to determine what specific sorts of shots you think would best communicate your ideas.
Pro Tip: Our advice? Where possible, lifestyle shots will help your customers best imagine themselves using your product and relate to your brand. If it’s feasible, try to envision different scenarios where your customers might use your product or service – then go from there to determine what kinds of photos will best represent the feeling you want your product or service to evoke.
2. Plan ahead or plan to fail
Shoot days are notoriously stressful. You’ll want to do your best to eliminate all extra guesswork so that on the day of, so you can be fully present and ready to guide the rest of your team. That means planning everything well ahead of time to the best of your ability. Here are some things to consider:
- Which props (and food, if necessary) will you need to create a realistic setting for your shots?
- If you’re taking lifestyle photos, where will you enlist models or extras?
- Will you be taking photos on-site at your office, or will you need to rent a studio or other space?
- How will the schedule of your photoshoot day run?
The further ahead you consider all the details for your shoot, the easier it will be to craft solutions that are budget-friendly and don’t require you to pay a premium for last-minute planning.
Pro Tip: When creating the schedule for your photoshoot, make sure to give yourself a generous amount of time in between each shot. You’d be surprised at how much time it can take to make sure a photo is well-lit, your models are ready, and all the factors that go into making the perfect shot right at the same time. For reference, we budgeted about an hour and a half to set up, light, pose, and get at least 10 usable shots for each different setting.
3. Create a shot list
Creating a shot list will be key for communicating your ideas to everyone on both sides of the lens, and making sure that you’re staying focussed on executing your vision on schedule. Think about a variety of focal points and angles (again, using inspiration from other shoots can help!) and make a numbered list with sketches or a few words about what you’d like each photo to entail. There’s no need to get too specific, since you never know what the feeling of your set will be like until you’re seeing it in action, but having an idea of where to start shooting will be a huge help. This will help you create a realistic schedule to follow.
Pro Tip: Wide shots help avoid your frame looking crowded and will give you more flexibility of use once you have the finished product (think space for cropping, text and form overlays, etc.)
4. Enlist a professional
The smartest thing you can do if you’re already dedicating resources to executing a photoshoot is to invest in a professional behind the lens. As great as your Instagram shots might be, nothing beats professional lighting, high-quality equipment, and industry instinct. Above all, having a photographer on set will help ensure your project will actually be able to provide your company lots of value for years to come. As a professional, they have an eye for what’ll look good once it’s online or in print, and will be able to help guide you towards executing your vision. For us, this meant bringing the amazing Clifton Li onto our team for the day!
Pro Tip: Make sure to shop around for the right kind of photographer who can accommodate your needs and budget. Photographers have varying specialities and levels of experience, so pick one with relevant expertise – and take their advice!
5. Feed the models
Last but not least, making sure there’s food at your shoot might mean the difference between a day of cohesion and team effort, and a set full of hangry, stressed out colleagues. Don’t say we didn’t warn you! We made sure our models felt energized and appreciated by feeding them yummy, fresh food throughout the day (no sad bags of chips and cans of pop). Like in any work day, making time to eat will help you stay sharp and do your best, too!
Pro Tip: To avoid spending lots of time on cleanup or to accommodate for limited lunch-friendly space, try ordering individually boxed meals for your shoot! We went for delicious, nutrient-dense poké bowls from Lawai’a Poké, and our Catering Experts can help you find packaged meals for any cuisine or taste. Just get in touch!
Finally, at the end of a long day of shooting, make sure to take a moment to sit back and appreciate the results of all your hard work! Here’s how a few of our shots turned out:
Have any must-know photoshoot tips that we missed? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!