firefly photography

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June 23, 2020

How to Prep for a Brand Photoshoot

FILED IN: brands, client tips


If you’ve made the decision to invest in professional photos for your small business or brand,


Quality photos are an immediate business boost because

  1. They help you stand out from the crowd – photos are like the online equivalent of a store front window; they are the first impression of your business and will immediately pique the interest of your ideal clients.

  2. They make your life easier – less time searching for photos to use for your website, brochures, social media presence, etc. = more time spent on creating and serving = more conversion on your bottom line.

  3. People support people – Instagram posts with faces are 38% more likely to receive engagement.

    Engagement = building trust. Building trust = building loyal customers.

So you should feel AWESOME about this decision.

But there’s also a catch – you have to prepare if you want your photos to really work for you.

Here’s some homework you need to do to prep for your session to ensure your time is used most efficiently for photos that will serve your needs.

Pssst: Want the cheat sheet? Click here for a downloadable checklist to prep for your brand photoshoot.

Define your story

What do you want to share with your audience? What information, education, or discussions to you engage in often online? How do you want your audience to view you? What is the vibe or mood of your brand?

By starting with these big questions, I’m able to determine the type of images, expressions, and details we need to capture to communicate that.

For example, let’s say you want your bakery to be known for its decadent desserts and touches that are inspired by nature and you most love working with couples for adventurous, outdoor weddings. Creating images that support that vision will be completely different than those for a bakery who’s key market is 1 year old smash cakes and pastel macaroons.

Laying out your goals and brand style, either with a mood board or simply just communicating your vision in words, helps me lean into and suggest creative ideas that will assist that vision.

In Her Company

In Her Company

Do a content review

Go through your social platform and website and take notes on the messages you share most often-

What experiences do you draw from to tie into your brand message? What products are people most interested in? What sections of your website have too much text and not enough visual representation of WHAT you do and HOW you do it? Where could a great image make a huge difference in how your ideal customer learns about your service?

As you go through these questions while looking at your media, you’ll start creating a shot list of images that you’ll be able to apply immediately.


If you’re a nutritionist and often discuss how food choices can affect sleep, I’ll know to create photos like:

  • plating or cutting pieces of a snack for kids that encourages healthy habits

  • reaching for something in the fridge

  • pieces of your morning or evening routine like a favorite mug of coffee, journal, putting on a favorite skin care product, etc.

All of these photos could be used to communicate different messages that feed back into your main offering and connect with your audience.

**Also be sure to look ahead! What new offerings or promotions do you have coming up that you’ll need great photos to help you share about?!

Foytik leather

Pull together your wardrobe

Try to choose pieces that are more seasonally ambiguous, rather than things that scream summer, fall, etc. You’ll get more use out of your photos this way! Neutrals, heather tones, denim, earth tones all photograph great, but don’t be afraid to stick to what works for your brand and add pops of bright color if it fits you!

Also, if you have a uniform (like an apron or lab coat) we’ll want to capture some photos in that as well!

1-3 outifts is plenty to give you variety without having a million changes that break up the momentum.

If you have a team, you want everyone to embrace their individual style, but also coordinate as a whole for team shots and look cohesive when on your website together.

Ultimately, you want to make sure you’re wearing clothing that you feel confident and comfortable in while moving, sitting, and standing.

Gather your props and people

If you need to have an assistant or customers involved to show a specific element of your work, make sure to reach out to those people and fill them in on the details like date, time, and what to wear.

You’ll also want to make sure you have your office or workspace tidy and organized, or at least in a state where you feel comfortable sharing photos of it.

**If you typically work in a kid-toy-covered corner office, well sometimes that’s just part of the story we can embrace!

Reference your content review and shot list to gather other props you might need like specific books, tools used to create, a laptop, your phone, accessories you want to change out in your wardrobe, specific products you’d like to feature, etc.

Stickynotes Creative

Stickynotes Creative

Finishing touches

The day before your shoot, make sure to have everything ready so that you can simply get ready and enjoy the process without any added stress. It can be intimidating to be in front of the camera by yourself – I mean, none of us are models, here. But you ARE a rockstar business owner who deserves to confidently put your best foot forward and be proud of what you’re putting into the world. Don’t forget these little details that will definitely make a difference on shoot day:

  • Wipe down your computer screen (if this is one of your props!)

  • Iron clothes

  • Do your nails! (chipped polish in those detail shots will drive you crazy if you don’t!)

  • Make a playlist! (if you’re really nervous, gather some songs that make you feel relaxed or confident and spunky that we can play during your session!)

Trust your photographer!

Once you’ve done this homework and communicated your vision, content messages, and shot list to your photographer, you can sit back and let them do their job! Your photographer will be able to suggest and create ideas and poses for you that are natural and unique – that’s part of the magic of the whole thing! Know that this whole process is TOTALLY WORTH IT and you’ll be SO glad you invested it to grow your business.



Ready to book a small business photoshoot to upgrade your web presence?

Reach out here or check out more on our experience and pricing here.