On-location Brand Session: MVMT Studio Pilates, Davidson N.C.
Have you ever wondered what a brand photography session really looks like for a creative business? Would your business benefit from having a bank of images that reflect who you are, what you do and how you do it? Consider all the social media posts at your fingertips and the business you could generate from these images. That’s the power of a well crafted brand photography session. Come along as I share my start to finish process from my latest on-location brand photography session with MVMT Studio Pilates located in Davidson, N.C.
Planning: Digital Concept Boards and Brand Photo Shoot List
The most useful images for your business are the ones that have been designed with intention. This is a key point of difference between brand photographers and photographers who focus on non-business related events or people. Think of brand photography has photography with a marketing edge.
When working with clients there is always a strategy meeting. This meeting occurs weeks or months before the photo shoot. During this meeting I learn more about the business, the origin story, what service or product they provide and where the business is heading in the future. We dive deep into specific image needs, upcoming promotions or events, the intended image use and more.
As a result of the strategy meeting I design digital concept boards and a photo shoot list. Both of these items will help guide the shoot and keep everyone on track. Since the concept boards are in a digital format I am able to send the client a copy and we can further collaborate on the direction of the shoot.
When working with MVMT Studio Pilates, the goal was to capture content to use on their two websites, one for the brick and mortar studio and Cailin’s pilates YouTube Channel. Additionally, the images would be utilized on the respective social media platforms. The photo shoot list for this on-location day long session consisted of trainer portraits, mock group classes, studio interior images, details of studio equipment, and YouTube content.
Planning: Props For Brand Photo Shoot Day
Props can really make your brand photos unique to you and your business. Props are always part of the strategy meeting discussion and I provide my client a list of items for them to collect and organized prior to the shoot. The most common props are business related items, tools of the trade and personality specific items.
- Business related props could consist of:
- a laptop, documents with business name, worksheets, books etc.
- Tools of your trade props could consist of:
- consider the tools you use to make your product. For example, workout equipment, speciality pens, paints, woodworking tools, floral tape, fabric etc.
- or items that make you unique, like an antique print press for your stationary business, latest piece of technology not many use in your industry.
- Personality props could consist of:
- a coffee cup if you are an avid coffee drinking and mention coffee on your social posts. A pet, favorite food, family heirloom pottery, a prop to reference travel, like a globe.
For the MVMT Studio Pilates session the equipment found in the studio encompassed all the props needed for the fitness focus images. When we switched to outdoor lifestyle images her dog, Remey, a empty to-go coffee cup and the leafy greens at the farmers market were just the props needed to make them unique to Cailin’s brand.
Brand Photo Shoot Day
The day has finally arrived and most clients are nervous before we start. Even I am nervous before my brand sessions, but I’m here to tell you that it gets easier after each session. For MVMT Studio Pilates, we were shooting at the new studio location. During the planning phase we discussed timing for clients and trainers to arrive and estimated an hour of shooting for mock group classes. Cailin and I also planned for a “Main Street” walk with her dog in order to capture the Davidson NC feel. I knew I wanted to capture this early in the morning for softer light and less traffic, which makes for a cleaner background and less eyes on the photo shoot action. Before we starting capturing images on Main St, I asked the local coffee shop for a to-go cut so Cailin had her free hand naturally occupied. This is a great tip for clients who may worry about where to put their hands during a set-up. It worked great!
Brand Photography Gallery and Image Use
Once home I downloaded all the images and started the editing process. We captured over 2500 images during this 8 hour photo shoot so this was a FULL brand experience with content that will serve Cailin and MVMT Studio Pilates for many months to years. Cailin received a private gallery where she can download images when needed and reference throughout the year(s). I love creating timeless brand imagery.
With so many images selected and edited I didn’t want to overwhelm my client with hundreds of images in one giant gallery. Instead I created several albums with logical categories so it would be more manageable to locate the images they need and put them into action. The end user experience is very important to the overall brand journey.
Check out my portfolio of images from this brand session here: MVMT Studio Pilates Gallery
Within an hour of receiving her images Cailin already put one of her brand images to use. Here she used an environmental portrait of herself as a thumbnail for her latest YouTube video. This made me so happy! Overall this was a great full day shoot and my client will have ample amount of imagery for her websites, social media and beyond for months and years to come.