Want to know the secret to creating amazing visual content that truly represents your creative brand?
It all comes down to authenticity.
And believe it or not, capturing your brand photos isn’t just about putting together picture-perfect shots.
More importantly, it’s about showcasing the heart and soul of your business.
I get it though–
The fear of coming off as fake, forced, or manufactured during your brand photoshoot can be overwhelming.
But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!
I’ve created a simple process with two streamlined strategies to help you create compelling and authentic brand photography that connects with your audience on a personal level.
Strategy 1: Feature a REAL Project
One of the absolute best ways to capture authentic brand photos?
You don’t need to stage a perfectly polished setting to capture incredible brand photos. In fact, the less staged the better.
I prefer to capture brand photos in action!
Because the goal of brand photography is to help your audience connect to you, your process, and your client experience.
When you share candid imagery that showcases how you move through an actual project, your images will not only be unique but they’ll tell a story!
Ultimately, your imagery should focus on the client experience.
Visually Showcasing The Client Experience
Every business’ client experience is different, so it may be hard to envision how you can capture yours in photograph form!
It really is much more simple than you may expect!
Here’s what to focus on in your product-based or service-based business to create compelling content during your brand photoshoot.
Brand Content for Product-Based Businesses
If you offer a product in your creative business, approaching brand photography this way can help you branch out from the same old product pictures you’ve been sharing on repeat.
Instead, you can invite your audience into the full experience by showcasing materials, your studio, and any tools or machinery you may use.
You can also feature images of customers using and engaging with your product or demonstrate how your final product is set up at an event!
Essentially, consider ways to pull your audience into the product experience from start to finish and beyond!
Brand Content for Service-Based Businesses
Imagery that captures the client experience is especially critical if you offer a service that isn’t as tangible.
For example, if you’re a consultant, a realtor, or a coach, your “product” isn’t something you can hold in your hands. Instead, it’s the experience you’re sharing with your clients, so your brand photos really need to showcase every step of the process!
Your goal here is to help your audience envision what it would be like to work with you!
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Brand Photoshoot Imagery Ideas
So, what does this look like for product and service-based businesses?
When working with your brand photographer as a product-based business, you can invite them to capture photos of you…
- in your studio creating your product with unique materials and tools
- prepping your product
- sourcing your ingredients or materials
- demonstrating how to use the product
Or, if you’re a service-based business you might choose to capture images of you…
- coaching a client in real-time (with their permission of course)
- engaging with workshop participants at a live program
- setting up for an event
- doing paperwork at your desk
Believe it or not, the best brand photoshoots often take place on-location rather than in a photography studio!
As a bonus, it’s kind of like double dipping!
Not only are you able to deliver a product, service, or offer to your client, but you’re also able to get your brand photos done at the same time!
Talk about efficiency!
Strategy 2: Create Your Ideal Client Avatar
Maybe you don’t have a real-world project to work on and Strategy 1 left you scratching your head, wondering,
“How can I share a “real” project if I don’t actually have one?”
It can be daunting when you feel like you don’t have a “real” project to share. But what if I told you that you can still create high-quality content and position your offer in the best possible light, even if you don’t have actual clients for that offer yet?
It’s time to tap into your imagination and create an ideal client avatar!
This exercise is widely used in the business world to identify the perfect audience for your brand. By developing a clear picture of their values, goals, challenges, and interests, you can create visual content that truly speaks to them.
And the best part?
You get to decide what services, products, or experiences you want to offer this audience! So don’t be afraid to engage your creativity and showcase your brand in a unique and exciting way.
Take my calligraphy client, Nob Hill Jane Calligraphy Studio, for example. While she didn’t have a specific client project for our brand photo shoot, she knew exactly the type of clients she was hoping to work with in the future and call in through her visual content.
We planned the shoot around her ICA and her business goal of working with more couples for wedding calligraphy.
As a service-based business that provides a product, I was sure to highlight not only the end result but the process of creating the final product!
You can do the same!
Plus, as you go through the process, you’ll likely be able to refine and improve your offer along the way.
If you’re offering a new coaching service, working through your process may shine a light on certain elements your clients will appreciate that you can feature in your marketing!
Some other ways to capture authentic imagery without a “Real” client project?
Create realistic mock scenarios!
To effectively feature mock versions of your service-based offer, consider the types of tasks you’ll likely engage in and what your ICA would love to see!
Some ideas may include:
- Zoom or phone calls (to demonstrate that you can work with clients remotely)
- Deskwork( to showcase your behind-the-scenes efforts)
- Coaching (to show how you engage with your clients! P.S. You’ll want a client model for this)
When you’re ready to share that new offer with the world for REAL you’ll feel confident that what you’re sharing is viable and that you have experience doing it!
Plus, this strategy will encourage you to think through the elements of your client experience that your ICA will appreciate and resonate with the most!
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Brand Shoot Content Inspiration
Now that you understand how you can leverage real client projects or mock, ICA-inspired content during your photoshoot, here are some specific examples to spark your creativity!
I’ve curated examples of past brand photoshoots I’ve worked on to represent product-based and service-based businesses, as well as businesses that fall somewhere in between!
Product-Based Content Inspo
While you absolutely can and should capture photos of your product during your brand shoot, there are so many other (often overlooked) ways that you can use imagery to tell your brand story and highlight the features of your product that tend to go unnoticed.
During the brand shoot, we focused on how they make their signature item, beard oil, in their Connecticut-based manufacturing facility.
These photos highlight the people behind the products, the machinery used, and the ingredients they select to create the final product!
Service-Based Content Inspo
As a service-based business it may feel a bit trickier to capture what you do since you don’t have a tangible product to showcase.
Luckily there are lots of solutions!
Remember: it’s all about finding unique ways to showcase the client experience so that people can connect to your brand on a personal level.
For example, when working with Haus of Harmony, a brand that specializes in professional organization, I knew that only showcasing neat and tidy closets wouldn’t paint a full picture of the service she offers her ideal audience!
Her people needed to see the full process from start to finish so that they could envision how she could help them solve their home organization challenges too!
As you can see here, we show her arriving at a client’s home, printing labels, and consulting her plans while also featuring a well-stocked and organized kitchen pantry!
Service-Based with Final Product Content Inspo
Some businesses don’t quite fit the mold of just a service or just a product! Your business might fall somewhere in between!
Many businesses like floral designers and interior decorators offer consultations before working on a project or product so their brand photos will include both product and service-based elements!
Take a look at this floral design company’s photos for inspiration!
For Barn Door Bloom’s imagery, we wanted to showcase not only their gorgeous flower arrangements but also highlight the effort and skill that goes into setting up for high-end events like weddings!
Plus this business offers services outside of event arrangements such as workshops and pop-up shops!
Your business imagery should capture your many talents and offers under one cohesively branded umbrella!
Developing compelling content during a brand photoshoot is a crucial aspect of marketing your creative business.
By following the two strategies outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your brand photoshoot results in high-quality, eye-catching content that resonates with your target audience and feels like an authentic representation of you and the work you love to do!
If you’re interested in learning more about working with me for your brand photography needs, reach out! I would love to schedule a free consultation to explore your needs and how my process and experience can help!
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