For the past year, I’ve been keen to share more of the behind-the-scenes and how-tos of the business. I’m kicking it off today with a post on photoshoots. I’ve done a few of these – with varying degrees of success – so I thought I would share some of the things I’ve learned.
Why is photography important to my business?
If you’re selling anything online, it is very important. The only way your customers are going to get to know you, your brand and your products is through images. Accurate photography will save much pain and heartache because people will have a good idea of what they are buying. Product colours, style and fabric are all important to help customers decide what they want to buy.
Great photos are also great content. Instagram is my primary tool for marketing. No photos = no content = no engagement = nobody knows / cares what I’m doing… It’s not quite that dramatic - but you get the gist.
Understand what you want to achieve
This is really important. If you don’t know what you want, how on earth will your stylist and photographer? Starting out, it can be tempting to just ‘leave it to the experts’ and let the photographer and stylist run the show – that’s often not advisable. Tell them what you want. It doesn’t have to be super technical, but you should provide a brief of what you want and what you are trying to achieve.
Put together a short brief for your photographer, and if you’re using one, your stylist. It can be the same document. It doesn’t need to be War and Peace. It should identify what you want to achieve – and lay out some ground rules. Simple things are important – like specifying that all the shots are to be landscape so you can use them on the web,
A mood board expands on the brief and gives a visual representation of what you are trying to achieve. I struggle to convey through words what I want regarding light, colour and movement. It’s a lot easier to give your photographer and stylist some reference images. It also saves a lot of time on the day and ensures they only hire / bring the equipment required.
You should have an idea of every shot you want. You might not know this down to minute details, but I strongly suggest you come up with a list of the shots. If you spend a couple of hours on this, it will really pay dividends on the day.
A storyboard gives the photographer an idea of framing and the stylist an idea of props. It is also a checklist for you to ensure that you’ve got all the product you want in the shot – and that the shot will be appropriate for its end use, for example, a product hero image. Have these ready to go so you won’t mess around on the day.
On the day
Be prepared. Make sure the team is very clear on your location. Let them know about parking in the area. Have refreshments on hand. And of course, have all of the product out, prepared and ready to go. The goal here is to maximise the time the photographer and stylist have to do the important work – taking beautiful photos. You don’t want to pay them to do ironing. Help them help you.
Well, these are few tips from me. If you have any other tips or feedback, please add them below in the Comments section.