So many people, myself included, feel pretty dang awkward in front of the camera. I’m actually jealous of all the Leos out there who can strut their stuff in front of the lens, without a worry in the world.
How do they know what to do with their hands? What are their arms doing? What about my good side?!
The anxiety is real as soon as the camera is on, which is all the more reason why people like to avoid booking a professional photoshoot. Like I said, I’m right there with you with my weird facial expressions, and gangly long arms. It’s nerve racking!
It’s also extremely important to invest in at least ONE professional photoshoot in those budding days of launching your brand. This post will outline how one photoshoot can transform your business, as well as 5 tips to keep in mind for your new photoshoot.
The benefits of a professional photoshoot for your new business:
Let’s be real, advertising is very visual. And quality does matter when it comes to credibility, doesn’t it?
Think about it from a consumer standpoint. Have you ever bought something because of the way it was marketed? I’m going to go ahead and guess the answer is YES.
Now, think about the marketing of whatever it was you purchased. Chances are it was curated and high quality, rather than an iPhone pic. Although, sidenote, no shade at iPhone photos because the camera is good nowadays, and a few editing tips can really go a long way.
Now that you’re the seller, think about how you want your future customers to feel when they come into your space. This is where the high quality photos come in.
Considering you’re just starting, your social media is probably quite small. And that’s okay! We all have to start somewhere. However, the numbers in your accounts also add to credibility and build trust. The higher the follower count, the more likely people are to invest in whatever it is you’re selling, because you look like more of an “expert” in that field.
So, before you have that higher follower count, you want to establish credibility through your content. That means not only are you offering free, useful content (read my blog on why this is important), but you’re also providing high quality visual content.
This can show up in the form of graphics thanks to Canva, or through high quality images. I personally think it’s nice to have a blend of both. This way, people get to know you personally, rather than only looking at graphics. This will help them connect to you as a person, beyond the brand.
I know that a more “real” approach to social media is a lot trendier right now than the curated blogger look from the past. However, this is more specifically true for personal accounts- rather than business accounts.
Of course you can have a branded personal account (that’s what an influencer is, after all) that has a blend of branded content with raw, unedited life stuff. It’s just a matter of wanting to have a uniformity to your page that allows your viewers to know what to expect when they show up to your corner of the internet.
When people know what to expect, you’re building trust with your future clients. Trust is vital in sales, because clearly most people won’t give money to a stranger on the internet, right? Trust will bridge that gap between the two of you. And creating consistency is a great way to do that.
Multiple Platform Use
We’ve mostly been talking about social media pages up until this point, because this is usually what people think of when they think of launching a business. Of course social media is super valuable, and also, it’s not the only platform to develop when you’re building your new brand.
High quality photos are great for Instagram, Facebook, your newsletter, your website, your webinar cover, future flyers or promotional material. These photos aren’t just going to be posted once on your grid, and then forgotten about. They’ll be used regularly for a variety of means.
Even within social media, you can use the image on your feed as a standalone post, you can use it as a part of a Canva graphic, it can be a cover image of a Reel, and it can be used repeatedly in stories.
5 tips to consider for your photoshoot
As you can tell just one photo gets a whole lot of use. Which also means, you’ll want to make sure you actually like the photos you get. Photoshoots are pricey, so you want to make sure you’re happy with your investment.
Know Who To Book
This will vary for you depending on your brand’s needs. As I usually work with yoga teachers, I advise them to book a photographer who actually knows yoga, so they can cue them on what to do when they’re in front of the camera. The same thing goes for any industry.
Ask to look at their portfolio to make sure they have experience in your particular niche. This will ensure success. As you look at their portfolio, also make sure that you actually like their photography style and editing choices. Just because you book an incredible food photographer for your new food business, doesn’t mean their style is in line with yours.
Come With A Plan
Time goes quickly once you’re in front of the camera. Make sure that you have a content list of shots that you know you want to get in the shoot. This is where Pinterest comes in handy, of course. I actually have a whole board of photoshoot inspo for yoga teachers there if you’re in that camp.
Either way, you can make a private board between your photographer and you- or just show them your images when you arrive. You’ll just want them to know what you’re going for, rather than trying to create it on your own. They’re visual people, so having a visual example is helpful.
Wear Your Colors
You’ll want to have your branding colors more or less figured out at this point. Even if they tweak and vary slightly before you fully launch- you’ll have an idea of if you’re a full-on pink girlie, muted and soft, or earthy and deep.
You’ll want to make sure you’re wearing colors that will compliment your branding, rather than clash with it. For instance, I’m the muted earthy one- which means I’m not going to wear Alo Yoga’s latest neon summer drop even if it’s in season, because that’ll clash with my site.
You don’t need to actually MATCH your branding, you just want to make sure you don’t CLASH with it.
Ask For Direction
If this is your first photoshoot, let your photographer know! A great photographer doesn’t only have an eye for photos, but is also great at creating a creative ambiance for the person in front of the camera, as well.
Don’t be too shy to ask them for directions if they’re not giving it to you already. I think we all know that sometimes we THINK we look amazing, but then we see the photo and our hair is poking up in a weird place, or our hand is in some strange claw. Tell the photographer what you want, and ask them to refine you.
Face The Camera
This might be my least favorite part. I can do crazy yoga poses in front of a camera all day, no problem. But it’s the face-on photos that make me really cringe. I’m not saying ALL of the photos need to be head on. However, aim to have at least 3 (or more) that are.
Seeing someone’s face gives the brand more personality, rather than hiding behind a logo. Seeing someone’s face helps to build trust, which converts to sales down the line.
You’re going to want to make sure you actually like your face shot, which is why I suggest going for more than just one. You can also ask your photographer to look at them directly after, in case there’s anything in your expression you’ll want to change.
This will likely be your profile picture, your cover letter or resume, and so much more.
This is your sign to invest in your first photoshoot. It’s worth it for your business. Promise.