Brand shoots are SO important when it comes to your marketing visuals. With all the competition online, you want your brand to stand out from the crowd.
As personal brands, it’s critical that we have a content pool of branded imagery that we can post to social media, put on our website, and use for various graphics!
When you think of your Instagram feed, you want every post to complement each other with a similar aesthetic and photo style. We’ve all scrolled through Instagram and seen a profile that looks like it’s mixed and matched photos that make it look more like a personal profile rather than a personal brand. The beauty of a DIY photoshoot is that you can use the photos everywhere online to tie together all your branding, making your imagery recognizable across ALL platforms.
When you know how to take your own brand photos, you can create a curated style that becomes your signature. Whether it’s a preset or your colors, there are ways to inject your branding and personality into every photo.
Photos are the backbone of your digital marketing strategy. Whether you use them in blog posts or on your Twitter feed, photos capture your audience’s attention and reel them in. They’re part of your visual storytelling and form the largest part of your online presence.
I personally LOVE doing DIY brand shoots. They’re an opportunity for you to get creative and add your own flair to your branding. It’s a chance to embrace your inner creative spirit and have some fun in the process.
Planning your brand shoots BEFOREHAND will make the process go way smoother. Choose a location (if it’s an outdoor shoot, make sure to go at a time when the lighting is good and it’s not too busy). Plan out the poses you want to do, the angles you want to get, and the overall vibe you want to achieve!
You can turn to platforms like Pinterest or Instagram to get inspiration for your photographs. You want to avoid directly copying someone else’s style, but you can take inspiration and add your own flair. If you do take direct inspiration from someone else’s photo, it’s best practice to tag them in your caption.
If you choose a location, you can go down the Instagram rabbit hole for inspiration. Don’t forget to check (and use!) the geo-tag for the location. If it’s somewhere that you’ve never been before, you can use the photos as a way of getting familiar with the surrounding area. You might even spot somewhere else that you’d prefer to shoot at just down the street.
Depending on your shooting location, you may inevitably end up with people in the background of your photo. Don’t worry! There are plenty of apps – like Lightroom – that allow you to heal the background and remove both objects and people. You can make it look like you’re the only one in Times Square or Disney’s Main Street St with just a few taps of your screen.
When you’re planning out a DIY brand photoshoot, you want to make sure you get enough photos to last you a few weeks of content. You may want to think ahead and come up with a few poses or quirky things you can do to make the photos unique. We all tend to have a signature pose that we strike in every photo. Having a few reference photos can help you come out with fresh ideas (I have another tip to help with this!).
An easy way to make your brand photos highly branded is to wear your main brand colors! I suggest having 3-5 outfit changes so you can feature several of your primary brand colors in your photos. Having a few different outfits means you can get weeks of content from one DIY brand photoshoot.
Whether your blog or business is a side hustle or your full-time gig, you can save time by photographing a few different outfits during one DIY brand photoshoot.
If you’re planning to shoot at a location where you can’t easily change outfits, then layers are your BFF. Whether it’s shorts that you can wear under a skirt or a trench coat to drape over your shoulders, you can incorporate different colors into each photo. We’ve all seen influencers talk about changing their outfits mid-shoot on the side of a street (I’ve totally done this myself!).
You don’t have to change your outfit from head to toe to give you options. Don’t be afraid to use accessories to swap out your look. You’ll just want to make sure you find a way to incorporate a few of your colors into every photo. Something as simple as a headband can change the photograph and give you that pop of brand color.
You can also think of inventive ways to add in your brand colors. Is purple one of your signature shades? Do you know if there’s a house in your city with a purple exterior? That can be a fun way to bring in your colors in a more subtle yet powerful way.
Adding in your brand colors can include using a preset that captures the aesthetic and undertones of your chosen hues. If pink is part of your brand aesthetic, all you need is a custom preset (more on this later!) to add a natural pink tint to your photographs.
This is one of my FAVORITE ways to instantly add more personality to a photo! Holding props will instantly make your photos more interesting to look at.
You can add character into your photos with something as simple as a book. Your prop could be a way of injecting your personality and individuality into the photo as a subtle nod to one of your hobbies. If you’re shooting on location, you might tie your props into the backdrop. For a cinema, you might choose a box of popcorn or 3d glasses.
One prop that works for any location is a bouquet of your favorite flowers. It’s the go-to prop for almost every influencer – and for good reason. You can choose flowers with your brand colors and use them as an interactive prop.
This is KEY to creating branded imagery. Adobe Lightroom is by far the most flexible photo editing platform, and you can literally achieve any vibe you want and completely transform the look and feel of a photo. You can use a preset to TRANSFORM your brand photography within just a few clicks.
The beauty of using a preset is that it speeds up the editing process. Instead of having to edit every aspect of your photo’s lighting and shadows, you can do it all in one click.
Not sure where to start with your presets? I have dedicated preset collections inspired by a variety of visual styles and aesthetics! Whether you’re an entrepreneur, fashion influencer, or travel blogger, there’s a preset in this collection for you. The collections start from just $10 with five presets, or you can buy all of them for $77!
When you’re running around trying to get your photos, it’s the perfect opportunity to grab some behind-the-scenes content. We all take 9484747 photos to get the perfect take. Resist the temptation to delete the outtakes and instead save them for a throwback photo on your Instagram. Everyone loves to see an Instagram vs Reality post.
You can always turn the behind-the-scenes content into a blog post or even an Instagram reel if you grab some video. It’s an easy way to expand your content calendar and get the most out of your DIY brand photoshoot.
I hope these tips give you an idea of how to take your own brand photos. It’s all about incorporating your personality and branding into every photo. There’s so much inspiration out there that you can draw from, but you want to make sure your photos are uniquely your own. If you’re going to a location, pack a few extra outfits and bring along some props to give your photos a quirky twist.
Website Designed By Me, Kerry Ireland
Kerry Ireland is a Web & Brand Designer and Online Business Educator. Her mission is to help entrepreneurs across the globe exponentially expand their brand and business so they can live the ultimate freedom-based lifestyle.