Photoshoot Ideas | How to Make Your Brand Come to Life 

January 21, 2022

As brands become more confident on social media, they’re sharing more and more. This, coupled with industry demands for authenticity, has ultimately led to an ongoing need for original photography.

Stock photography just doesn’t cut it anymore (see: authenticity). As the gap between full-fledged photoshoots and unfiltered amateur snaps become more real for businesses, it may be time to add photography to your content marketing strategy.

The social media landscape changes fast. Brands are required to be nimble. Having an arsenal of photography to pull from when curating social media content is an invaluable tool for businesses.

Getting started, though, can feel awkward at first, so here are some ideas to get the wheels turning.

A Content Director, Designer & Brand Strategist All Walk Into A Bar…

Your photography team might look different, but many creative agencies like us have cultivated a niche crew of creatives to serve this content need. Having multiple minds come together for a photoshoot will only strengthen your creativity and efficiency as opposed to hiring a lone photographer. Who will uphold the integrity of the brand? Who has an eye for scale and lighting? Who will be taking the photos? Assemble your experts.

Next, the planning. To call it a brainstorm would be a disservice. Think strategy planning on creative steroids. Before the content team comes together to capture photos of products, places or services, they should study the material. And before you start listing off ideas for your photos, it’s important to answer some strategic questions first.

What to Consider For Your Content Photoshoot

Before you begin brainstorming all the fun stuff, you’ll want to consider assigning roles to the team, creating a shot list, and doing some strategic planning ahead of time.

Create A Shot List

You’ll want to make the most of your time at any content photoshoot. It’s just good business, right? Make it efficient! This is where a shot list comes in handy. It’s like going to the grocery store with a handwritten list. Check, check, got that, yep, check aaaaand done! That’s how you’ll feel when you make your way through each shot.

This doesn’t mean you can’t improvise, but the shot list will include specific shots that will be needed to fill your social media and content calendars. Include the idea, props, products and talent for each shot. Don’t forget to include variations for each shot. For example, you may want to try a few different props with each “pose” whether your subject is a person or a product.

Determine A Theme Or Purpose For Your Shoot

One way to focus your photoshoot is to decide on a theme for the content. Think about the main reason that there is a need for new photo content. Is there a new offer coming up that you need to promote with new content? Do you need photos of your product in the changing season? Are you looking for more lifestyle photography? All of these questions will help you determine a theme for your photoshoot.

Seasonality is one of the easiest ways to frame your content. Original photography that is seasonally relevant and also on-brand is a great way to start your content arsenal. You might consider doing a content photoshoot for spring, summer, fall and winter, and then filling in the gaps with other needs as the year progresses.

Here’s a list of themes to consider for your content shoot:

  • A new season
  • A big sale or offer
  • New product launch
  • Specific audience segment (i.e. families)
  • Product segment (i.e. food & drink showcase)
  • Highlight ongoing offering (i.e. happy hour, new client offer, etc.)

If you have a general need for new content, try using some of the ideas above to narrow down your shoot. Think “micro” shoot rather than a full-fledged photography session. There’s always the next shoot if you don’t get everything you want.

Props, People And Photo Styling!

Once you have your shot list ready, it’s time to bring everything together. If props are needed, be sure you have those at the ready. Props will be specific to your brand. It’s important that props are vetted through your brand standards as not to appear overdone or cheesy. Less is usually better.

Talent is one of the trickier pieces of the puzzle to figure out, at least at first. Answering the question as to who will be featured in your photos can be difficult to overcome. The one thing to remember, however, when it comes to creating “lifestyle” photography is that the people in your photos should only be part of the story.

Consider asking people on your team if they would like to be a “model” for the shoot. Oftentimes, you may simply need hands to hold a product or neck-down shots of people walking. When choosing talent, again, consider your brand. You know your target audience best, so the people in your brand’s photos should absolutely reflect that. Mix it up as you get more comfortable shooting content. It’s always nice to have a diverse selection of photos.

The purpose of using props and talent is to make your brand come to life in a photo. The talent should be using your brand’s product as if they were naturally using it and not posing for a photo.

An easy example to convey is if you’re shooting content for a hotel. Perhaps your theme is to showcase the happy hour at the hotel restaurant. Your models would be enjoying the happy hour food and drinks as if they were simply there. Your props would be the food and drink they’re enjoying, as well as the clothing your models are wearing. Everything serves the brand’s integrity and tells a natural story of your brand’s personality and product.

Filters & Frequency

After you’ve completed your content shoot, your photo editor has their work cut out for them. Editing the photos so they are ready to be published as the last step of your content mission. If you use a filter for your social media photos, it’s important to use that same filter across the board. If you don’t have one, you might consider creating one or two cohesive filters that are easy to apply to any photo from your arsenal.

Planning for the next content shoot comes next. Deciding how often you shoot new content is specific to your brand and how often you use social media. You might decide to shoot new photos quarterly, monthly or seasonally.

Using the strategy outlined above and some of these marketing techniques, your next content photoshoot is sure to be a success. To learn more, contact us at Commit Agency today.