Your brand images should spark joy, create curiosity and give your audience a little insight into who you and your business are.

They should be authentic and recognizable and keep you front of mind. But, you knew all of that already, yes? So, HOW do you make sure that you get show-stopping brand photos?

Let’s dive in.

Lady in blue top showing gem stone bracelets

Of course, choosing the right photographer is the first step. You’ll want someone who produces photos that you absolutely love. As well as someone who you feel comfortable with and that you know is going to be dedicated to helping you grow your brand.

But there are also a few things that you can do to make sure your personality and vibe come through just right.

Lady smiling with hand up wearing rings
Lady in pink top writing in notebook
Lady holding tea cup

1. Hire a lifestyle studio or dedicated space.

Depending on the structure of your shoot you might be including a few locations for the day. I highly recommend that one of them is a lifestyle studio in your area that offers great light, furniture that you can use, and possibly some added props.

This is where you’ll get those HERO shots. The ones that tell your stories – what you do, what you love, your brand icons, etc. I always encourage my clients to start here at the studio so that we get the curated, show-stopping photos they need right at the beginning.

My go-to studio here in Joburg is Fynn. You can find them here: Fynn Studio IG

Woman sitting on mat writing in journal

2. Find your BFF Makeup Artist

This is a no-brainer. Your MUA will have the skills and knowledge to match skin tone, blend nicely, make eyes pop, and do all sorts of other magic that makes you look and feel great for your shoot.

If you don’t have someone on the books yet speak to your photographer and hairdresser for referrals. Take some time to do your research so that you find someone who you know will take good care of you.

Woman looking at colour chart
Lady in suit holding sparkling wine and glass
Lady in pink top holding cushion inner

3. Build a dream board and shot list.

This is something that your photographer might do with you and it will boost your confidence so much to be involved in this planning step. And it’s a super important step in getting those show-stopping brand photos.

Use Pinterest and some examples from brands you follow on Instagram to build a dream board of the photos, poses, outfits, locations, etc. that you love. Then try to include as many of these elements into the shot list for your shoot.

Lady sitting on floor sorting through design papers
Lady standing in kitchen making coffee
Lay working on laptop while sitting on couch

4. Book a hair appointment.

Yes, of course you want your hair looking spectacular for your shoot and that’s why it’s a great idea to book in your hair appointment close to shoot day.

But, this has the added bonus of being a “me time” spoil. A time for you to reflect, take it easy, and maybe run through your checklist before your shoot. You’ll look fabulous and feel rejuvenated before getting on camera.

Lady sitting at desk behind laptop

5. Work with a stylist.

Is it just me or do we all need a ton of help in this area? And if you’re looking for show-stopping brand photos, then your outfits are gonna need some attention.

Working with a stylist to plan your photo shoot outfits is ALWAYS going to pay off big time.

They’ll be able to advise on shapes, lengths, pairings and all the details that we tend to skip over. If you find the right stylist they’ll most likely also be able to help you with colour matching to your skin tone and on how you can bring you brand colours into the shoot without overdoing them too much.

Lady in floral top holding mug and smiling

6. Pack in some really great props.

Not only do props add character to your photos, they tell your story too. They give your audience a few more clues about who you are.

For instance:

  • You love tea – bring along a vintage cup and saucer
  • You’re into meditation – bring your meditation pillow and come candles
  • You love baking for your kids – bring a few utensils with and do some “baking” shots
  • You love browsing fresh food markets – bring a shopping bag with some fresh greens sticking out of it
  • You’re an 80s music freak – bring along a big pair of earphones, kick off your shoes, and have a dance party
  • The list is endless!

The right props also help you to stay focused on the end goal of your photo shoot – connecting with your audience using show-stopping photos. And, of course, you’ll have something to do with your hands so they don’t feel all awkward at your sides :).

Lady wearing hat holding beads
Lady holding sound bowl over lap
Lady lighting candles on a tray

7. Don’t forget about the small stuff.

Think of these as your little gold nuggets – they’re not necessities to your shoot but they’re going to make all the difference between “nice” photos and “Show-Stopping” photos.

Take a bit of time to write out a checklist of all the tiny details that you can think of for your shoot.

Things like:

  • Getting your nails (oh, and toes!) done
  • Pairing different jewellery pieces with your outfits (instead of having the same earrings in every photo, whoops!)
  • Pack your “transition” shoes, as I like to call them. The comfy ones that you can slip on between locations
  • Toiletries for a refresher – maybe some deo or talc if it’s a warm day, some wet wipes, some anti static spray
  • A handheld fan – this could be a life saver especially in summer
  • Makeup for touch ups – perhaps a little powder and gloss
  • Think of any little details that will make you feel good and keep you that way throughout .
Lady in yellow top and blue earrings smiling
Lady working at desk with blue dress on
Lady sitting at desk with coffee cup

8. Do the inner work.

Your vibes and energy at your shoot are super important. You’ll want to really, genuinely have fun. You’ll want to feel like, although this is for work, it’s not work. So, doing some of the inner work before your shoot is going to help you to bring your best self forward.

We all have different ways of raising our vibes so do what feels good for you but here are a few suggestions if you need some help in this area:

  • Future journal – write out the BEST possible way your see your shoot going. Really feel it happening that way and enjoy using your imagination.
  • Read an inspiring book, blog, article by someone you admire. Then “carry them with you” to your shoot.
  • Meditate – whether you go all out or just sit quietly on your couch for a few minutes, you deserve some peaceful me time to get centred.
  • Take a long bath – go on, get those bubbles and candles out, put on some chill music (I looooove Insight Timer app) and leave the world behind for a moment.
  • Get out – take a walk or a hike, have coffee (or a cocktail) with a friend. Step away for a little bit and allow yourself some space.
Lady lying on cushions and reading a book

These tips are all part of my client experience process and I use them with each of my ladies as we plan their fabulous branding shoot. I’ve seen them work wonders and they’re crucial to making sure that we have a great day together and that the photos reflect that.

If you’d like more help with this or you’re ready to book in your next amazing brand shoot, get in touch using the button below. I can’t wait to motivate you!