So you’ve set a date for your small business photo shoot and hired a professional branding photographer. What comes next? It’s time to discuss what types of images you need! I’m a firm believer that professional branding photography is one of the best investments you can make when it comes to showcasing your business and creating a consistent feel across all your marketing materials. Make sure these 10 must-have photos are on your branding shot list!
Starting with the obvious, capturing professional headshots should be a staple of your branding photoshoot. Surprisingly, a lot of the small business owners I work with have never had professional headshots taken or don’t fully grasp the importance of associating their face with their brand. As a small business owner, it’s important to remember that you’re not only selling a product or service; you’re selling yourself too. Your personality and professionalism should shine through in your personal branding photos so potential clients can get to know you before they even meet you. Check out my 5-Step Branding Photography Checklist for more specific tips before your session.
Running a small business may feel like a one-woman show most days, but if there’s a larger team behind your operations, you should take the time to showcase them!
Showing team dynamics and specific expertise is a huge credibility builder with potential clients. Plan to introduce employees and highlight the distinct strengths of your core team through individual team member photos on your website and social media.
Casual portraits are one of my favorite ways to capture the people behind the brand. They’re also a client favorite since they’re less posed and allow you to get fully comfortable in front of the camera. Casual portraits help showcase the personalities of your team members and how you interact with each other, whether that’s inside a shared coworking space or an office building. Casual portraits can include full body shots as well as more laidback, styled poses. These photos can include a lot of movement, soft focus, or even props to help support the story you’re trying to tell.
Product photography is essential for small business owners who sell physical products in person or online. If your business is conducted almost exclusively online, it’s even more important to capture your products in the best possible light since customers can’t physically interact with them before purchasing.
My approach to product photography centers around answering two questions: “Who is this product for?” and “Why do they need it?”.
Rather than simply placing your product on a plain background for a quick point-and-shoot session, I prefer to capture product photos in an editorial setting. Styling the product with risers or other natural elements, utilizing shadows or mixed lighting, or incorporating colorful and patterned backgrounds can add visual interest to the image without distracting from the product itself.
Lifestyle portraits can include shots of people interacting with your products and services or even just enjoying your brand. They can also highlight you as the business owner providing/interacting with your product or service. Think BTS style images and candid action shots! If you’re a personal stylist, photos of you chatting with a customer as you pull outfits for them to try on would be an example of a lifestyle portrait. A photo shoot featuring a buyer exploring a luxury real estate listing as the agent gives a tour is another great example.
These photos don’t always have to be super posed or planned, but they should include specific elements that give clients a sneak peek into your world. If you’re a photographer, there’s a good chance you hardly get time in front of the camera. Planning a small business photo shoot in conjunction with a job you already have scheduled is the perfect time to get photos of yourself in action.
If you make a physical product like jewelry or clothing, capturing your product design, assembly, and sales process is a unique way to show the time and care that goes into your craft.
Whether you have a physical location, such as a brick-and-mortar store, or you sell design services for commercial or residential real estate, capturing interior photography will help add credibility to your business. When potential clients can get a sense of your space and environment, they’re more likely to trust you and gain confidence in your ability to serve them. Both interior and exterior shots of your location, as well as any unique features or amenities that your location offers, would be important elements to include.
Otherwise referred to as “detail shots,” creative still images of your business can include business signage, logos, or details of spaces or interactions.
The purpose of these images is to provide background images for social media or website headers, as well as cover photos for videos and other post types. These images can also be used in advertisements, pitch decks, and other marketing collateral. They can provide a really clean and cohesive feel for your business and provide a quiet pause to transition between more dynamic images.
This small business photo shoot category won’t apply to every business, but I wanted to include it since a lot of small business owners generate revenue through events. For example, if you own a business that regularly attends pop-up shops or markets, you should consider hiring a photographer to capture your booth setup, clients interacting with your team, and your products in the wild.
If you’re a luxury event planner, capturing photos of an event that you orchestrated is a great way to share your experience and expertise with potential clients or showcase your unique company culture to potential team members. Other types of events to consider shooting include corporate retreats, sales conferences, holiday parties, and speaking events.
Every business owner celebrates milestones, whether it’s a business anniversary, a new acquisition, or a new product launch. Planning a photoshoot to capture these milestone moments is not only a great way to share successes with your audience, it’s also a great culture builder. Expanding your team or breaking ground on a new office location are also moments to consider bringing on a branding photographer.
Your current and repeat customers are your biggest advocates. By describing their experience with your business in their own words, customers can provide a unique perspective that drives new business. First, identify the people who act as your primary brand ambassadors—the ones who refer you consistently and always have great feedback about your products. Then reach out to see if they’d be interested in participating in your small business photo shoot.
This would be a great opportunity to capture video footage of your customers giving their honest opinions on your products as well. A photo of a customer interacting with your products or services alongside a written testimonial is an ultra-tangible way to connect with your audience on social media.
Sara is one of the BEST photographers around, period! … Not only is Sara’s work stunning, but she invests deeply in her clients – in their vision, their business goals, and their emotional well-being. She balances the creative direction that a business needs with the emotional work of making you feel comfortable so well. You can tell that she wants to get to know you as a person – and through that, she makes you feel seen both during your session and in the final product. I’ve never felt more beautiful and confident than when Sara photographs me. I highly, highly recommend her!Carly Tanner, Carly Rae Film
Phew! By now you’re probably thinking, “Well, this just sounds like A LOT of photoshoots I need to plan for.” Luckily, I’ve got you covered! Because small business branding photography needs are never-ending, I created my Partnerships package specifically for you. This annual package includes three (3), 1/hour photography sessions with (35) high-resolution, fully-retouched digital images with marketing and printing rights, as well as a holiday 20-mini session with 10 delivered high-res images of your choice for you and your team. You have the freedom to work through these different types of images over the course of the year in multiple sessions as you have the budget and need! Want to learn more? Set up a consultation here!
From professional headshots to behind the scenes images, my goal is always to capture your brand in the most authentic way possible. The next time you’re considering a small business photo shoot to update your brand’s imagery, I’d love to be part of the process! Let’s chat about small business photography and branding photoshoot ideas for your biz!