Setting up a new website or creating new relevant content for your channels can be hard. Read on for a guide on how to get those professional-looking photos through a DIY photoshoot for your brand: from planning to getting outstanding results.
Hiring a photographer is definitely a great and effective approach for getting satisfactory photos for your brand. However, this is not always a feasible or possible investment for all businesses – especially small ones or ones under a budget. Or perhaps, you want to take matters into your own hands. Luckily, doing a DYI photoshoot can be the next great solution!
If you are looking to take those high-quality pictures yourself, you are at the right place. This guide will take you through a step-by-step process to make your brand’s DIY photo shoot successful. First things first: get your camera (your phone may work!) and an enthusiastic DIY mindset ready.
Before the photoshoot…
1. Set your story and message
Ask yourself these questions: What is the story your brand is trying to communicate? What is the message you want to set across to your audience? What do you want to achieve through these pictures?
Then, to effectively communicate your message through your photography, you have to establish your photography style. Determine how do you want to make your audience feel, what are the emotions you are trying to portray and keep in mind your brand’s strategy. Make sure to check out our article on how to develop your brand’s photography style.
2. Get inspired!
Explore Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. Refer to brands whose photographs you like and get inspiration from as many sources! You can take a look at what leading brands in your business are doing photography-wise or search popular photographs for your type of product. Then, decide if you want to do something similar or completely different. You could even create a mood board for inspiration so you can review it throughout your DIY photoshoot.
3. Plan the logistics
Once you have an idea of what you want to do, ask yourself the rest of the golden Wh-questions: where, when, which, who, and how. Answering these questions will help you figure out the background, lighting, style, and more.
Here are some examples:
Where is the photoshoot going to take place… indoors or outdoors? Do you have a studio or will it be at home?
When will it take place… during the day so you can have natural light, the golden hour, or at night? When do you need to start setting everything up or preparing for the shoot?
Which props do you need… a desk, sheets, plants? Which items are you going to photograph… how many products, which type, which textures do you want to contrast?
Who is taking or in the pictures… are you taking pictures of yourself or your team, do you need models?
How are you taking the pictures… are you using a self-timer, are you renting a camera, do you need a tripod, are you using your phone?
Plan your set and props and get familiar with the equipment.
During the photoshoot…
1. Use what you have
Think natural light, food, plants, books, a mirror, etc. Product and people photography can be done using props and materials you may already have around the house. The budget does not have to be an issue when you can get creative with what you (and your friends) have available.
2. Focus on quality over quantity
Don’t press that snap button 100 times just because. Be detail-oriented and make sure you are getting good photos that you can actually use. Remember that superior product shots can be used for both online and offline marketing purposes. Less is more, and close-ups are generally better (and more attractive to the eye).
Furthermore, try to get a good ratio of landscape and portrait pictures so you can use them for multiple purposes (Instagram stories, ads, banners, brochures, etc.) without problems.
3. Relax and enjoy the process
Make sure you are enjoying the process while taking your brand’s pictures, don’t be afraid to test ideas that come to your head as you shoot. If you are shooting people then try different angles and poses to see what you like – especially when taking photos of yourself or your team, relax and let that personality show! If you are shooting products, try different backgrounds or different arrangements. Go with the flow while following the story you want to tell!
Bonus: get some BTS shoots!
If you can get someone to help you or you have an extra device you can use, take some Behind The Scenes snapshots of your DIY photoshoot. BTS pictures and videos are always fun and can be used for Stories to tease your products, or simply share candid moments with your audience.
After the photoshoot… aka ‘Editing’
1. Take the trash out
Depurate the unusable pictures from the ones you love or like. It’s good that you keep the ‘okay’ images because cropping and editing can do wonders. While you are at it, get a second opinion to help you decide which ones to actually keep and which ones you missed the eye on, ask your family, friends, or better yet, someone that fits your target audience – the ones who will be looking at them!
2. Pick the right software
Editing is a crucial step in a DIY Photoshoot, using software such as Lightroom and Photoshop will always get you optimal results. If it is on your budget to get a subscription, you can get familiar with the apps through the pool of tutorials on Youtube which will come in handy. However, if you don’t have a subscription or you already used your free trial and all possible emails (oops!), you can always try other alternatives such as Pixlr. If you decide to edit on your phone, opt for apps like VSCO or Snapseed.
3. Get creative!
Play with your pictures! Don’t be afraid to crop, zoom in, zoom out, add some color, distort, overlay, etc. Unleash your creativity and see how you can make the most out of a single image, but always keeping in mind the story you set at the beginning so you don’t waste your valuable time and end up with pictures that do not tell the message you want. Having brand photos that suit your business needs is the most important.
Once you are done and happy with your editing, you get your awaited results! You can share Stories, posts, update your website, schedule new content, newsletters, and so many more things with the brand new pictures you have created. Enjoy the satisfaction of creating something that fits your brand like a glove yourself!
Otherwise, if this step-by-step guide has convinced you that you are not made for DIY, you can always opt for a photographer. Cherrydeck has a community of 65,000+ photographers and we can help you find the best fit.
Better yet, with Cherrydeck Branded Stock you can create a library of hundreds of custom pictures with your own products (from one or multiple photographers) to use for your business needs, at scale, and with zero effort. Interested? Click here for more!