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6 Stress-Free Steps to Planning Your Next (or First) Brand Photoshoot


Want to know the trick to establishing a solid brand photoshoot that ends with amazing photos? It starts with planning, and I have the process down to a T after working with dozens of brand photographers. In this episode, I’m sharing why you need brand photos and the exact tangible steps you need to take to plan your next or first photoshoot.


The Good: We are booking up for the rest of the year. I had always dreamed of booking out and it’s finally happening! 

The Bad: My boyfriend’s sister moved in with us and my office got relocated temporarily to our basement. It’s not quite as bad as it sounds – the room has a large window overlooking the lake and it’s beautiful, but every morning I find spiders, ants, and other bugs which is frustrating. We’re actively looking to buy a house and I dream about the home office I’ll have one day that’s beautiful and allows me to be creative.

The Woo-Woo: You know that I’ve been on the mushroom coffee kick, but I’ve switched it up a bit. Now, I’ll just add ashwagandha directly to my coffee rather than purchasing Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee. I’ve also switched from oat milk to macadamia nut milk – it’s super creamy and amazing.

Don’t forget to share with me your good, bad, and woo-woo so I can celebrate your good, support you in your bad, and probably try your woo-woo!


Before I share the six steps with you, let me set the stage. Yes, there are a lot of stock photos out there and it’s easy to throw on a cute outfit and have your Mom or your boyfriend take a photo of you, but let me tell you – brand photos tie everything together and make your brand feel so much more professional, which allows you to charge more and attract the right clients you want to work with. When you invest in working with a brand photographer, you’ll wind up with a surplus of photos that can last you years.

Plan the mood and overall vibe

Before you even look for a brand photographer, sketch out the overall mood, color palette, and vibe you want to convey in your brand photos. This will help you choose the right photographer for the job, what you wear, and where you take your photos. If you don’t have a moodboard, listen to Episode 20 of my podcast to learn how to make one.

Find the right brand photographer

This is the absolute most important thing you need to consider. When you’re researching potential photographers or digging through hashtags on Instagram, pay attention to the photographer’s past brand photos and notice their aesthetic. What attracts you to them?

Do you want light and airy photos, or do you want photos that are dark and moody?

Also, make sure you work with someone who specializes in brand photography. Do not work with a wedding photographer! A wedding photographer won’t know what props you should bring or where the photos should go on your website. Brand photographers are a major investment (upwards of $1,000 or more), but they will shoot your photos through the lens of your brand strategy and it is so worth it.

I recently had a brand photoshoot and the photographer even brought pantone cards to my shoot. How awesome is that?

Make a detailed shot list

This is where stellar planning is going to be important. I get it, maybe you’re more of a free spirit creative like me, but if you show up the day of your photoshoot without a shot list, you’ll get lost in the day and end up with a bunch of headshots.

A brand photographer will help you create a shot list, or maybe they’ll even have a fancy Trello board like mine did.

You can establish ideas for your shot list by auditing your current photos. Notice where you can uplevel your current presence: what you love to wear, what you’re posting on social media, and photos that can reflect those. Also, think about a specific project you want photos for. Maybe you’re launching a YouTube channel so you want pictures with your camera and ring light.

Or if you’re a coach, think about your process. If you’re on Zoom calls a lot with clients, that could be a set of photos you’d like to have for your website to demonstrate the client experience.

Decide on your locations.

Take your detailed shot list and start thinking about all of the locations you’d like captured. Pick places that feel like they encapsulate your vision.

You could rent an Airbnb or a photo studio, or visit a coffee shop or cafe.

Bring props

Props will turn ordinary photos into Pinterest-worthy shots. Go around your house and pull together items that reflect your personality and brand vibe. 

You might gather some plants, a few books that changed the direction of your business, some crystals, or desk accessories.

When I had my photoshoot, I filled a tote bag of items around my house that reflected wellness and could serve as background props, like a tapestry I love, a Buddha, crystals, and my yoga mat.

The whole point of getting brand photos is to connect with your ideal audience, so incorporating items into your photos that make up your unique personality are going to help you stand out.

Pick your outfits a few weeks before

If you want your photos to look fun, vibrant, and appealing to your ideal client, pick clothing that’s on brand and comfortable for you to wear.

If you never wear dresses, then don’t wear dresses! Be your authentic self and the photos will be a true reflection of who you are. One of my clients always wears a white t-shirt and jeans, so she did exactly that and she loved how her photos turned out.

Wear and be how you always are and you’ll have a successful and amazing brand photoshoot!


“It’s not about finding the right photographer. It’s about finding the right brand photographer.”


Four Sigmatic Coffee

Episode 20: How to Make a Moodboard and Color Palette for Your Business

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June 29, 2020

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