So you’ve decided it’s time to give your business a branding makeover, you’ve hired a commercial photographer who specialises in business branding photography and you want it to be a success, so how do you best prepare yourself and your staff for the big event?
First of all, don’t fret, as someone who has shot a variety of business branding shoots in all kinds of settings I’ve come up with the top tried and tested 7 ways you can prepare so that your business branding shoot runs smoothly and you get the photos YOU want and deserve!
1. Have a staff meeting a week before
I find the business owners who have the most successful business branding shoots are those who have prepared as much as possible. I don’t just mean by getting their hair done and choosing the right outfit for the day, but those who have prepared the groundwork in the office - and most importantly with their staff.
Make sure your staff members know what to expect on the day, run through the schedule and talk about who will go first. It’s often a good idea to appoint someone to draw up this list and liaise with the photographer on the day.
Try to sell it as a fun activity and reassure shyer members of staff that they can go last if they prefer. Also, tell them that they will be able to use their favourite headshot for their LinkedIn profile, this tends to motivate those who are less willing to embrace the shoot.
Another key item to put on the agenda is stressing the importance of a business branding shoot for your company and how it can raise the company’s online profile and visually represent its values and help to build its brand, not to mention convey the all important personalities of your team members.
A staff meeting will hopefully dispel any worries for the team.
2 Make sure you have some office interior props
If you really want to get the most out of a business branding shoot and tell your company’s story, then the best way to do this is to add some props to the backdrop of your photos. In my experience these can really make your shoot come to life.
You don’t have to go to a lot of trouble, some branded desk materials, some fresh food items, if relevant (cupcakes, donuts, brightly coloured fruit on the board room or meeting room table), a vase of fresh flowers, plain brightly coloured or branded mugs on desks (make sure they’re clean!!!) and anything else that can brighten an office interior. Another tip is if you have branded colours, find some accessories that match your brand.
One way for companies to get their values across is to hang motivational quotes in frames that mean something to you and the company and will resonate with your ideal customers.
3 Clean your office interior
There’s nothing worse than investing a lot of money in hiring a commercial photographer and then they show up to take your shots in a dirty office. If you don’t usually employ a cleaner, you may want to hire one for the night before, or at least ask your staff to ensure they all have tidy desks, dusted computers, notebooks and laptops and remove any clutter and excess accessories from the areas you want photographed.
A pile of stuff in the corner of the showroom, a dirty coffee mug, or someone’s shopping left on the floor does not create a great impression.
Cleaning your office or hiring a cleaner the night before will save you time on the day of the shoot and create a great impression.
5 Plan your wardrobe for your headshots
Well-presented, relaxed staff make for a great headshot
Ensure that all staff are wearing any company uniform, if appropriate. Remind your staff to make sure that their clothes are clean, tidy and ironed. If your staff don’t wear uniforms, ensure they arrive in clean, ironed and smart clothes that relate your company message. Block colours are best, so avoid any busy patterns.
Planning what you’re going to wear is just as important as ensuring the office is clean and your staff are ready for the shoot. Make sure that what you and your staff wear is comfortable, smart and professional and creates the impression you want to make. You may want to bring in outfits for different seasons so that you can update your photos throughout the year. Props such as scarfs, hats and jewellery, or a nice watch are also a good idea.
Don’t forget to make sure your hair is neat and tidy and if you’re a woman makeup is recommended, slightly more than you would normally wear during the day so you look your dazzling best under the lights. And whatever you do, don’t forget to have tidy nails!
6 Get a good night’s sleep the night before
This has to be the MOST important thing you can do to make your business branding shoot go well. Tired eyes and skin will not do you any favours and airbrushing can only do so much. So, make sure you tuck yourself up earlier than normal and turn up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ready to present your best self to the lens.
7 Promise to take your staff out after the shoot
If you want to get the most out of your staff during the shoot, then offering them an incentive such as lunch or dinner out after the shoot, or maybe even a takeaway pizza delivered to the office, is a great way to do it!
It’s really important that they have something to look forward to and feel rewarded for helping you and the business by creating stunning images that tell the world what your company is all about and who delivers it.
Give staff something to look forward to
If you follow these 7 hacks your business branding shoot is sure to be a great success and you’ll have a stock of unique images that you can use to promote your business online and in any printed marketing materials that you produce.
Oh, I forgot to mention the most important thing: relax, smile and let me take care of the rest.
Sarah Bennett Commercial Photography - firstname.lastname@example.org