Updated: Feb 18
So, you've booked a branding shoot for your business. Congratulations!
You know the shots you want. you've had your meeting with your photographer and you're ready to go.
It's a great way to tell your story, but how do you ensure the best coverage? How do you look bright and shiny on camera? How do you get the buy in from staff? (don't assume just because they work for you, they'll be ecstatic being photographed) All these things and more need to be addressed prior to your photographer turning up.
Luckily, I work with many businesses all the time on branding shoots. I’ve learnt that business owners need guidance. So, I’ve written a checklist to make sure your company shines on the day and your staff happily take part to tell your successful business story.
You can wing it, or read on.
As a business owner employing staff and upscaling your business, there is sometimes the need to shout about something happening within your business. You may be receiving an award, manufacturing a new product, celebrating a milestone birthday, or simply wanting to refresh your website and marketing materials for a new decade.
Whatever the need, hiring a commercial photographer to come to the business premises and interact with you and your staff can be a daunting thought.
What's more, you'll need to convince some members of staff to embrace the idea, when they don't see the need.
After many years working with businesses of all sizes, the following ideas should make your business branding shoot go without a hitch.
HAVE A STAFF MEETING A WEEK BEFORE
This is when you want to bring the staff up to date on what's happening. Ask them to back you up as the company owner. Explain this is for the good of the company and if everyone pulls together with a positive attitude the business will benefit and ultimately benefit everyone.
Reassure the shyer members that this is going to be fun and everyone needs to be part of this as the business moves forward. The headshots are nothing to be afraid of and they will be able to use their favourite on their LinkedIn profiles.
Ask members of staff to help you by creating a list of personnel and the order they are going to be photographed. That person can then be in charge liaising with your photographer so that part of the shoot flows nicely.
Get them involved in a brainstorming session to come up with ideas for images. Allocate jobs for people on the day. Involving people makes them feel important and they’ll be more willing to smile for that camera.
Take them out for a thank you drink/dinner/lunch after the shoot so they all have something to look forward to and feel they've really helped you and the business.
A staff meeting will hopefully expel any worries for the team.
OFFICE INTERIOR PROPS
These can make your shoot come to life. Add branded desk materials, pretty food items if relevant (cupcakes, donuts, bright coloured fruits + veggies on the board room or meeting room table), flowers, plain bright coloured mugs on desks and anything else that can brighten an office interior. (Tip if you have branded colours get accessories that match your brand)
Hang motivational quotes in frames that mean something to you and the company.
Clean the walls free of blue tac and other items pinned up, personal photos etc next to desks.
Ensure any confidential figures in the sales room are wiped off for the day, (don’t forget to copy down the figures before you wipe off) ensure white boards are either clean or have items you don't mind for others to see.
CLEAN OFFICE INTERIOR
Hire a cleaner for the night before or, ask your staff to ensure they all have neat desks, dusted computers, notebooks, and Laptops. Hoover the office/showrooms. Clear away any clutter that doesn't need to be there. (for example, piles of paperwork in trays, coats over chairs, handbags on the floor.)
A pile of stuff in the corner of the showroom, a dirty coffee mug, or someone’s shopping left on the floor does not give a great impression.
Cleaning your office or hiring a cleaner the night before will save you time the day of the shoot and give a great impression.
Ensure that all your company cars, vans, trucks, lorries are washed prior to the day. Ensure they all look smart and shinning so they look as good as can be in the photos.
WARDROBE FOR HEADSHOTS
Neat, tidy and relaxed staff make for a great headshot
Ensure that all staff are in the correct uniform if you wear them. Make sure all clothes are clean and tidy and ironed. If your staff don’t wear uniforms ensure they come in clean, ironed and smart clothes that relate your company message. Ripped jeans may work for a media company but not for an accountant. Block colours are best, try steer away from busy patterns.
Neat and tidy.
Clean and neat.
BE READY AND HAVE A POSITIVE MINDSET
Ensure you’re ready to start when agreed. This will make the shoot flow and go according to time. Relax, have fun, and be guided by your photographer.
About the Author
Sarah Bennett is a professional commercial photographer based in Sussex UK. She works with businesses and agencies to deliver hard working imagery for clients across Sussex and London.