How to Direct a Photoshoot

A picture speaks a thousand words. A photograph arguably even more so. Here's how to get the best out of a photoshoot.

By Cat HowPosted in Ideas

A picture speaks a thousand words. A photograph... arguably even more so. Brand photography is often overlooked in the design process in favour of logo design, colour palettes and fonts. But it is an integral part of your visual identity, and of great importance.

Brand photography is the use of photography to establish and reinforce your brand across all your different platforms - from print to digital. This could include your website, social media feeds or print collateral like roller banners or external signage.

Shooting this photography requires a lot thought and preparation. Here are a few tips.

1. Storyboard how you want your photograph to look. Think about composition and styling, down to the smallest detail. The more you can storyboard your photograph, before it has even been taken, the easier it will be for you to direct your photographer into achieving exactly the look and feel you need.

2. Think about lighting. Lighting has been used for centuries to lend art and photography different feelings and moods. Chiaroscuro, for example, is the use of strong contrasts between light and dark, for dramatic effect. Think about whether you want your subjects luminous and well-lit (optimistic, positive, enthusiastic) or emerging from the dark (complex, thoughtful, strong).

3. Think about still life. Will there be any other objects in the scene? What are they and what do they represent - literally and conceptually?

4. Think about your models. What will they be wearing and how will this affect the mood you want to create in your photograph? If they are a young tech startup, then a cool grey t-shirt makes them approachable and fresh. If they are lawyers, perhaps they need a sharp suit and something more polished.

5. Think about mono. It's always worth asking your photographer to send over a black and white set of the colour photographs they take for you. A good one won't mind. You can also convert colour photos to black and white in Photoshop easily, but if you don't have the Adobe Suite then your photographer should help you out.

At Polleni we carefully commission portrait and lifestyle photography from our network of professional photographers - and creatively art direct shots to align with your brand messaging and tone-of-voice.

To us - photography is just as important to curate, and get right, as everything else.

The main purpose of brand photography is to convey specific details and emotions about your brand through photography. Content can include headshots of you and your team, to lifestyle images of your process, your space and other things that make your business unique.

Photo styling can also convey specific details about any physical products you may sell - which you can leverage for use on social media via social commerce.

Essentially, brand photography is a suite of professional imagery that represents your business visually, and fits with your brand identity through their use of colours, tone, lighting, props, sets and more. And remember - these photographs are as important as ambassadors for your brand as everything else!

Find out more about our brand design agency.

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