How would you feel if you went to IKEA, got your flat pack furniture home, and there were no instructions on how to build it?

That, in a nutshell, is how it would feel to be a photographer with no brief.

A photographer’s brief (sometimes known as a scope of work) allows me as a photographer to not only cost out your project but to ensure that it runs smoothly and you get the end result you have imagined. It also gives a purpose to your branding project, it makes you think about the tiniest of details about you and your business imagery.

investing in good photos will often significantly increase your space in the press, which can bump your story up from being a NIB (news in brief) to a headline story. The right photos help to give your brand a strong head start in the media.

Let’s talk about the environment

Mel Fielden Professional Brand Portraits Jemima Willcox

The environment that I plan the photography shoots within needs to show those who will see the images who you and what your business is all about. These could be planned to be directly in situ of your business, or somewhere that showcases you and your personality.

Where do you see yourself when you think about your business? And what message do you want to get across about where you are in the images?

Another thing to consider is how corporate you want to appear, and how you want to portray your level of professionalism. If you are an accountancy firm who serves high-level clientele, for example, you will more than likely look at the image where you are wearing appropriate business attire (And not eating an ice-cream at the local park!)

Do you know what specification you require?

We’ve looked into the ideas of inspiring the composure of the image, but have you put much thought into where you’d be looking to use these images?

Some common places you’re going to use them will be on social media. Each platform has its own optimal image size so it’s worth understanding what these are. This guide from Sprout Social can help you out there.

I’d personally recommend that the images are in colour. Black and white can work but you’re effectively removing your personality from the image.

You’ll need to make sure your images are 300 dpi for print and 72 dpi for web use.

For the file dimensions, I’d recommend dimensions using around 1500 x 2250 pixels. This will allow you to edit down easily.

For the file size between 1.5 MB to 5MB is suitable, it all depends on what you’ll be using it for.

Finally file format. A JPEG is more than adequate for you to use in day to day business. You may be required to provide a TIFF file for print items but JPEG covers all your basis.

What’s your face saying about you?

The expression that you have within your image also needs to be thought about, a range of facial expressions will ensure that you have the appropriate tone of the image to use within specific marketing campaigns.

As well as a range of different expression you can also look at the formality level within the planned images, you don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot, so by ensuring you also have a range of formality within your images you will be able to repurpose the images for different media purposes.

Do you know the difference between different types of shots available to you within a branding photoshoot?

The difference between a relaxed or a formal shot –

Relaxed shot

Think of the businesses that you may associate with a relaxed presence within their branding. Do businesses such as Ocado, Apple, Innocent smoothies come to mind? They give a sense of a business that isn’t necessarily in the corporate realm and is often business to consumer companies rather than business to business.

Professional or Formal shot

Jemima Willcox Headshot Photographer Cambridge professional image of man in studio laughingThese are images that give of a corporate vibe, they are designed to give a sense of a high level of professionalism and are often used in media such as business profile releases, fundraising applications or media campaigns.

So, which type of shot do you feel would be the most appropriate to focus on within your branding photoshoot – A brand portrait or a studio headshot?

The main aim that we should come away from this photoshoot with is a wide range of images that represent you and your business. You want to give yourself options! In reality, your business will need images of you in different forms, for example, that blog you are releasing next week, or the press release you are planning.

The key to a successful branding shoot isn’t about how the images come out, it’s about the positive experience you have. Choosing a photographer who can completely understand your brand by taking the time to get to know you, your brand and has a personality who can put you at ease will make this process an enjoyable one.

My client Suzanna hit the nail on the head with this piece of feedback from her brand shoot:

‘When I received the photos, I was extremely pleased with every single shot. As a professional and business owner, the photos you put out there really represent your image as a whole, therefore, getting the right person for the job is vital.’

If you’d like a set of bespoke images which reflect your brand and work with someone who really understands you why not get in touch?


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