Yay! I’m so excited to talk about photo shoots today, this is such a hot topic right now because in the world of Instagram and the internet, the images we share with the world online are often how people first get to know us, connect with us, and ultimately decide to buy from us. (photo credit – In Her Image Photography)
FULL DISCLOSURE: This does NOT mean that you NEED professional fancy photos or a perfect Instagram feed to book paying clients. I talk all about how to make your first $50k without investing in a pro shoot in, so check that out if you haven’t already.
But if you ARE ready to dive in and book your first (or next) professional photoshoot and you want to make sure you nail it, today’s episode is for you!
So why book a pro photo shoot?
-it elevates your brand and online presence, so you look polished and professional even if you are just starting out
-can allow you to really connect with your ideal clients and have them excited to work with you even before you meet them, which makes sales 10x easier
-you can charge higher prices because the perceived value of your work is often higher
-it’s a vibe – it’s so fun getting in front of the camera and feeling like a total boss lady, it’s a rite of passage especially in the online business world, and it’s just exciting to get back those shots and be like YESSS that’s the next level me
-can be a great expander in manifesting your next level of energy and abundance, you are literally looking and feeling and acting as if you are already that confident, fun, fearless, bad ass woman you are becoming, and as we know from manifestation as you begin to act and feel like the person you aspire to you become her.
SO fun right?
The problem I see though is that many women don’t know who to hire, where to start, what to ask for, what to pay someone, how to get the look and feel they want, and how to ultimately get images that will SELL their products and services for them.
So how do you feel empowered, excited, and prepared for your shoot, and most importantly, ensure you get images you can use to turn this investment into more clients and income?
★ STEP 1: Decide if now is the best time to invest in a pro photographer
I go over this in Episode 21, where I share how to get gorgeous brand photos without spending a fortune. I highly recommend that episode where I share how to take elevated selfies and get pro images for free.
But the bottom line is you want to know what you do and who you work with, have worked with actual humans, and gotten them some results. Ideally, you also want to be making some money in your business so that you have proof of concept before investing in professional brand images.
★ STEP 2: Create Your Brand Guide
Most people think step 2 is just hiring a photographer, but this is a big mistake. You can hire the best photographer in the world, but if you are not clear on what you do, who you want to connect with, the vibe you want to convey, the feel of your photos, the colors you like or don’t like, etc you will not ultimately get the images you want or they won’t end up converting YOUR ideal clients.
I have a FREE done-for-you brand guide + photoshoot template that you can download – it is the exact brand guide I used for my first professional photo shoot you can take and tweak.
In your brand guide, you will include:
- What you do
- Description of your ideal client
- What your brand embodies (what your ideal client wants)
- Words to describe your brand (ex. Warm, grounded, nurturing elicits a different look and feel than edgy, cool, exclusive)
- Your color palette
- Your logo and fonts or typography you use (unnecessary for a photoshoot but can be helpful)
- Image style description and examples, ex. Natural, warm, inviting, approachable, professional, lots of white space, natural lighting, neutral tones
- Details for the shoot, including outfit changes, location information, and shot list
PINTEREST BOARDS: I HIGHLY recommend creating 2 Pinterest boards, 1 for the vibe you like, and 1 for the shots you want. Examples of this are in the downloadable brand guide.
OUTFITS: Decide on how many looks you need to convey your work and what your ideal client is looking for – for example I wanted to convey spirituality, fun food and recipes, and a business savvy look, and also some relaxed at home shots to convey the warm, approachable vibe my clients love. So I had a few different looks: a spiritual vibe all in white, a relaxed business outfit, a cozy sweater on the couch vibe, and cooking in the kitchen in an apron vibe. Be sure to take pictures in the outfits – they don’t always translate on camera. This will help you make sure they look great. Often photographers will only allow a few changes, so a little hack you can use is to wear a white t-shirt and pants and then throw on a sweater, then a blazer to get a little more variety without it counting as a different look.
LOCATION: Feel free to get creative for your shoot location – I didn’t love my apartment at the time, so I rented an Airbnb. You can also find spaces to rent by the day or hour on peerspace.com.
SHOT LIST: Be sure to take the time to put together a good shot list. These are the marching orders for your photographer and will assure you end up with photos you will use. Checkout the BRAND GUIDE for an example of a complete list, but be sure to ultimately get:
- 3-5 good headshots of you looking directly into the camera, vertical and horizontal, as well as with space around you so that you can add text.
- 3-5 inspirational shots where you are living the life, feeling the feels etc. that your ideal client wants to feel, ex. If your client wants to feel strong and fit, include some images of you feeling strong and fit or a client, if they want to feel free, include images of dancing, laughing, playing, want to feel grounded? Maybe you, in a meditation position, in an epic relationship where they are loved and adored? A pic of you and your partner or a couple embracing.
- 3-5 lifestyle shots that share the story of what it is like working with you – AKA you in action. Examples: coaching a client, working on your laptop, teaching a yoga class, etc.
★ STEP 3: Find your Photographer
You want to find a photographer that captures the images and vibe you want for your brand. A great way to do this is to look at images you like from people in your industry and see if there is a photo credit or just ask who they used. Often, people are more than happy to share (we used the incredibly talented team at In Her Image Photography). You can also Google photographers in your area or ask for referrals and then check out their portfolio. Don’t be afraid to invest a little more in money or travel expenses for the right photographer. Ask questions via phone or email and then make your decision and set a date!
Questions to ask:
- Rates and if there is a full day/half-day option or if it is hourly, etc, how does the pricing work?
- How many images will you receive?
- Will they edit the images?
- How many outfit changes are included in the package you want?
- Where do they shoot? Do they have a studio? Will they travel to a location?
- What is it like working with them?
- Will they work with your brand guide or help you get clear on your branding?
- Do they have someone they work with for hair and makeup they can recommend?
- Can you communicate with them up until the day of the shoot? How responsive are they?
- How long will it take to get your finished photos back (turnaround time)?
★ STEP 4: Book your shoot and rock it
On the day of make sure you have all of your outfits ready, hair and makeup scheduled or ready to do it yourself, any props or things you need for the shoot, and a great playlist.
SET THE ENERGY: I love doing a meditation or pulling a card to help me get centered and calm my nerves.
Remember to feel as if you are already that strong, confident, calm, powerful woman you want to be for your clients and it WILL translate. If your ideal client wants someone fun and goofy and relatable, then be that and feel that and it will translate into the shots. Remember, this is not about you, it is about who you need to be in order for your clients to feel inspired to invest in themselves through you. It is about being who they need you to be to feel held, seen, empowered, and confident you can get them the results they want.
Imagine you are looking at the camera in the same way you would look into the eyes of your ideal client. I literally say to myself, I love you, or I see you, or I believe in you, or you got this. When you embody the vibe, people will feel it when they see it. This creates the magic. This is what will create images that SELL and set you apart from everyone else on the market. This is what will have people see your image, feel your vibe and get that feeling deep inside that they are meant to work with you.
So that is it!
STEP 1: Decide if now is the time to invest in your first (or next) professional photo shoot
STEP 2: Create your brand guide
STEP 3: Find the right photographer
STEP 4: Book your shoot and rock it by setting the energy and aligning with your next-level self to really make your images POP.
Be sure to download your free brand guide template that will help you nail your next shoot and make the most out of your investment.
As always, I would love to hear from you – did you find this helpful? Do you have questions I didn’t answer?
If so, leave a comment on the blog, DM me on Instagram @xokrissyleonard, send us an email to email@example.com, I LOVE hearing from you.
Now it’s time to take action, download your branding guide, start filling it out, and get ready to take things to the next level in your business and life!
Until next time, sending you all the love, keep going, you got this, and I got you!