You’ll have to save all your hard-earned and shiny pennies to hire a professional photographer. You might be asking if it’s worth it.
The answer is, “Yes!” It most certainly is worth it.
The impression that you make with pro photos on your website is more than worth it, and something that as a website designer I MUST insist you do. I can’t make a website look beautiful without beautiful images to work with, so I tell all of my clients to start there.
Not only does it make your website look amazing, but it also increases the trust value when new potential clients or customers come your way.
When you only have a moment to capture their attention, photos that are professional will tell your readers that you too are professional. And if they capture your Brand Personality, they will either attract or repel the right people.
You want to attract the people who are the best fit for your Brand, so having photos that capture your Brand Personality will help to gain those right followers.
I recently had my photos taken in preparation of my website redesign that will be happening in a few months, and I loved the experience so much!
I’m fortunate enough to have 3 cousins who are photographers, plus a really long list of friends who are photographers since my background is in photography.
So choosing a photographer was the least of my worries.
What made my experience so successful, besides having an awesome photographer, was that I did a lot of planning and talking with my photographer beforehand. Plus, I took a lot of time to plan out what I really wanted — website redesign and all.
I am beyond happy with the results and can’t wait until my second photoshoot next month.
Here are some tips on how to plan out your perfect photoshoot to get magical, branded photos of you:
List out the shots you need for your website.
The first step of planning out your perfect photoshoot is to have an end goal in mind. Think about the photos you need and where you want to use them.
I know in my mind what I’d like my website redesign to look like. Thinking about it and making a list of the different photos that I need made it super easy to tell my photographer what shots I wanted and even to tell her some of the compositions that will be necessary for the redesign.
Even breaking it down page by page for your website is super helpful.
The nice thing is that my photographer provided even more that what I needed, so I have other shots that I can use in other places that I didn’t even plan out.
Here are a few places where you might want to use your branded photos:
- In the banners at the top of each page of your website
- In the footers of each page
- For your opt-in section in your blog sidebar
- For your pop-up forms on your website
- In your ebooks and PDF freebies
- In your social media graphics and profile headers
- At the beginning of your YouTube videos
- On your sales and landing pages
Make a list of props to create a prop box for yourself to take along.
Don’t limit yourself to just the standard headshot; bring in items that represent who you are and what you do.
That will make the shoot more interesting, and the end result will be photos that show your Brand Personality in a way that you can’t do with just a head-to-shoulder shot of you smiling.
Before my shoot, I decided to make a prop box filled with the things I wanted to appear in my photos. I scheduled a fun prep call with my biz bestie Kris from With A K Writing, and we looked at all of my props.
If she told me, “Yes put that in the box!” I did. How fun is it to plan out a photoshoot with your friend?
Plus, friends usually know you and what makes the most sense with your personality.
I used one of those plastic totes that I bought at Target, and added things that made sense to my brand. You could bring some of the tools you use to create your product, or you could go simple and even just bring your favorite coffee cup.
Plan out your outfits and even try them on before your shoot.
I’m not the girliest of girls, but planning out my style, purchasing the outfits, and even trying those outfits again before the shoot made a world of difference for my confidence and to keep things smooth on the day.
When it comes to getting photos taken, I’m the worst.
I HATE getting photos taken of me. By taking the time to evaluate if the clothes looked good, felt good, and showed my personal sense of style, I could go into the day of the shoot with an excited, “This will be fun!” feeling, instead of a, “Can we hurry this up, so I can go get veggie sushi?” feeling.
You don’t need to buy a whole new wardrobe to get your photos done – especially if you’re on a budget – but you can try on your favorite outfits a couple days ahead of time and look at yourself in a full length mirror to see if you like what you’re wearing.
If you don’t like it, you know in advance. This will save you the heartache later of getting your photos back and being majorly disappointed with what you get, because those jeans don’t fit the way you wanted.
Communicate your ideas with your photographer.
I’m fortunate enough to have worked with my cousin who is an awesome photographer and also a friend. We chatted over all sorts of social media channels: Facebook messenger, Instagram chat, and even via Pinterest.
Now don’t go spamming your photographer’s social media pages, but do find where they like to share ideas and chat with them there. Don’t be shy.
Telling your photographer what you want will go a long way to getting what you want.
Speaking as a former wedding photographer, I always loved getting ideas of what my clients wanted. Realize that your photographer won’t copy things exactly; they are an artist after all. They will get ideas from what you send them, and they’ll take them and run with it in their own way – with a clearer idea of your expectations and hopes.
I’m already speaking with my photographer about my upcoming shoot next month, and our ideas are so plentiful that she suggested we have another photoshoot in the summer.
All the photoshoots!
I’m now super excited when it comes to getting my photos done. Planning really does make all the difference.
Figure out locations.
In all my planning, I wasn’t sure about where to take the photos. Since I was in constant communication with my photographer in the days leading up to my shoot, we were able to see that my original idea wasn’t a very good one location-wise.
Before I talked to her about the location, I sent her all my ideas. When I told her the location I had in mind, she quickly pointed out that the location wouldn’t actually work for what I wanted.
She made a new suggestion and showed me a few photos she’d taken in the area. I was so excited and happy that we went to the locations she’d chosen. The end result is even better than what I had in mind.
Without planning, the shoot wouldn’t have gone as well, and I wouldn’t have all of the fun photos I have now, to use on my website and social media!
Plan out the little things that you’ll want to bring with you to make the shoot go as smoothly as possible.
Things like bottles of water for yourself and your photographer and snacks. You know: the things that may come up if you’re going to be outside taking lots of photos for a big chunk of time.
Just make a simple list of these items and put them in a bag or something for you to easily access and tote around.
After my shoot, I now have a large library of branded photos that I can use everywhere. I didn’t have a library to choose from before, so it makes planning my redesign so much easier.
If I hadn’t done the planning ahead of time, I can’t imagine that it would have been half as enjoyable or successful.
Have you taken branded photos for your website? What are your hesitations?
Want ideas of what photos to take? Sign up for my 20 Must Have Photos for Creatives by popping your name into the form below!